The Chore

Sunday evening I sat in the recliner happily crocheting. Then my oldest brought me up a basket of laundry to fold. I sat in the chair and continued to crochet. Eventually it seemed as if the laundry basket started screaming at me, “Renee, do you see me?” “Renee, it will only take 10 minutes to fold me.” “Renee, fold the laundry.”

But I continued to sit and crochet. I do not want to fold laundry right now. Besides, another load will be up in an hour to fold anyways.

Renee- go fold your laundry.

No- I don’t want to!

This conversation went on in my head for a little bit, before I finally just stopped, folded laundry, and then went back to crocheting. I probably spent more time arguing with myself than I did actually folding the clothes.

Honestly, I’ve had this same conversation in my head with many different topics.

Renee, you really should start cooking dinner.

Renee, you really should clean that bathroom.

Renee, you really should get out of bed and go read your Bible before the kids get up…

Wait a minute. Did I just put God in the same category as my chores?

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Why am I not excited to spend time with God? Why am I treating Him like a chore?

If I treated my husband like a chore, I am positive I would hear about it. If I treated my friends like a chore, I am sure they wouldn’t be my friends very much longer.

Why is it ok to treat God like this?

There is only one reason that I don’t really like to admit- it’s a heart problem. It’s a pride problem. It’s definitely a sin problem.

It’s funny, when I can see and feel God moving, I am eager to spend time in prayer with Him. I am eager to pick up that book and grow closer to God. I have on-going conversations with Him throughout the day. I will randomly turn on “Jesus jams” and just worship where I am at.

But sometimes… sometimes I don’t see the movement. Sometimes I wonder ‘God, where are you?’ I forget, He’s right here with me. I try to take the wheel and steer my own life. But every time I end up broken down on a dirt road, and He chooses to fix it putting me back on the proper path.

My pride tells me to follow the world. My pride tells me when things aren’t moving the way I want them to, I need to make it happen. My pride leaves me broken and in need of my Savior.

So how do I fix my pride… I don’t. I can’t.

No matter how hard I try. I fail. I end up chasing the wind. I have to lay it at the foot of the cross and pray that God will help me overcome it!

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Each morning, my kids read “The Jesus Storybook Bible” together after breakfast. I have been so blessed to be part of this. This particular Bible tells the major Bible stories, but at the conclusion of each story it points back to God’s mighty rescue plan to save his people- Jesus.

Every story. Adam and Eve. Noah. The Tower of Babble. Abraham. Isaac. (That’s as far as we have read.) Each story ends with reflecting on how God knew, loved, and used these people despite their sin nature for His glory. God knew from the beginning we couldn’t do it on our own. He had a rescue plan from the beginning to save us from ourselves. That plan was Jesus.

I will fail. I will fall short. But God already knows that. He already sent His one and only Son to die for me. All I have to do is reach out to Him, accept the gift of His Son that was freely given. Once I embrace this reality, I can start living in the fullness of the Spirit. I can grow in relationship with the Father.

Some days it may feel like a chore. Do it anyway. Pray. Ask God to change your heart. Ask God to help you grow and change your perspective.

It’s not a gimmick. It’s a reality. Don’t let life get in the way of the most important relationship you have!

Intentional

A few days ago, my husband called for me to come to the computer. He opened up a video from 2010 of our oldest as a baby. The adorable little baby (that looked strikingly similar to our current baby) rolled back and forth on a jungle floor mat happily playing by himself. Then he rolled over and our old puppy came in and gave him kisses. It was so adorable.

“Aww!!! That’s so cute! Do we have any videos like that of our other kids?” I asked.

My husband shook his head, “not one.”

I know, I know. It’s the joke that only baby #1 has a completed baby book, perfect month by month pictures, and the like. But baby #2 has an almost blank baby book, thrown together pictures, and so on… Sadly, it’s funny because it’s true. We have sooooo many baby pictures and footprint/handprint art from our first child. He also is the only one of my children to have six “Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments. We were so intentional about documenting and recording his life events.

Then we had more kids. And more kids. And now poor baby #6. When someone ask me how old he is, I’m like, “Well he was born on November 1. You can do the math.” When someone asked me how old my oldest was, I was like, “3 months, 2 days, and 16 hours.”

 

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Intentional.

