Ok, I am back at it tonight. I have had two tough days since I started this post and I hesitated putting it out. When I allow my circumstance to succumb me I begin to withdraw and feel totally depressed. So, I am coming off my 2 day woe to Carolyne fest. Things got tougher than they already were, I still didn’t know if I would have any $ for presents, ALL the bills were due, my husbands truck breaks down so he takes my van leaving me carless, my mother started with her, “You don’t celebrate santa with the kids!!!!!!”, (I have tell ya if it was anyone else I’d be ready to debate, but for some reason with her I have to keep from lunging at her)& in the midst of still dealing with the poopies my washer breaks. As of right now I am still without one and there truly are only so many piles of dirty clothes a family of nine can pile up.
My poor response to all this was to feel overwhelmed and defeated. I have learned that when I am depressed I am totally useless to the world. My productivity level is a big fat zero! After responding the hard way for the millionth time, I am now trying to live up to what I profess-that I love Jesus with all my heart and soul and I KNOW His purposes are greater than all my garbage. I can’t say I would ask for these trials, but I know they are bringing me closer to Him and what this celebration means to God.
Today as I write this it is December 20th and with 7 kiddos I will be honest I have next to no Christmas presents. Now, I have experienced this before, but not with the same content I seem to be possessing. I responded last year with utter disgust towards my husband and of course totally blamed him. It is not that I am against getting them presents its just a multitude of circumstances that have lead me here. Yes, I have moments that it stings a little and I start to worry, but overall I am left with a peace, a stress-less attitude, & a longing for Christ.
I have a little recommendation if you are struggling with shopohalism. First thoroughly clean out your children’s playroom. After this takes an entire day away from your life, you will be so distraught with how much garbage you already have, the thought of bringing anything more into your home will repulse you.We are broke and certainly not materialistic and yet I could give away half of our playroom and we still would have to much to clean.
Here is something I adopted a few years back when I started to complain that we have too many things. Each child gets only three gifts to represent the three gifts from the Wisemen. The first gift is a sibling gift, we put all the children’s names in bowl and then each child picks out a name of someone else and that is the brother or sister they will buy a gift for. The second gift, is under the tree and from Mama and Papa. The third gift, we be a wrapped surprise to find on Christmas morning, a gift from Christ. Really, these three gifts are more than enough. Remember, all they want to play with it the box and wrapping paper!
I will share everything this year I am NOT doing:
Spending $ I don’t have
Stressing about guests coming over
Worrying about the countless goodies to bake
Going crazy to find just the right present for someone
Feeling like I have to buy a present for every person whose name I know
Wasting $ on ridiculous decorations I will throw away
Freaking out because my house is a mess and I don’t have the perfect meal planned
Doing anything “Christmasy” just because the world says I should be doing it
Now here are a few things I have been and will be doing:
Studying the True Christmas story as our homeschool curriculum for two weeks now, making a Christmas wall filled with vocab, the events of Christ’s birth from Elizabeth and Zachariah to fleeing to Egypt, wrote poems to express how we feel about Christmas, got some myrrh & frankincense oil and are making a display with the three gifts from the wisemen, learned what myrrh and frankincense actually are, read about Saint Nicholas
Made an advent wreath with candles and do reading every Sunday
Made a homemade advent calendar that we fill with a verse that is read each night at dinner
Daily reading a great Christmas book from Chuck Swindol
Listening to great Christian music
Watched the movie The Nativity Story
Freedom with my time, I am not booked with people and events, I am very open to what He is going to bring my way
My circumstances are drawing me closer and closer to Him and revealing more and more His reason we have this celebration. I came across this song a little while back and the lyrics just blew me away. It is the most beautiful poem written to our Beloved.
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life
Those are the ending lyrics to the song and I wish I could put to words what they say to my very depths of my soul. I can’t, they are so intense and so consuming you would have to see and hear my soul to understand.
So, I will ask you as I have asked my children, “What will you give Jesus for Christmas this year?”
I might be washing like a 1000 loads of laundry on Christmas Eve at my mom’s house, but NOTHING this world has to challenge me with will keep me from celebrating the birth that gave me life.