I can still remember that Christmas many years ago when, after opening his gifts, my son looked at me and asked “Is that all?”
It had been a tough year financially, and we had done our best to provide him with the best Christmas we could afford. But after weeks of seeing commercial after commercial of this toy and that car, he expected to find everything he wanted under the tree. Once Christmas morning finally arrived, my son didn’t care much for the gift of the coat that would keep him warm, or the books that would teach him how to add and subtract. He wanted the Superman action figure that could hang from the doorway. He wanted the Elmo doll that laughed and giggled. He wanted the truck that could light up and turn flips.
Aren’t we a lot like that, too? God gives us everything we need: breath in our lungs, legs to walk, hands to prepare a big meal for our family and friends. Yet we still long for the "shiny" things in life. We can often act like entitled children when it comes to receiving gifts because we’re looking for presents UNDER the tree, instead of seeking the PRESENCE of Jesus in our lives.
Believe me, I still have some work to do. I have moments where I am selfish too! But every time I catch myself saying a selfish word, or exhibiting an "But I WANT!" attitude, I ask God to check my heart. I don’t ever want to expect the presents under the tree to define the level of joy I’ll feel that day. Instead, I want my heart to be filled with the goodness of God! Instead of an endless mountain of gifts to open, I want to open my door to find my family on the other side to join us for dinner. And instead of receiving countless credit card bills in January for all the gifts I purchased in December, I want to receive God's purpose for my life.
I pray that your Christmas season is everything you want it to be. Whether it is a house filled with family and friends, or a quiet day at home in your pajamas, watching the Hallmark channel. But most of all, I hope your Christmas season reminds you of the true gift of the season: Jesus Christ.
God bless you!
I woke up with the idea yesterday that I was going to make a homemade meal. I planned what I was going to make: country fried steak with gravy, homemade mashed potatoes and veggies.
I took my time to prepare the meal with love and when everything was done, I reached up to the top of the stove to take the foil and cover the mashed potatoes. As soon as I touched the foil (it is one of those heavy-duty boxes that is very heavy), the entire box tipped and hit the pan with the steak and gravy.
Within a split second, the entire pan and all of its contents splattered all over my kitchen floor.
I stood there frozen in place for a few seconds. My husband was in the other room but he heard the crash and came into the kitchen to see what had just happened. He looked down and saw the steak and gravy all over the floor, then he looked up at me and saw that I was on the verge of tears. He immediately hugged me and thanked me for making the meal, then he began to clean up the mess I had also made. Once I broke out of my shock, I helped clean up, too.
Once the floor was clean, I stared at the stove at what was left of the meal I had prepared: mashed potatoes and lima beans (my husband's favorite). The child in me just throw the rest of it away because I had no idea how I was going to pull together another meal in less than an hour before my husband had to leave.
So I did what any 21st century mother and wife would have done: I called a local restaurant and ordered 2 steaks. Within an hour, I was back home and the meal was saved. Our revised menu? Sirloin steak, mashed potatoes, corn and lima beans.
What did I learn from this mishap?
1. Be present and pay attention. I've noticed I have been very distracted this month because I have so much going on, and many projects that are due. If I had taken the time to take the foil with both hands, I would not have knocked the steak and gravy onto the floor.
2. Stay calm in the middle of chaos. I wanted to cry when I saw the steak and gravy spilled all over my floor, but instead, I collected myself and helped my husband clean up the mess.
3. There is always a plan B. Sure, the meal I made was made with love, but was dropping it on the floor really the end of the world? By thinking quickly, I was able to replace the meal with another meal that was just as good.
We are all very busy with our holiday festivities as well as our normal schedule, but God does not want us to be running around day and night without taking time fo ourselves. Hebrews 4:11 says: So let us do our best to enter that rest.
As you are completing your daily tasks this holiday season, don't forget to take time to renew your spirit. Otherwise, you may end up feeding your kitchen floor like I did yesterday!
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.