I wonder if I treat my relationship with God like my first child or my 6th child. Somedays I think it’s more like my 2nd child. He has a baby book. He has a ton of pictures. But not as detailed as the first. Not as intentional as the first.

There’s a reason God wants to be first in our lives. He wants us to be intentional about our relationship with him. He wants us to want to document our lives with Him. He wants us to want to grow deeper in faith, obedience, and trust.

When I was a kid, I knew the 10 Commandments. I knew the commandment said, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Great! I’ll just keep a list of my loves. As long as God is on top, I am ok, right? WRONG!!! When God said this, he did not mean like a check list. He meant, no other gods in my presence.

He wants to be around nothing else that consumes your heart. But in our human minds we can justify our choosing to have other gods.

Well, I’m a wife/mom, my role there is the most important… Be careful not to make your family or your role a god.

Well, I’m their parent, they have to honor me above all else… Be careful not to make yourself their god.

Well, doesn’t God want me to be happy? He will overlook this desire that is pulling me away from His light. First, this is not true. I cringe every time I hear a Christian tell me this. This is the world justifying your sin, not God’s desire for you. Don’t make your secret (or not so secret) sin your god.

Please hear me here- it’s a trap! No one and no thing should ever have more importance in your life than God! Your role as a wife, parent, friend, and (you fill in the blank here) is important. But our primary reason for existence is to bring glory to God! If you have a role that is taking away from God, you need to reevaluate your heart.

If you have been expecting your spouse or children to make you happy, you are in for a sad and rude awakening. They are not God. Nothing you do for them. Nothing they do for you will satisfy that longing in your heart. There is only one that can satisfy. And that is Jesus. Your spouse and your kids were never meant to take the place of Jesus. Remember first and foremost, He took their place. They are gifts from God to point you to Him.

If you are a Christian, you must be intentional about making God part of your daily life. Church should be the dessert to the rest of your week, not the main course. Many times, we do not take advantage of the fullness of the cross. Jesus died so we can have salvation, but also so that we can be in direct communication with God! Are we being intentional at taking full advantage of what we have been given through Christ? Or are we checking the box and giving God our wish list?  Prayer, mediation, devotional life, and fellowships are just a few things we can do to be intentional with our relationship with God and grow towards Him.

If you are a Christian but your walk is not as strong as you would like it to be, you are not alone! Walking with Christ is an absolute blessing, but its not easy. It takes time. It takes practice. You will mess up. He will take you right back. Surround yourself with people and things that point to him. Spend time in prayer. Look for the blessings around you. Be intentional about making God part of every aspect of your life.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1 John 1:7

Guarded

While at the library Thursday, my daughter checked out a bunch of books. Since she forgot her library bag, the librarian gave her a plastic grocery bag to carry her books. As she was walking out of the library, the bag ripped, and her books fell all over the ground. She scrambled to pick them up, but since they were all different shapes and scattered, it was no easy task. Her brother went over to help her, but she quickly covered her books and said, “These are my books.”

“I know,” he said. “Would you like me to help you and carry some out to the car for you?”

Immediately her expression changed from anger to relief.

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Oh, what a perfect image of how I must be when people are trying to help me. I’m so overwhelmed by the problem at hand, that an act of help has me responding poorly.

For whatever reason I’m guarded. I’m prideful. I don’t even realize they’re trying to help.

My poor, poor husband. As I am typing this, I can recall so many instances where he offers me help, but I hover over my scattered books and say, “Leave me alone. I’ve got this.”

In my defense, no one likes being told your wrong. Even if that’s not exactly what is said, that’s how I internalize it.

Internalizing messages has been a major heart ache in my life. I learned from a young age to “read people,” but not based on their words. More like their emotions, facial expressions, and body language. Sadly, I thought there were two conversations being had. The one that was being spoken and the one that was meant.

It took me a long time to realize, most people say what they mean and mean what they say. You don’t have to read between the lines. But I still do it.

I still try to find the hidden message in what’s being said. And it causes my heart so much agony.

I suddenly think people don’t like me, when they barely engaged in conversation with me.  Now I am wondering what I did wrong, when maybe they just had a bad day, a headache, a problem, or lacked the time to actually talk to me.

When I’m running late, I start the negative talk wondering why I can’t ever be on time. When I say something dumb, I feel dumb. When someone makes a joke and it takes me a minute to get it, I feel stupid. If I make a Pinterest dinner flop, I think I’m a horrible cook. When I fail, I tell myself I am a failure.

