Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 67

The advent of Christ brought hope to the world. Hope for a savior, hope for a deliverance and hope for redemption. That hope is still here in the midst of this crazy chaotic life we lead especially at Christmas time. Hope. God wants us to stop and remember what this season truly means. It sounds like another hokey catch phrase but Jesus really is the reason for the season. It doesn't matter that his birth date may or may not have been at this time of year. This is when Christians celebrate. So as Christians what are we doing to celebrate Christ's advent?

This is a hard one for me. I am all about Christmas decorations and music and presents and so forth. Yet I try to balance it with giving and loving and serving. I try to teach that to my kids when we go shopping for those less fortunate or when we go through their toys to give to others. But no matter how hard I strive to maintain balance - if my heart is not in the right place it doesn't matter. Everything I do this advent season should be about serving Christ. Not because I should serve Christ but because I can serve Christ.

It doesn't mean I can't give gifts - but I should give gifts that mean something. It doesn't mean I can't decorate - but it does mean I should check my attitude about my stuff and not freak out when the kids touch it or when it looks askew.

How can I make this Christmas different for me and my family? I can worship fully through prayer, sacrifice, offerings (perhaps a sacrifice of time or service) and obedience. I can rebel against mainstream society's idea of Christmas and be counter cultural. This doesn't mean anti cultural. For me it simply means I won't live in chaos and stress. I won't overspend or stress out looking for Zhu Zhu pets (which can't be found without paying a ridiculous price). I will enjoy good times with friends and family and focus on people rather than doing.

I don't want Christmas yet again to be about consumerism for my family. I can buy less gifts and give more away. I can choose to celebrate Christ rather than the marketed version of Christmas. I can give. And the way I give should reflect how God gives to me. He gives to me completely. He gives to the least of those and meets obvious, specific needs. He gives gifts that bring the receiver closer to him.

Today's Reflection: Lord this journey on solitude seems to change so often I can barely keep up. One day I barely leave my house and spend all day in prayer and reading and other days I have to focus on the stuff on my list but hopefully with a different attitude and a sense that you are always right there with me. I pray that you give me insight in what has to be done and what I can let go of. He me spread the hope of Christ this holiday season. I am so blessed that my family is well and together, that our business is thriving, that we are growing spiritually and that we do not lack for anything. Lord help me never take for granted anything. I have been homeless, disadvantaged and poor. Please let me always remember those days I lived in my car during the spring of 1994. Help me always see people through your eyes.


Heather McDougle December 8, 2009 at 7:33 PM  

I love your blog! I find your posts very inspiring! I found you for MBC and am now following you.

Check out my blog if you have a chance.

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