Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's the Most Overwhelming Time of the Year

Christmas can be a time of frantic frenzy for many. We dash around to find the perfect gifts, perfect wrapping paper, perfect outfit, perfect decor, perfect perfectness. When our house doesn't look like the magazine, or our cookies burn, or our wrapping looks like the kids wrapped it, we become depressed.

This comes back to a heart issue. Are you trying to impress or refresh those who come to your home during the holidays? Because I know my kids don't care if the the tree looks like Martha Stewart's or Charlie Brown's. They don't care if I have beautiful perfect cookies, or slice and bake, as long as they get to add the sprinkles. They don't care if the wrapping is perfect, they just want to open the gift.

I can honestly say I have been set free of worldly expectations for Christmas. I set my expectations of what makes Christmas wonderful for me and my family. I don't put candles in my windows. Even though it's a Virginia tradition, it isn't important to me. I do bake lots of cookies, because I love baking, and my kids love it. But they don't have to be fancy, as a matter of fact, we prefer it if they're not. We're just going to eat them anyway!

All of the commercial trappings of Christmas set a worldly view of things. This Christmas I invite you to let it go. I'm sure Mary would have liked for Jesus to have been born in a nice home with her family and friends there to celebrate. Instead she got a stable with stinky shepherds there.

Jesus called for those who are weary to follow him, his load was light. If your load is too heavy at Christmas, perhaps you are carrying the wrong load? Let go of worldly expectations today, and instead do what will make Christmas enjoyable for you & your family. Even if that doesn't go as planned, remember Mary. Even in a stable, even without her family but with the lowly shepherds, she treasured these things.

May you treasure your Christmas this year, regardless of whether is it House Beautiful or Stable Simple.

Luke 2:16 - 19 -- So they {the shepherds} hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Colossians 3:2 -- Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Matthew 11:28-30 -- {Jesus said} "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Chatty Kelly


Dena @ Green Acres said...

What a wonderful post. I feel I'm at the point where I need to "let it go". Thanks for the reminder!

Melanie said...

House Beautiful or Stable Simple - lovin' that.

Sue J. said...

I have been as busy as I have been other years at this time. What's making it different is the focus on God's word every day, and the intention of keeping people and their needs at the forefront, and not the things. (I've been giving away the things--literally--and it's been marvelous!)

I'm not House Beautiful or Stable Simple. Perhaps "Family Fun"? (I have a broken wise man, angel and cow, so Stable Simple just got more complicated....we've called 9-1-1.)

Bonita said...

Wise and beautiful words, Kelly. I really like what you said about refreshing versus impressing. This year we are home for the first Christmas in many years and we are focusing on keeping things simple and enjoyable.

The Patterson 5 said...

We are stable simple over here and loving it! Your comments about Mary made me think about when you are expecting there are questions some ask such as, "Have you made your birth plan?" I'm certain she would not have picked a stable or a manger for her child's first bed! Even in those days I'm sure she would have planned for a midwife to be present and would have preferred her own home. Perfect example of letting go of our expectations of perfection and truly treasuring what is....a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior! Thanks for the refreshment!

My ADHD Me said...

Are you talking to me?

I can also say that I am free from the "worldly expectations" finally...but still seem to be at my wit's end (which as you know, is a short rope to begin with).

Time to step back and focus.

Sharon said...

Let It Goooooo I hear ya, I am there!!
Great post
Merry Christmas to you and your family
Love Sharon

Vashti said...

hi kelly.
well I have totaly LET IT GO!!!!
we have been living by faith for about 8 months and are at the point where I cant do the "Perfect" Christmas. I was feeling a bit low yesterday as we dont even have a tree so I went into our garden and hacked down some branches and put it on top of my dresser with some lights, I sliced up an orange dried it and have strung it with ribbon. Tonight I will pop corn and string it not sure where I will put it but it will go some where!
Thankyou for letting me feel like it is ok to "let go"!!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelly,

Good word - especially about the cookies!

Love the new family photo - you're a good-looking group!

Just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas.


Shanita Waters said...

Hi Kelly! Awesome post! We don't celebrate Christmas in my house on the 25th in part because of the worldliness and comercialization of Christmas. If you could have seen how much empasis I used to put on making everything perfect, you wouldn't have beleived it. I am blessed to be truly free this year to reflect on the birth of Christ all year around and not go into overload on December 25th.

I pray that you and your family have a happy, refreshing holiday season.


Edie said...

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
This is one of my favorite scriptures and how I want to live every day of the year.

I am no where near House Beautiful, but working on House Comfortable. :)

Greg C said...

We are way ahead of you Kelly. We started downsizing last year and continue to do so. Everyone is getting simple presents this year and all of them were paid with cash. No charging. I even got someone a used item and spent many hours restoring it to like new. He will be so happy with it and maybe one day, he will tell his kids how his father worked so hard to make it special. I can't say what it is though because he sometimes reads blogs. :)

Greg C said...

I forgot to mention this. Our house is a mess but everyone is welcome.

Truth4thejourney said...

What a very timely post! We do need to watch ourselves this season. Impressing is so superficial anyhow. :)

Merry Christmas!


KelliGirl said...

I so agree with you. I don't know if I've been set free yet from the worldly expectations, but I'm getting there. How refreshing it is!

One at a time, we can start a Christmas revolution and reclaim the joy of Christmas...whatever that is for each of us.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I love "House Beautiful or Stable Simple!" Great insight.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Can you hear me cheering? WHOOohooOO!
I heard Joyce Meyer say one time, to INVITE people over.. don't make yourself frantic with what to fix elaborately, or if your house is spotless.. put on some hotdogs and throw a couple bags of chips on the table... ENJOY!!! I will never forget it!! Words of wisdom.. Don't stress, just BLESS!
One more thing: if you make those sliced storebought cookies (which I usually eat the whole package raw first but:... at least don't forget thee m&m's okay?!!!!!!!!! winkywinky! hehehoaoaoao

Mary Moss said...

What wise words! I, too, am finally figuring out what really matters about Christmas. We've really toned things down this year and I'm finding I'm really enjoying myself, my friends and family.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

Beverlydru said...

I am so excited to know that you are being called upon to write more daily devotions and that will expand your reach. It is a marvelous thing to be "Eyewitnesses of His majesty" as your gift blossoms.