I've been perplexed lately, and I can't really pinpoint why for sure. But here is what I do know.
I know that this holiday season I have felt more joy and have offered more sincere prayers of "thanksgiving" than I have in years past. I know that, though not always easy, I've been blessed with an amazing husband and an amazing son, and I want nothing more than to grow our family and to grow together as a family. I know that this year I realize that these things in my life are gifts, given to me as a privilege from God in heaven, that I not only am not worthy of such blessings, but moreso, I do not deserve them.
I know that all of the talk I hear of 'Santa Claus' and 'presents' this year at school has made my skin crawl. Please don't misunderstand, I myself love buying and getting presents for Christmas every year. But the imbalance between what I hear about presents and what I hear about Christ is insane. In fact, it's safe to say that the only place I hear of Jesus at all is at church. Which urks me almost the same because I feel like there is no extra excitement this time of year.
For goodness sakes, we are celebrating the birth of a savior after what was 400 years of NOT hearing from God. That's pretty awesome! We don't have to go to hell.
I know that Christmas music, the hymnal type, is making me oh so wonderfully excited about celebrating our Savior's birth. For the first time I'm noticing that worship happens in that "everyday" Christmas music too!
On the same turn, I'm frustrated now that it's just everyday Christmas music.
All of that said to say this:
I've been reading my "message" every night before bed. (Ok, not every night, but I'm trying really really hard.) In Matthew 9:29 Jesus says (in the message paraphrase), "Become what you believe." Isn't that amazing? Become what you believe.
We talk a whole lot this time of year about 'believing.' To be frank about it, I'm confused when I see Christmas decor or items with this phrase on it if it's referring to Jesus or to Santa. The confusion frustrates me. Why should there be confusion? All in all, I think we do become what we believe. If we believe Jesus, and His words, and His life, we become more like Jesus. If we believe commercials and society who tell us we can't live without the next great thing, chances are we'll become extremely materialistic.
Again, please don't misunderstand me, I love presents like the next one... but I want Christ to be the center of our Christmas this year!