Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lessons *Take II

* Oops! Didn't mean to post quite yet. Just added/edited a bit. :S

This time of year is one that brings out the reflective nature in people, causes them to examine themselves and their life. We take a closer look at our family and loved ones, and our relationships with them. Goals and attitudes are given the once over. People seem to generally (of coarse there are exceptions) be kinder and more generous. The world can cluck all they want about how you don't have to celebrate the "reason for the season" but it seems to me that reflectiveness is the affect of the one who came to save us, bringing grace and forgiveness. Santa sure doesn't do that for me.

Here's a couple things I learned over the last few days.
  • When you strip everything away, all the plans, the fancy food, getting dressed in your finest, Christmas eve service, the big family gathering, when you have to lay that all down and it's just "you", (you know, cuz of the pukies), you realize how much you love your family, how blessed you are, how beautiful are your children, and how all that stuff doesn't really matter - what matters is what's right there before  you. You miss your husband like crazy who was still hard at work, you take a deep breath instead of getting caught up in the hustle and hurry of all that must be done, and you take pleasure in those little beings buckled tight into carseats for a last minute trip to Wally World for milk. Not that I don't normally think of my children as blessings, but I was brought to tears more than once on our car ride home, just listening to them and seeing who they are.
  • Reindeer really do talk, it's just "growl-ish." (Complements of George)
  • God is so sweet. So gentle. And He can even catch the attention of a busy scatterbrained mom.
I have been really selfish, self-centered, and greedy lately. Lacking in the grace I so proudly think I sport. Man, did He get me. And so gently pointed it out to me. Not "in your face". Not in church. Not with some great bible verse or awesome song on the radio. Nope - in the kitchen, cleaning up the remnants of whatever meal, while all was quiet. I saw my own self flashed before me, brought to my attention. It wasn't early shattering. It didn't, at that time, drop me to my knees in shame. It was just quiet. Quick. Uneventful. But I saw it. Yuck.
At the cross you beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And since then, I have been reflecting on my self, my attitudes, my words, my affect. After taking a moment to think on it, it's not hard to notice my selfish bad attitude, so lacking in grace, sticking out like a sore thumb. Not everyone can see it (thank GOD) but I do. Even my husband did.
I forgot to have grace when I so quickly judged everyone else's motives. I forgot to look at who they are, how they feel, and who they have been to me (a blessing). I failed to stand in their shoes, and be thankful to even know them. I forgot to see their struggles and remember I am exceedingly blessed, despite my own life's struggles or challenges.
At the cross you beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words
So lost in love
I am sweetly broken
Holy surrender
What a great Christmas lesson, eh? But really, it is a gift. The sweetness. The love that comes with being broken. The freedom you feel in that correction. Weird, but true.
  • My baby loves me... a LOT. Oh wait. I already knew that. But still. He's just happiest with me. And I'm perfectly happy with that arrangement.
  • A glass of wine is a wonderful idea after a tour of the wall marts on *Christmas Adam.
  • When your neighbors know you're a mom of five little kids, they will go out of their way to find you a corkscrew when yours mysteriously goes unexplainably missing. Even in a snowstorm. They will search in boxes untouched for five years, they will drive to other neighbors and bring one back to  you. My neighbors ROCK.
  • Small children puking is a real buzz kill.
  • My long-time habits of procrastination and being unprepared are very much alive today.
  • There are not enough brain cells to remember all the funny things your kids say.
  • Children think McDonald's, drive thru even, is a great Christmas eve supper.
  • I have no guilt (ok, a little bit) taking my kids to McDonald's on Christmas eve.

*Christmas Adam - the day before Christmas Eve. Courtesy of Jason and Taya Gray.


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