Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When Christmas plans don't go your way...

I am a woman of high-expectations.  This I know and it gets me in trouble often, especially and, unfortunately, at Christmastime! If you remember my Christmastime blog from last year, you know this about me (link provided at the end if you're curious!)

This year, I had pretty expectations of having everything decorated by Cyber Monday, so I could sit in front of our beautiful tree, with my feet up, a festive beverage in hand, my husband by my side and our son peacefully sleeping.  Christmas carols would play in the background as we wisely saved money on cards and gifts. Periodic peeks at Facebook pictures and comments about how others were all set for Christmas validated for me that this is the way it should be.  Without realizing it, I also expected a jolly, incident-free time decorating together as a family (because I had learned so much about idols and expectations from last year), which would naturally produce a lovely photo for the highly reduced Christmas cards we would purchase on Cyber Monday.

It didn't happen. Are you surprised?  Our tree and decorations are up and our home is warm and festive.  But, it didn't happen when I wanted it to and our time together as a family wasn't incident free.  We had a misunderstanding or two, competing selfish desires and a somewhat stressful tree selection experience as my son struggled to stay close at a tree farm right by a busy street! I didn't shop for a thing on Cyber Monday.  I just didn't get to it. 

What happens in your heart when your Christmas plans don't go your way? What about in the hearts of your children?  It's a long, beautiful season, but it's likely there will be an event or two that don't go as planned.  How will you respond?

I was blessed to participate in a Day of Prayer on December 1, Cyber Monday, right when I needed it.  After praying for our local, national and world leaders, for Christians fleeing persecution around the world, for our soldiers, the lost, the parentless children and childless parents, the unloved lovers, spoken and unspoken requests, I was reminded of why God allows failure, disappointment and pain. 

Each of these unpleasant emotions remind us of our need for our savior! They remind us of the true meaning of Christmas, of why Jesus was born - to save us from our sin and to fill in the gaps when others fail us and when we fail them.  So, when disappointment threatens to creep in this season, allow it to remind you of your need for Him. Take the time to take it to Him. In the busyness of the season, we can spend less time with Him and that's when we start to look more like ourselves and less like Jesus.  That's when my ugly comes out!

"Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing." - John 15:4-5

In John 15, Jesus repeats "abide in Me" or "abide in My love" five times.  Why?

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full." - John 15:11.

By abiding in Christ, we are able to keep His commandments and love as He does, because He equips us to do so.  Please read John 15 today - you will be blessed by His reminder. 

Sweet sisters, I pray you and your families will abide in Jesus this season and that you may experience His joy to the fullest!  Merry Christmas!

Last year's blog - Behold, I Make All Things New

 Behold, I Make All Things New

1 comment:

  1. I just loved this blog Ingrid and your transparency! Maybe it's because I can relate:) thank you for putting this into perspective, that will be a reminder for me as we have yet to get our tree! I also remembered your blog from last year and smiled knowing God is using you to minister to all of us. Thank you faithful friend!