I’m having a blast!
Honestly, I haven’t done a ton of major decorating I mean, you have to understand–we don’t live a very “upscale” and entertaining lifestyle. Even when I thought that should be my goal in life, I could never quite pull off that Martha Stewart thing!
No, we’ve always lived rather “low to the ground” and as such, I’ve tried to do things reasonably while at the same time, as tastefully as possible. In fact, I was probably “shabby chic” before it was in vogue!
(Ok…maybe I was just the fool who put the “shabby” that dangerously close to chic, but certainly I ought to get an “A” for effort!)
But hey, this year– I’ve decked some halls y’all!
(Please kindly ignore the cheap, dingy Wal-mart mini blinds, thankyouverymuch.)
Of course, I’ve been thinking about why this Christmas seems so different from the last few years and what makes true, heartfelt celebration feel so much more attainable. There’s no doubt in my mind, part of it has been largely due to our intentional angle of approach.
Somehow, and only by the grace of God, this year we’ve been able to softly glide into this season with intentionality, letting Him direct our steps. I’ve been grateful for the intentionality of starting off slowly with only the gentlest whispers of Christmas calling to us through the advent wreath and manger display for this first week of December. It’s really helped to hone my heart and sharpen my focus towards Christ.
Also, several of the events we typically have scheduled with our family business have happened a bit earlier this year, leaving a little more white space in my life which (gasp!) I’m not being so quick to fill. In fact, I’m graciously declining to participate in a few events which my former “people pleasing” persona would have felt obligated to attend.
Somehow the Holiday chaos & cosmos continues to whirl and spin without me…imagine that! As a result I have been able to rest into more of the moments God has opened before me.
And, to be honest, our family is also in a different season of life. Our children are older and though not yet fully independent, they have lives and plans of their own and often do not require a micro-managing momma any longer.
I’m choosing to recognize this as a good thing.
Yes, there are several noticeable differences and while I can point to these things as contributing factors, I’m recognizing that the real differences lay within me.
The truth is, what’s changed most is my attitude, my focus and my heart.
God is changing me and it’s showing up in the way I see and do everything and I’m noticing it more this year…now at Christmastime. I have rediscovered joy and am experiencing appreciation for the simplest and the smallest things …that honestly have always been here….
I have regretfully just been too self-absorbed by people pleasing to see and appreciate them until now.
But I see and appreciate them now. It’s because I’m newly, finally, totally in love with Jesus Christ and through this love I’m rediscovering how
(click to tweet this picture!)
It’s sincere living in and through every moment no matter what’s taking place around us because it can’t shake what’s taken place in us.
Some of the changes came to light as a result of a book and study written by Paul David Tripp entitled, “What Did You Expect?” In this study he says something so profoundly true that it’s burrowed it’s way deep into my soul and has begun to shape the way I think about everything.
Basically Tripp says:
a life and marriage; any relationship is not shaped by the 4 or 5 “major” moments or decisions a person may make in their lifetime but instead, we are shaped by choices made in the myriad of little moments taking place every day.
It’s through these moments, Tripp explains, that our character is shaped and revealed. This is where and how we are really defined and in turn, it’s how we define everything else around us.
So it makes sense that the little shavings and shapings of my character in this past year have helped to redefine the way I see what’s taking place around me.
It’s changed the way I’m relating to others; how I minister, how I write, how I live and what I choose to do ….or not to do.
It’s changed the way I’m approaching Christmas as well as I realize that it’s the details…the little things that matter most. In fact, God has shown us the truth in this through the myriad details found in the larger story of Christmas.
It’s the fine-tuning of many prophesies fulfilled anchoring Christmas so firmly into all of history and
where we can find our anchoring place in the Savior born to us in the city of David.
So, I’m having a blast decorating this year–putting shiny things on or in place of all the “regular” things around my deeply “normal” home!
I’m looking forward to having my daughter home from college and to making a big mess in the kitchen or in the craft corner.
I’m excited about taking crazy pictures and making crazy memories and sharing some of our personal family traditions that maybe mean something only to us and possibly starting some new ones.
Because I know that He came and I know Christmas lives in me.
Jesus came for a reason
and it wasn’t just for a season
…it was ultimately to purchase for us life. To show and give us meaningful life to be lived before others abundantly, joyfully one defining moment at a time.
Linking up here and there witha few of my favorite folks!