Friday, December 23, 2011
Christmas comes from the heart...
First let me start by saying I love Christmas. I am cheesy Christmas! I love the tree, nutcrackers, cookies, and all the good stuff! Last year, with it being Andy and I's first Christmas we bought all the lights and goodies. This year, all of our wonderful holiday belongings are locked tight in storage in Arizona and we are in Virginia. Obviously I have a problem! Hence, us learning a difficult but much needed lesson.
There were days that I look at my sad little Christmas tree...
and missed the fresh smell of a tree with bright lights. I mean this Charlie Brown tree is cute but its not an actual Christmas tree. And pathetically I felt bad for myself. I felt bad that we didn't have all of the "stuff" that we normally do. The "things" that I thought made it more Christmas-y for me.
Then one day as I was doing my study I realized how horribly I was messing up Christmas. I am so unbelievably blessed. First of all, we don't celebrate Christmas for the tree, nutcrackers, and lights! Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and how He was sent to Earth to save us. This year has brought so many changes and difficult times for us. Each time something comes up and I feel overwhelmed all I can say is, "I am so glad I serve a God who is in complete control and I don't need to worry!" He has provided every time we need Him to. This year I have really learned that He will always meet our needs, but it just may not be the way we want Him to or even the needs we think we need Him to meet. God knows me so personally. He knows Andy and I's needs even better than we know our own. So what are my needs...
A Christmas tree? Lights? My awesome Nutcracker collection? No! These are all awesome blessings that He has provided and that I often let get in the way of Christmas. Not only has He met all our needs, but He continues to bless us in amazing ways. I am spending Christmas this year with my Navy husband! There are so many people that do not get to spend the holidays with their loved ones because they are serving. And this very possibly could my future, not this year. Thank you Jesus for giving me this Christmas with my husband!
This is our first Christmas without our families. We miss them so much and its hard not being with them. However, we have been adopted by some extended family and our new military family out here. We have had so many invites to church services, dinners, and parties we can't do them all. Thank you Jesus for kind people who see family as a matter of the heart, not DNA.
I am jobless and moving all over with the military constantly having an IOU on you is financially challenging. Andy and I love to give gifts to our family and friends and each other. This year we really had to tone down our gift giving, which at times has brought me to tears. But truly what gift could I give that is better than the one God has already given us? Thank you God for the gift of your son, Jesus.
By the time we are back in DC in May we will have lived in 5 different places in one year! That much moving and living out of a suitcase is driving me crazy! But every time we move God provides a place for us at just the right price. We always have clothes on our back and warm food in our bellies. Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe and protected.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think all of the Christmas decorations are wonderful and next year when we are back in DC, in a house, with all of our belongings I will be overly excited to put them all up again. But I will have a new appreciation for it all. I know it is not a need of Christmas. God has already provided all that I need. It is a blessing for all us to enjoy. Christmas is a matter of the heart, your heart. Its not in the gifts, decorations, or food. I needed this reminder this year. So thank you Jesus for stripping me of all the decorations, gifts, shopping, food, and family that I have relied on for Christmas to draw me closer to You.