It has taken me some time to realize that I internalize things because I place other people’s opinions higher than my own. I place other people’s opinions higher than God’s.

I need to see myself as God sees me. “Perfectly and wonderfully made.” I need to recognize the good work that He has started in me and know that He is faithful to carry it out to completion.

Yes, we are going to mess up, but we are not a mess. Yes, we will fail, that doesn’t mean we are failures.

We are daughters and sons of the God! Our creator! Our Lord. He cares for us. He knows us by name. He has a plan for our lives! Once we can wrap our heads around all that, we can begin to see ourselves as image bearers of God. After all that is the way God sees us. The good news is that we do not have to see ourselves that way before we can begin a relationship with Him through His son Jesus Christ.

Let me take a bit of burden off of you for a moment and tell you something that maybe you haven’t heard before. Your worth and your identity is not in your marital status, family achievements, occupation, accomplishments, or any other worldly things. Your worth is in Christ! You were bought with a price. Christ paid that ransom. God loves you so much and he knows what you are worth and that is exactly why He was willing to die for you personally. As you go on with your life, I want to encourage you to remember that Jesus died once and for all. There is no need to stick Him back on the cross to die a second time. Once was enough.

Let down your guard. Accept help from those offering it. And look up. Thank God for what He has done in your life. Walk in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Embrace your identity in Christ!

“The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children. The reason the people in the world do not know us is that they have not known him.”  1 John 3:1

The Splinter

One of my children recently had a splinter in his foot. Now this child is extremely sensitive to touch and pretty much all sensory inputs. He showed me the splinter. I pushed the skin slightly around it and he started crying, “Owwey Owww.”

I took a look at him and said, “Son, I’m not cutting your arm off. Do you want the splinter out, or do you want it to stay in there and keep hurting?”

He thought about it for a minute. Then he asked, “If you don’t get it out, when will it come out?”

“Well, not anytime soon. You can either let me get it out now, and it will stop hurting. Or you can leave it alone and let it keep bothering you. But if you want me to get it out, it’s gonna hurt for a minute.”

I honestly thought he was going to tell me to leave it alone, so I didn’t give him a choice. I grabbed his foot, endured the tears, and pulled the splinter out in about 30 seconds.

Once it was out, he said, “Thanks mom. It doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Imagine that. Once the splinter was out, the pain was gone. But the immediate pain of removing the splinter actually had my son considering leaving it alone.

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Come on. I know we can all relate to this. We all have that guilty pleasure, secret sin, that we know is hurting us but can’t let go of.

For some of us, it’s gossip. We get sucked into that real-life soap opera and crave the details. (more on this in a little bit…)

Maybe it’s lust. Watching those romantic comedy movies has you secretly wishing your significant other was more romantic, funnier, or better looking, so every time you are alone or bored, Netflix has you sucked into another movie.

For others, it’s food. We know that those sugary treats are no good for us, but hey no one is watching. A donut for lunch is just fine for now.

I do not know your personal struggle, but I know you have one. The Holy Spirit has slowly shown me areas in my life that need pruning. If you have been following my blog, you may recall some post about my struggle with gossip and drama. Let me just say, this is an area I continually need reeled back in on.

First, I was convicted to turn off the television. Then I was convicted to redirect conversations that do not honor those who were not present. But the next step was a hard one. I had to distance myself from people who would not respect my boundaries around drama.

“Bad company corrupts good character.” Wait God… there’s no way you were talking about them… what will people think when I distance myself from them?

Oh man! You can see my next conviction in that statement- why are you trying to please man rather than God? Whose approval do you really seek, Renee?

Obedience is rarely easy. God’s word is not something that is popular. Many people want the Bible to be a buffet that you can pick and choose from. But it’s not. It’s one big love story between God and His creation. We cannot just choose the parts of the story we want to hear.

Let me be honest, it was painful to put up those boundaries. It was even more painful to stand firm in my convictions. I literally tore myself up inside. I knew what people would think. I kept trying to convince myself that these people needed me to point them to God… But all they were doing was stealing my joy, keeping me on guard, and continually disrespecting my boundaries. Sadly, that showed me I had remove the part of my body that caused me to stumble. God gave me peace over the situation. And once I distanced myself from the company that kept dragging me back into my sin, the struggle with this particular sin lessened.

