One of the bloggers I like to follow (Chatting at the Sky) recently wrote a guest post for ChristmasChange.com. This website is really powerful. In the midst of busyness, baking, and buying, it challenges us to "a season of change, a life of return." (Please go read her post RIGHT NOW... I'll still be here when you get back.)
Ok... Confession. I've spent a lot of time and energy on my blog telling funny stories that make people laugh. Sometimes, even, they may border on "inappropriate." I want to be liked. I want to be real. I want people to know me - good and bad.
Hopefully, this will be a glimpse into my real heart - underneath the awkward moments, creative decorations, and dog hair...
As a teacher, I tend to think in terms of school calendars rather than the actual calender year. That said, August usually brings about my clearest pledges for change. (Just in time for all the leaves to DIE and fall off the tree. Ironic? Maybe.) Then, when those don't work out, I gear up for good ole January 1. But this year, I'm giving up on New Year's Resolutions (we all know I won't really lose 50 pounds in 2010), and focusing, instead, on Christmas Change. Afterall, the whole world - and more specifically, my life - changed because of that cold night in a Bethlehem stable, right?
So what does this really mean to me?
Sadly, I don't ask myself this question enough this time of year. (Or any time of year, for that matter.) As much pride as I put in my ability to be "different" in terms of Christmas decor, cards, gifts, etc., my heart is still in pretty much the same place as the rest of the world: Busy scratching items off of my to-do list and running my gas tank empty.
...I DO love my "To Do" lists, but isn't empty often where we find ourselves on January 1st? We've spent the whole month trying to be so much to so many, that by the time things "slow down," we're heavier, grumpier, and a lot more tired. Not really such a "fresh start" afterall.
So what if we really did start over, from the very beginning?
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." - Luke 2:4-7
The Christmas story is actually about Jesus wanting to be with me. The world didn't want him - they couldn't even make room for a poor pregnant lady about to go into labor in an inn. Yet he came, as an infant, with no clothes & not even a crib for a bed.
Now, I'm not a mom yet, but I know a baby is A LOT of work. They need someone else to feed them, change them, even burp them. So why in the world would the Creator of the Universe come down to earth like this? Maybe to teach us a little something about accepting gifts.
Maybe so that I don't have to stress over how pretty, or liked, or put-together I am. *Jesus lived an oRdInArY life for 30 years before he started his public ministry - which only lasted about three years - So why do I feel like I have to have it all figured out at 25?
Jesus wanted to be with me. Not just looking down from a fluffy cloud throne up in the sky, but really WITH me. Here. In this dirty, ugly, messed-up world.
THAT changes things.
This Christmas I want to return to dependency. I want to learn how to really accept a gift - someone else's offer to host the Christmas Party, a day of reading & napping, help with my piles of laundry... Jesus.
That's freedom. That's a "fresh start." That's a Christmas Change.