As I sit here overwhelmed at my kitchen table, I’ve decided to take a step back and take a deep breath. Once again this year, I’ve left all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping and ‘Christmas day get together with family planning’ all to the very end…Not too mention the fact that I’m mentally preparing to return to work after being off for a year with my children and trying to plan a little birthday party for our little girl who turns 1 the day before I go back to work (less then 3 weeks away) …ahhhh ..again…stop, deep breath Tara.
Today my mind is racing. I’ve been sick and I’m still not 100%. My children are sick as well which just adds to my state of being overwhelmed and restless….
Christmas time as a christian should not be like this. It shouldn’t be about stressing over Christmas shopping and gift buying. It shouldn’t be about running around making sure you have the exact same amount of gifts for each child so that the others don’t feel left out…It shouldn’t be about trying to live up to the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation… It’s about Christ- so WHY, at this time of year, do I completely lose focus of Christ and become overwhelmed?
And then it hit me… once more, it’s the plan of the enemy to divert our attention from Christ and onto ourselves. Its his plan to want me (us) to become overwhelmed at this time of year, running from store to store to get ‘things’ for loved ones. When he can succeed in doing that, then he’s had his way. And if he can’t get to us by stressing us out about last minute shopping and getting to the gazillion family gatherings that there are to get to, then he’ll get us by telling us we’re not giving enough to the needy or to those who can’t afford a merry Christmas, making us feel as though we need to be out saving the world.
As I got started on wrapping some gifts for my children today, tears started to pour from eyes down my cheeks, causing me to to have to stop wrapping because I couldn’t see through the tears. “I’ve been getting wrong all these years Lord, haven’t I?” I whispered to myself…
For the past 3 years, each year at Christmas time, I’ve become more and more restless and stressed ….and I think there’s more to it then the fact that I’ve been doing last minute shopping. Today, thoughts raced through my mind… out in the world, there are children who are dying of starvation- not only in foreign countries but there are families in our own communities just struggling to pay bills and put food on the table at this time of year who don’t have any extra money to buy even one gift for their child. There are families in our own communities who are taking care of their elderly parents, or their children who are sick with a terminal illness who need the love of Christ- a smile, a word of encouragement, prayer, financial help….
Maybe I’m the only Christian who has lost focus over the years of what this time of year really represents. It’s supposed to be Christ focused- not me focused, not gift focused, not tradition focused.
Now I know that I can’t save the world. I know that I can’t carry ALL of these burdens. I know that Christ would never ask me to solve all of the world’s problems or cause me feel that I need to. BUT, I do believe and know that He wants me to take part in spreading His love and blessing others during the Christmas season. I do believe that He would cause me to do random acts of kindness. I do believe that He would have my family take part every year in blessing a family/families in need… And so this year, we will do just that… Not because I feel stressed into doing it or pressured but because my heart breaks for those who have less then me…and because Jesus has blessed me and my family so much and because Jesus has loved me so much, I’m compelled by that same love to give back to others. Nothing is too small, nothing is too big. No blessing is to small. No blessing is to big.
It’s time to start giving back…and what better time to start then right now- Christmas 2013…and to take it a step further and carry it out throughout the year- there’s always someone in need and there’s always SOMETHING we can give back- our time, our finances, our prayers, our friendship, our gifts and talents…there’s always something.
Lord, I always pray and ask that You would break my heart for what breaks Yours….Well, today You did just that. Today You’ve given me fresh vision and a deeper revelation of Your love. Lord, lead us and guide us to those who we can help. Show us who needs a smile. Show us who needs a hug. Show us who needs a word of encouragement. Show us that family that needs a financial blessing…lead us to those You want us to minister to. May we be Your hands and feet..not just at Christmas, but all year ’round….