It’s no different than an alcoholic choosing to no longer go to a bar or hang out with his partying friends. If you are going to grow, you must remove the weeds that are choking your growth.

Removing things or people who are bad influences is hard. But the peace that comes from being free to walk with God is unexplainable. If you are feeling the Spirit prompting you to remove a splinter, do it. But know it won’t be easy. You will have to lean into God. You will most definitely need to ask for prayers and support from your Christian friends. It will hurt. But, if it is from the Holy Spirit, you will be better for it.

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell. “

Matthew 5:29-30

Breaking Down those Boxes

“Mom, the recycling trash can is already full!” my son told me after bringing the trash cans around after Trash Pick Up.

“What? The trash truck just came this morning!”

“We had some boxes to put in there. Now it’s overfilling,” he explained.

Well, we went outside to the trash can, and I realized that this overflowing trash can would make it the rest of the week with no problems at all. “Boys, we have to break down the boxes.”

I showed them to pull the tape off and fold the box back up into a flat shape. In no time at all our recycling trash can’s lid closed with some room still left on top.

This so clearly reminds me of my schedule. Overflowing. Full. I couldn’t squeeze another thing in there if I wanted to.

But when I start to break down the boxes, I see that not so much energy is needed in some spots. If I can just rearrange the boxes that are broken down, I will have more than enough room.

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Growing up, my life was full of boxes. We were constantly on-the-go. This sport. That sport. This activity. That activity. Volunteer here. If there was an unplanned day we had to go “do something.” Shopping, movies, bowling, arcade (yes, I’m that old), out to eat, Six Flags, the Zoo… it didn’t matter what- we just had to “do something.”

This mentality was great when I started dating my husband. I mean that’s the whole point of dating, to go out on dates- right? But once we got married and life started, the urgency to be on-the-go was still there. But the reality was not. Let me just say this in an off-topic rant- American dating culture does not prepare you for marriage… suddenly instead of going out to eat, your eating at home. Instead of “doing something” every time you see each other, you sit together in a room doing two separate hobbies. Yes, we still went out on dates, but not every day… not every time we saw each other…

Ok back to the topic- I had to learn the art of only saying yes to meaningful. And yes, I was saying no to myself. Prior to this, I said yes to every opportunity I could. I busied my schedule. I was constantly on-the-go. When I did have some time, I was looking for the next thing to do.

Emotionally I was drained. I was beat. I was snippy with my husband and kids. I was putting all this energy into things that didn’t matter and taking it out on my family. I was convicted that the people who mean the most to me should also get the most of me.
God slowly stirred my heart and showed me that less is sometimes more. If you go out and “do something” every day, those outings are no longer meaningful; they’re expected. Additionally, I didn’t have the time, money or energy to do that any longer. Instead of being on-the-go, stay put and make the most of your time where you are. Doing this, instantly broke down the majority of those boxes.

I will say, I do still tend to feel the urgency to go do something. But I have learned, that doesn’t mean make a trip to Six Flags, the Zoo, or some other attraction; it means spend some time with the people you love on purpose. Go push your kids on the swing. Pull out a deck of cards. Start a crafty project.

You know, when the boys and I were breaking down those boxes, our other trash can lid was also open receiving the trash that was mistakenly put in the recycling bin. My schedule is no different. There are things on my schedule that are not necessary. There are other things that I fill my time with that are really just a waste of time… like games on my phone… mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

Before I know it, those mindless games, scrolling through newsfeeds, and such have filled my day.

Sadly, I’ve known this was going on, but it still took a hard conviction to do something about it. After this, I started thinking about the fact that my kids are only allowed 30 minutes of tablet time, and 30-60 minutes of educational television. We made this decision because we want our kids to experience life, not be consumed by electronics. Why should my time be any different?

Something that has taken me a long time to fully understand is that this life is not mine but God’s. My time is only mine because God has given it to me. It is my job to steward that time appropriately. We can’t get back the day once we close our eyes at night. Therefore, I need to make the most out of days. I need to be sure that I am doing my part in pointing everyone who comes in contact with me to the love of Jesus Christ.

One of the things that I hear from fellow Christians more frequently than not, is that they just don’t have time to focus on things that help us to grow closer to God. I get it, reading our bible takes time, prayer takes time, serving in our church takes time. The truth is if we were to really access our daily lives and get rid of meaningless activities, we would likely find plenty of time to develop our personal relationship with God.

