My son and I have been waiting for the snow to arrive so we can go sledding. If you’ve known me long, you know that’s an amazing statement to come out of my mouth, or in this case, keyboard. I’m a sunshine and warm weather sort of girl. But last year, during the winter from you-know-where, we got so much snow that the only thing I could do was buy some gear and go out and enjoy it. We have a great hill at our house and have been chomping at the bit to get the sleds out again this year.
It’s funny how often we get the things we wish for, but not in the way and circumstance that we wanted them. The snow showed up, but so did a nasty sore throat and sub-zero temperatures. We have three feet of snow, but there’s definitely no sledding going on.
It happened again a couple of days ago. I desperately longed for a day off to putter around my house, wrap presents, and bake cookies. With Christmas being a prime time of year for overload freak-outs, there are times when I feel like if the world doesn’t stop spinning and let me off, I’m going to…well, I don’t know what I would do, but it would be ugly. So I badly wanted a day off. I got it off alright….I spent it lying on the couch sick as a dog, looking at our Christmas tree with nothing under it and wishing I felt good enough to get up and wrap some packages.
Sometimes it’s the same with my faith. I want God to answer my requests and then I’m confused or upset when he doesn’t do it exactly like I expected. Yet when I stop to think about it, I’m so glad he doesn’t! I, for one, can’t even count the times I’ve profusely thanked him for not giving me what I asked for in the way I thought I wanted it. Isn’t it wonderful that He thinks outside our tiny, narrow-minded boxes and gives us just what we need and in the very way we need it?
Before the beginning of time, God knew I needed a savior and he sent one in the most unlikely and unexpected form, a baby. This week, as you think about your Christmas expectations and the gifts you might receive; pause, take a deep breath, and thank God for the one he’s already given you.
Speaking of all things "real"...this year we did something we've never done before. We hiked around our 10 acres, found and cut our own Christmas tree, rather than getting one from the tree farm. It was really fun and the tree looks better than I expected. (Remember, I'm the one who likes processed, cookie-cutter, non-real things). But, as a matter of fact, I actually love it. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture that the top of the tree is snug against the ceiling. I lost the "it's not too big, it will fit fine" argument. The Pastor had to cut quite a bit off the bottom to get it in the stand. What can I say? I'm spacially challenged. Oh well, that angel didn't look so great on top anyway.
If you're easily distracted (like me), and often prefer the fake to the real...I hope that as you enjoy this holiday season, you keep the real meaning of Christmas in focus.
The Pastor likes the real thing. He's into butter, not margarine. He thinks the only "real" milk comes straight out of the cow (how gross is that?). A fire built with wood is the only way to go as far as he's concerned and he completely dismisses gas fireplaces that instantly ignite. He only likes to BBQ on charcoal...you get the idea.
I, on the other hand, am the exact opposite. I'll take "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" over the real thing any day. I like my milk pasteurized, homogenized and any other "ized" they can do to it before it gets into my fridge. I love the convenience of a gas fireplace or BBQ. These types of issues sometimes create problems for us. (Would you ever guess that?)
The other night I bought "Light" Ice Cream. Because church members read this blog and I wouldn't want to cast The Pastor in a bad light, let's suffice to say he was not a happy camper. I argued that it was caramel brownie swirl and he would love it. I boasted that it only had 140 calories per serving. I tried to convince him that he wouldn't notice it wasn't "real" ice cream. I attempted to coax him out of his mood and into trying just one bite. He would have none of it. Literally.
He went into his office to pout...oops, I mean work, and I, in a last ditch effort to keep peace, sneaked out of the house and down to the mini-mart for some true blue ice cream. When I got home, I put both half gallons on the counter and began to dish. Ooooh, my caramel brownie looked so good and his plain vanilla looked a little boring. I dished up and took a bite. Mmm. Another bite. Hmm. That's an interesting flavor. Another bite. Gee, this doesn't really taste so hot. Another bite. Yuck. This is gross.
I didn't want to admit that mine was disgusting so I ate the whole bowl. Then, when The Pastor wasn't looking I took a bite of his. Much better. Dang. Oh well, at least I had the satisfaction of knowing I was saving precious calories....until I read the back of his carton.... 120 calories per serving. Double Dang.