Monday, December 1, 2008

At the Well - Having A Mary Christmas

Today At the Well is being hosted by Tracy at Thirsty For Him. The discussion is centered around "Keeping Christ in Christmas" and we will be sharing practical ideas on how to do this. Some questions to ponder are:

Do you find yourself stressed each Christmas, trying to "DO" all of the activities of the holiday only to find yourself depleted and wondering if your family celebrated the true meaning of Christmas?

What are some practical ideas and tips to share to celebrate Christ and simplify Christmas?

Each Christmas season starts off with me seeking to be more organized and efficient to avoid some of the stress that comes with the holiday. Usually I try to tackle huge things which are just not me! One year I tried to sew ornaments and gifts. I'm not a gifted sewer. One year I tried to do baking gifts and again went overboard trying, failing, stressing.... Many times I try to give "little gifts" to teachers, etc. and by the time I am done filling a little basket, I am stressed, spent out and not at all in a giving spirit! Finally I had to face the facts, these are not my gifts or talents. By working so hard at what I was not good at, it caused more damage to me and my family than good to others. So, for my answer - YES I have done this and YES, I am going to change!

Isn't it something how when we are relaxed and open, we hear the Lord speaking to our heart so much clearer? Right before Thanksgiving, I had to do some shopping for the holiday meal. I planned it out carefully, a list, no children tagging along, plenty of time to shop and a time to shop when the store was less crowded. Leaving the parking lot, I was reflecting on how enjoyable the trip was. I was pleasant to other shoppers by smiling, they smiled back, I took time to be friendly to the cashier, it made her happy. It hit me how much my attitude had to do with the pleasant shopping trip. When I go into the store during a busy time, I am rushed, other shoppers get in my way, I am impatiently waiting at the check out and by the time I come home, there isn't much sweetness in me! So, I resolved during this Christmas season to try to be more relaxed. To be kind to others in public, smile at others and say "Merry Christmas". I am hoping to plan my shopping better so that I am not stressed and rushed, but seek to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season. At home I began today a devotion by Adrian Rogers just for Christmas and have a Christmas devotional to read for the boys. One of the best ways to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas is to begin with a realization of the gift that God gave to us - Jesus and to remind ourselves of God's love which was shown for us and we can in turn show that love to others. It is important to me to exemplify Christ in everything during the Christmas season. Cards with a Christian message and whenever available, gifts that glorify God with a Christian message are given. But most important is the attitude they are given with - a loving and giving heart. May Christ's love fill your heart and home this Christmas season and may you reflect His love in all you do.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16


9 comments:

  1. Learning to make the most of your gifts as you choose how to give gifts--wise advice. Thank you! (And I love your harvest-themed design!)

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  2. Oh, I love the idea of being friendly and cheerful to others while you're out. That makes a huge difference.

    I've also come to realize what you spoke about:
    "Finally I had to face the facts, these are not my gifts or talents. By working so hard at what I was not good at, it caused more damage to me and my family than good to others."

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  3. "But most important is the attitude they are given with - a loving and giving heart."

    Oh yeah the gift of giving is truly an attitude of our heart and Christmas is an attitude of worship.

    Thanks for the reminder today. Great post! -Blessings, Laurie

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  4. Having an attitude of kindness and love makes the tasks we have to do much more enjoyable and makes Christ stand out to others through us. I love that you mentioned the things that weren't your gifts. I've tried to make things my gifts before and I end up feeling like someone who has just stuck her finger in an electrical socket and can't pull it out - crispy fried! Wonderful post!

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  5. Chelsey,
    you know that is what I've tried to do...realize that there is a difference in sharing and doing..and I'm focusing on sharing my gifts rather than just DOING it... I'm all about lists and I'm finding that when I look ahead, I enjoy it SOOO much more...
    You are spot on here today girl!!

    I'm so glad I made it to the well today!!
    peace!
    lori

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  6. As a former cashier, I remember how it would make my day to have customers that were friendly and appreciative, especially at this time of year. What a blessing we can be to others. Thank you for your post.

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  7. I love the thought that the gift is not as important as the attitude it is given with. Amen.

    I have enjoyed today's At the Well topic. How important it is to keep our focus on the real reason for CHRISTmas. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. what a great message- attitude is everything and that was what made Jesus so special to people- his attitude-compassion and love for people. that's what Christmas is and if we remember to reflect christ this holiday season we will help keep Him in Christmas. Thanks for sharing Be Blessed

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  9. I love this post!!! I love this time of the year! I love saying Merry Christmas too! I find I'm not as stressed when the store isn't as busy either. :)

    Thank you for you comment! I am so excited to teach Daniel the true meaning of Christmas.

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Thank you for sharing your commment. It is a joy and blessing to hear from you and your words are appreciated.