I'd love to say that I fasted from blogging for the month of November. It sounds so very Christian-y.
But that'd be a lie! I just haven't sat down to write in far too long.
So I'm back!
In case you didn't know, I love Christmas.
Not just a little.
Like, a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot! It may have something to do with my birthday being on the 27th of December.
But I love the twinkling lights. I love the cold weather (which will hopefully come soon!). I love the red and green and fat Santa faces all over the place. I like that people dress up their houses in such funny ways, just bring cheer to a passerby.
I love that we celebrate God in a way that reminds unbelievers to believe, and reminds us all why we love the Lord so much. He truly did humble Himself and come down to the earth.
And I love Christmas music! As a child, taking piano lessons, I played Christmas carols year-round on the piano. My parents quickly got me an electronic piano with special earphones so that I was the only one who could hear myself. Clever, those parents of mine
This Christmas is different for me than all other Christmases. You see, I'm a woman of tradition. If we put Santa's cookies on the blue plate last year, we better put them on that exact same blue plate, in the exact same spot this year too!
But this Christmas is my second Christmas with my boyfriend, JD. And this year, he moved into a big enough house of his own for his family to come for the holidays. And in case you haven't ever met a man before, sometimes they just don't realize how many towels they actually need, or that women like to have mirrors.
So since Thanksgiving, instead of spending all of my time decorating my house with my parents, we've bought two trees. One for their house, one for JD's. Everything has been double. I've been working at their house to decorate and shopping for things to decorate his house with. It's been fun! And stressful.
I know that I work at a church, so I'm supposed to have the right Christmas spirit and be focused on the right things. It was all going well until I had been decorating for far too long on Friday. I might as well have had a pitchfork, red skin and horns out of my forehead, trampling over people in WalMart to get the right toy by 5 pm that night. I had just gone to the store to get lights for the front porch of JD's house when I started looking at houses on my way home and got to thinking,
"Their decorations look so much better. I want mine to look like that! Why don't I have ten thousand dollars and thirty more years worth of experience so that JD's house can really look like Christmas, like theirs!?"
I promptly got to JD's house and was working on setting up a bed in one room when he came in and asked me to come eat the dinner he had made. I turned around and yelled at him! I yelled, "I'm working on this room and once I'm done, I'll feel better! So let me finish and just hold off on dinner! Can't you see that I'm trying to get Christmas together?!"
The Lord should've struck me down right then and there! I had completely lost it. I started looking at other people's houses, thinking that theirs somehow determined how JD's should look. I started looking at my list of voluntary to-dos for him as greater than JD himself. I screamed at my boyfriend for making me dinner, and a really good one at that! As JD (so graciously) gave me a hug and said he'd wait, I prayed immediately for forgiveness.
I had gotten everything mixed up. I'm supposed to be the one to remind people that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." (It doesn't matter that I hate that phrase) But I got so caught up comparing, that I forgot what I was decorating and fixing for. I'm not putting up Christmas lights and putting new sheets on the bed because I want to impress people. I'm putting them up so that maybe it'll feel like home, so that maybe they'll feel welcomed, comfortable and taken care of. I'm putting them up because we're supposed to be hospitable as Christians. "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:9.
So it looks like I have a little work to do, but as I've prayed and worshiped and seen before, I know that Lord can even work on this ol' heart of mine.
I know reasons to be joyful for this season. I'm working hard to remember them while I worship and pray. So I encourage you this season, if your red horns start to poke through at some point, step back. Sit down and have a Coke. Pray and read through your Bible app on your iPhone. Remember that you love the people who are coming over and that truly, you just want to celebrate the greatest gift that has ever been given with people you like to make it more special.
So here are the songs from Sunday, December 2nd:
"Set Free" by Chris Tomlin off of Passion:White Flag
"Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)" by Chris Tomlin from his Christmas album Glory in the Highest, which is a great worship album for Christmas time! I love it!
"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord" by Matt Redman off of Passion:White Flag and Matt's album, 10,000 Reasons (another great worship album!)
and for the offering, Landon picked out an incredible song called
"Winter Snow" by Audrey Assad from Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest
I know that it was a great Sunday of worship for me as I continued to focus my heart toward the birth of Christ! I hope to see you all again next Sunday as we continue to celebrate my favorite season of all! Have a great week!