I was on the phone with a friend today and we were talking about Christmas. advent. and I said, ya know, I’m starting to feel stressed that I’m not stressed. that’s sure weird. this morning, my husband delightfully took the kids to school after I clothed and fed them and I got back in bed. I SLEPT for an hour! y’all, for real? I took a hot bath with my cup of coffee and she reads truth devo on my phone. I lingered around my kitchen, writing notes, and listening to worship music. I took a friend lunch, stopped by the store, and was done in time to pick up the kids early from school.
As I was talking to my dear Melissa, I realized something. I think in this crazy transition and “in between” season things have been a lot simpler this Christmas. [with trying to sell the house and all + not knowing when we are moving]. I didn’t put any ornaments on our tree, Christmas card pics were re-scheduled and I don’t even have a date yet [or cute outfits] much less an actual card to send out [starting a new trend/easter!], very low fuss decor around the house – just my all time fave pieces, I did most of my Christmas shopping online the weekend after thanksgiving with small businesses or fair trade companies, but sadly didn’t do my big “I can’t say the words because I almost got sued” post for all your shopping needs.
I think it’s so easy when I look at what everyone else is doing, to get stressed. We don’t have the big fancy company Christmas party to go to, so there’s no shopping for a sparkly new outfit…we still haven’t taken the kids to take the obligatory picture with Santa….we don’t have a million Christmas parties to attend….but this year…this year I’m trying to not look at what everyone else is doing, but instead look ahead.
this past Sunday at church, I realized that one of the sins I so easily get tangled into is comparison. I do it all the time – I compare my kids clothes to friends kids, or I’m not as good of a cook as her, or man she takes real pictures of her kids and I just use my iPhone, her gift wrapping so so creative..the list goes on and on. well I want to stop looking OUTWARD and start looking ahead. and also doing what is LIFE GIVING to me. and realizing those things those friends are good at? those things give THEM life, not me. so why do we compare when God made each of us so different?
this season? it’s called the advent for a reason. advent in the dictionary literally means “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event”. advent means shifting your focus on the true reason of Christmas – celebrating the birth of Christ! I’m doing this amazing advent devotional called Sacred Christmas and Becky says this,
“This isn’t something you get right.
This isn’t something you have to do. This is something you get to do. This is something
that helps you to focus more on Jesus when everything around you is chaotic”
This hunger I have for God? It started with this advent season. this centering on Christ. being still. getting in the word. waiting on him! being OK not being stressed because that’s what “I’m supposed to do”. We don’t get it all right. I miss a day here and there. I want desperately for my kids to get it, and we are reading Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the greatest gift. , and we are loving it but I mean, they are 2! Is it sometimes mom rallying the troops..yes. I want to do things with them that show them this season isn’t about us, or the parties, decoration, presents….that doesn’t look perfect though. again, they are 2 [in denial they are almost 3]. yesterday mid trying to deliver little christmas cheer to our neighbors they stopped to play in the leaves at our neighbors house! we aren’t going to do it all. but we focus on Christ. we look to him. we look ahead.
I just had to get that out. mostly to preach to myself, to remind myself when I think we should be doing more, or aren’t doing it “good enough”, to take a reality check for my motives. am I trying to please God or fit into our culture and the world? so I’m going to try to STOP looking to the left and right and look straight AHEAD at Jesus.
I’d love some advice from you mamas who’s little ones are a little bigger than mine….do they eventually get it? does it become less “mom says we need to do this” and more the heart of the entire family at some point?