So, if this post has spoken to you- awesome! Please know, you are not alone. I am still breaking down boxes and sorting out the trash that I allow to consume my time. However, I know with the Holy Spirit’s help we can both use our time to glorify God in all that we do! Be blessed my friend!

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

Babble Prayer

Anybody out there have a 2-year-old? I do! And she is quite the character. She’s so full of joy and happiness, cute-as-can-be… one minute… then the next she is the boss-demanding that her older sisters give her their toys.  So, as you can imagine, this doesn’t go over very well. Her sisters, who are 4 and 5, will just tell her no and go about their business. But my 2-year-old is not happy at all.

So, she will come running to me crying and babbling something. Occasionally, I can make out the one or two words she is saying. Based on her response (and what is going on in the bedroom), I can make a pretty accurate assessment of what the problem may be.

But man, I wish I could understand what she was saying.

Often, I have to remind her to “Use your words,” as she cries her response at me. And even though I may know the answer is going to be no, I make her ask anyways.

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Sadly, I know this is how I sometimes go to God in prayer… much like my child comes to me babbling.

Sometimes when I am praying, I beat around the bush. I will spin the conversation so that I present other request first, but my desires are in another place. I take for granted the fact that He knows my heart and my heart’s desires.

Sometimes I am vague in my request. Sometimes I just say- God show me your will, but I am completely blind to where He is working, not realizing His will is not only the future but the present as well.

Sometimes I just try to do my own thing. Maybe I think-I’ve got this. I don’t need help. Maybe I think, God’s got bigger things to attend to than my little bitty problem.  Or maybe… sometimes… maybe I don’t want His answer, because I want to do things my way.

Sometimes my prayers are so “Me-focused” that I am off the mark.

So many times, I feel like I go to God as a 2-year-old. Praise God is He is almighty, all-knowing, and ever-present! Thank God that He puts people, places and things in my path to help me grow in my prayer life!

Here’s what I have learned as I have grown in my prayer life. God is our Father. He wants to hear our request. He wants us to talk to him and tell him how we feel. Much like I want my own children to tell me what they need or want, God wants us to tell him as well.  Even if it is babble. Everyone has to start somewhere. We will grow in our prayer life, just like my daughter will soon be speaking clearly.

Our relationship with God is the same way. It will grow, but not on its own. You have to start somewhere.  He cares for you. He cares about you. And He wants a relationship with you.

So, talk to Him! Praise Him! Present your request to Him. But remember to wait for His answer. Often times the answer to my prayers is not necessarily what I want, but I am given an extreme amount of peace over the situation. We have to remember prayer is not a “get out of jail free” card or a “magic genie.” We cannot manipulate God. He has a plan, and we are blessed to be part of it. When our prayers align with His will, we can honestly see answered prayers. It’s amazing how God changes what we see and what we seek!

It’s so amazing to me that the same God who has a relationship with me is working in a very similar manner in the people around me. Sometimes I seriously sit in church and marvel over this fact! God is so good!

Pray! Ask God for what you need! Start the conversation. He’s there. He’s waiting.

Remember that we have the Advocator- the Holy Spirit! We also have Jesus, the Son, who is also interceding for us! Your babble is a perfect starting point!

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Romans 8:34

Simple. Humble. Christmas.

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

Since 4th grade my favorite Christmas song has been “Go Tell It on The Mountain.”  I can remember sitting in choir practice requesting this song all year long. It actually got to the point that our Music teacher began to restrict the request.

I seriously love this song! As this song played at church last week, the lyrics really spoke to me. Our HUMBLE Christ was born.

Down in a lowly manger
our humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation,
that blessed Christmas morn.

God sent His one and only Son to be born and placed in a MANGER! There’s certainly nothing fancy about that. Mary and Joseph were simple people. They did not have much and did not expect much. Though I am sure it is not what they would have planned, they were perfectly content with the manger as a basinet for the new born KING.

Simple. Humble. Christmas.

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That was not even close to the way I celebrated Christmas five years ago.

Five years ago, Christmas meant busy!!! Blare the Christmas music. Decorate everything. Shop for everyone you know. Spend money you don’t have. Spoil the kids. Shop till you drop. Visit every relative you can. Make every craft possible. Whatever you do- DON’T STOP!!!

