Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Christians to Blame for Secular Christmas"

When I saw this headline a few minutes ago, I was like "What?!?" Of course I HAD to read the story behind it and boy, it sure was something I needed.

I really haven't been feeling the "Christmas Spirit" this year and this is my favorite holiday of all. Instead, I feel rushed, stressed, tired, fat, ugly, stressed, tired, boring, disorganized, frazzled...did I mention stressed and tired?

This paragraph stabbed me like a knife..

"Instead of allowing ourselves to get swept up in the whirlwind of "holiday" parties, useless gift exchanges and harried shopping, we can use those weeks to prepare our hearts and homes in meaningful ways for the Prince of Peace. Make time for family prayer, singing and the lighting of the Advent wreath. Choose cards and decorations that have religious significance."

I miss my Fontanini nativity set that the X-husband got 12 years ago. I loved that each figure had a story and I had planned as I collected a new figure every year, that as a family, our tradition leading up to Christmas would be to read the figure's story, add it to the scene, read from the Bible and really prepare our hearts. I had hoped that tradition would have been very special to my children.

As you know, I am no longer married and I never had any children. As my 40th birthday came and went, I have resigned, or am trying to resign, myself to the fact that I will most likely not be getting married and I'm about 90% sure I won't be having any children. You know, that just breaks my heart. Those are two things I just don't want to give-up hoping about, but the cold hard reality is I need to let those two hopes just go.

I was recently asked about my favorite Christmas shows...I haven't watched any this year. The favorites of the person asking were those stop motion animated classics from Rankin and Bass, "A Christmas Without Santa" and "Santa Claus is Coming To Town". Just the mention of those brought back memories of Christmases past, I could actually remember conversations. But then, I got kind of sad, we looked so forward to those shows. Now that they are on video, kids can watch them on demand, they aren't even as "special". I would love to watch the excitement of a child as they watched these, counting down the days to Christmas.

I remember the excitement of putting up the tree as a child. When I bought my townhouse five years ago and put up my first Christmas tree. I was so excited. I'm slowly collecting special Christmas ornaments (again, all the ornaments I had collected that were special to me were lost when I left my X-husband). I was still excited about unwrapping each of my new special ornaments, most are Marine Corps Museum themed. Yet, after it was all done, I realized, who would see my beautiful tree...heck, I have had it up now for two weeks and I haven't even gotten a chance to sit on my sofa to enjoy it. Ranger enjoys sleeping under it and I've lost another ball ornament to the cats' playful whims.

I feel like all the joy and excitement is being sucked from me. There are times I feel the crushing alone-ness that George Bailey must have felt as he stood on the bridge in Bedford Falls. I wonder what God's purpose was/is for me. I wonder if I failed Him. At the same time, I hear the nasty, jeering taunt of my X-husband "I hate you" "You are so unloveable." "No one will ever love you!" "No one will ever marry you again." "You will die lonely and alone." I've been hearing that voice in the back of my head a lot this past month.

My small group did this wonderful Bible Study on The Christmas Carol. Just as Scrooge's heart was hardened, I realized mine has been hardened too from past hurts, hopes lost, fear of a dead and empty future. I've lost site of these facts:
  • God created me and He doesn't make junk. Eventhough I may not be the standard of beauty, success or value that is the world's standards, He created me and I am beautiful, successful and valued by Him.
  • I am so valued and loved that He sent His son to redeem me, despite all of my faults and impurities.
  • He loves me
  • He will never leave me
  • He will provide for me
  • He will give me the desires of my heart - - I just have to let go of MY desires so that He can fill me with HIS.

I'll admit, I'm struggling right now. I'm wishing for that "Red Ryder BB gun" and I keep getting the "You'll shoot your eye out" as the response. So...what I want for Christmas is a change of heart, I want it to be in line with His. I want His will to become my will. Geez, is that hard and scary to pray for. I want to be able to live each day confident in whose I am.


Tiffany said...

Wow, I just read that today and I am wishing for the same thing. The exact same thing. For God to fill my heart and for me to stop worrying and replace that worry with more faith.

P.S. Your ex-husband is a dirtbag. Don't waste one more thought on him. I only met him once, but he seemed like he had a mean heart. Let those bad thoughts of him go. Maybe that will be the answer!

Miss Em said...

My ex-husband(#1) told me the very same things. I told him that it would be a "cold day in Hell before I would let him run my life again". That was in 1978 and I have been loved by many and including husband #2(who is now an 'ex' because he got physically abusive).
I have told 'God' that whatever he has planned that I ready for the games to begin and that was about 15 years ago. Life has not always been a 'bowl of cherries' but it has been interesting and very seldom boring.

As for your Tree and Decorations...try bringing home a few of those lonely bachelor Marines, invite over a few girlfriends and have a cook-out or should that be a cook-in because of the weather and ENJOY LIFE.
The only one stopping you is you. SO step out of the way and get going.

Miss Em
Austell, Ga.