The Conflict of Christmas

The holidays are upon us and I find myself teetering somewhere in Christendom between those who have recanted Christmas and those who are clinging to it.

Which is a somewhat uncomfortable place to be, at least in the online world.

Because on the one hand people say Christmas is pagan and therefore very, very bad. And on the other, people are screaming to restore Christ to a holiday He never told us to observe. A holiday whose date has questionable roots.

Of course, there are those on both ends living their conscience while loving their neighbor, but many get downright angry. Do you see the conflict?

Here’s what I’ve decided. Christmastime is a beautiful season where hearts are softer, laughs are lighter, smiles are bigger, and hugs are tighter. It’s a season where people are a little more open and a little less cynical.

Which makes it a perfect time to me for me to capitalize on sharing His love. And so I’ve decided I don’t want to miss it. I can embrace the joyfilled spirit of the season without celebrating something I don’t believe in. But that’s me and it doesn’t have to be you.

In the coming days, Christmas will creep into our home. We’ll bring in the tree. We’ll string up the lights. We’ll bake yummy treats and share with our neighbors. We’ll prepare tasty foods and fill the seats at our table.

But this year, more than any other, we’ll do it with intentionality.

I plan to be purposeful with our decor. I’m toying with idea of not even pulling our Rubbermaid totes filled with the baubles and trinkets collected over the years. This year I’m considering new ways to bring light to age-old traditions

But mostly I’m planning to make it about others. Feeding the hungry, loving the lonely, seeing the forgotten. I don’t want ornaments and carefully wrapped gifts to be what defines this season…I want it to be our humanity swathed in His light, reaching the unreached. I have some ideas, some plans and some plotting.

And I plan to share them all with you.

Because as I’ve reflected on the direction to go with this blog, I realized something. Somewhere in the jumble of life and the scramble to do it like the next guy, I’ve lost my passion.

My passion is to write of the mundane and the indescribable ways He meets us there.

I don’t necessarily have anything to teach anyone and I really need to stop even trying. Because at my core, at the very center of my heart, is the desire to simply walk with you through the hard times by sharing how He’s walking with me through mine.

That’s been my theme on Facebook but it’s been missing from my blog. As a result, this space sits oft neglected. It’s time for that to change.

As the holiday rush threatens to consume you, I caution you with just one word of advice…live the truth He puts in your heart.

Walk in it, even if nobody else seems to be. If that calls you to put away the tree, do it with delight. With a smile and with joy. If it calls you to enter into the season, do it with love. With patience and care. Don’t trample those who aren’t convicted of the same; embrace them.

Because it’s the Spirit who changes hearts, we’re only called to look after them.

For today, my heart is full. My family is all back in one state…we picked our oldest up from the airport last night after he flew home from college in Texas.

 

To say the rest of the kids (and adults!) are excited would be to tell you less than half of the story. The poor guy had three little boys sitting on his top bunk as the sun rose this morning, eager for a glimpse of their gone-too-long brother.

Stories to tell him, crafts to show him, gifts to give him and…

…desserts to make him. Desserts that grew from the recipe of a small child’s mind. Barely had the darkness been shattered by morning light when this sweet cherub took to the kitchen to squeeze his love into an 8×11 casserole.

He dreamed up the recipe and shocked even himself when it was delicious!

No doubt because of that secret ingredient of love. Because that of a small child is especially sweet.

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3 thoughts on “The Conflict of Christmas”

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It seems you’ve come in to my life at just the right time (God led me to your page!)! I have wrestled with this very topic over the last couple years. The pendulum swung hard to the extreme of trying so hard not to celebrate. But that was disasterous and sad! So, I’m eager to hear all about this venture of yours! I just might be duplicating much of it! 😊

  2. Years ago, we decided to forgo the big tree (no room for it anyway), and make our little manger scene our Christmas decoration. We do have a little tree that we stick candy canes into (they never seem to last until Christmas 🙂 ), with a big star on top, that sits on the table with the manger scene. I personally don’t miss the tree and all the fuss that goes into decorating. My kids move the wise men all around the room throughout the weeks that the scene is set up, but they are never WITH the other people in the scene. It has been interesting to look for them at times.

  3. And I am so happy that you have your children all together! We are in Texas, and my 2 married daughters live in Texas, although not very close to us. I don’t know whether we will see them or not. And my oldest son just left for Marine boot camp in CA Monday before last, so there’s no telling when we will see him again. I now just have 2 boys at home. Makes me kinda sad that I may not see them all together for who knows how long.

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