But every single year I was let down. Without fail. Christmas would come and go. Then I would lay in bed completely disappointed and usually crying. Why?

I was given awesome gifts. Everyone liked the gifts I gave them. I spent time with the people who meant the most to me. But I never felt content.

Then one year, when the boys were very young, my husband suggested NOT doing Santa. WHAT!!! No way!!! I want to spoil my kids… But the thought stuck in my head. Maybe I should entertain the idea. He wanted to give each kid 3 gifts like Jesus got. Ok- that makes sense… maybe there’s a compromise here…

As I sat and pondered this, I started talking to my coworkers about it. To my surprise, they not only loved the idea, but wish they had done it with their kids- give meaning to the gifts. Then one of my coworkers told me that when her son found out there was no Santa he said, “Well what else have you been lying to me about. I guess there’s no God too.” And from the moment on he labeled himself an atheist.  ***Obviously, this is not the standard for all kids, please see my disclaimer at the end of this post.

Hearing this changed my perspective on parenting- I want everything I do in life to support God. It also completely changed my perception on the gift giving and Santa. I wanted to do Santa for me. I wasn’t concerned with my kids. Spoiling them through Santa was about me. Maybe not doing Santa was not such a bad idea after all.

It just so happened that this year I also did not have a beautiful family photo to place on a Christmas card. I honestly sat and loathed over this fact. I decided I would just not send out cards this year. Then I got this overwhelming nudge in my heart, “Renee, who is Christmas about? You? or Jesus?”

Let me just be honest, up until that particular year I just said, “Christmas is all about Jesus.” But really… really it was about me. That’s why I went crazy shopping, decorating, gift giving, running around. And when Christmas was about me, I was always disappointed.

That year I decided to take my husband’s lead and have a simple Christmas. Only give gifts with meaning. Send out homemade Christmas cards that point to Jesus. Do crafts with my kids that point to Jesus. Sing songs that point to Jesus. Share the love of Jesus with everyone I can.

Slow down. Breathe. Embrace the season of welcoming our Savior to the world. But remembering, God came to Earth as a poor boy. HUMBLE. The first Christmas was simple. It’s more than ok for our family’s Christmas to be simple and meaningful!

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

The ways of the world can really interfere with the true meaning of Christmas. You don’t need fancy decorations, gifts, and celebrations to let everyone around you know the true meaning of Christmas. Remember peace is a person- it’s Jesus. And we can only truly celebrate His peace at Christmastime, if He is the center of the celebration.

Don’t just say it’s all about Jesus when your actions prove its all about you. If something doesn’t go as planned- Like a nativity project- Joseph (your son) starts moving like crazy while holding Baby Jesus (your baby), and you regret ever putting the baby on stage… Remember why they are up there in the first place. That first Christmas was not as planned. It was not the way Mary would have planned the birth of her son, but it was the way God planned it. Simple. Humble.

I’m talking to myself right now too. Make it all about Jesus and keep it all about Jesus, even when things don’t go as planned. Be purposeful about what you do, and how you do it. Don’t give into the world’s hustle and bustle of the Christmas season- spread His Peace!!!!

 

 

*** Disclaimer- Please know I am in no way telling you to do Christmas like me. I am simply sharing my convictions to have a simple Christ-centered Christmas. Every family is unique and operates in their own way. For some of you, you can pull off Santa while keeping Christ in the center of your Christmas. Me- I couldn’t.

If you decide to not do Santa, I would encourage you to look up Saint Nicholas. Santa is part of American culture. You cannot think of Christmas without seeing this image, but you can put the appropriate name to the face. St. Nick is the only reason that we understand the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) the way we do. You can even tell about the charitable giving  of St. Nick and explain why we carry on the traditions. Do what works for your family but please. Please…PLEASE!!, keep the focus on Jesus. He is worthy of all the attention. That little boy in a manger saved the world!

Resourse: https://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-nicholas-loses-his-cool/

This link will give you an abbreviated story of how St. Nicholas fought (literally) for Jesus to remain a part of the Holy Trinity that we all know and understand today. St. Nick was an awesome guy and we have every reason to remember him this time of year…BUT… only because his actions pointed to Jesus. You see… it is really all about Jesus. Merry Christmas and God bless you all!