Feels like forever since I did a blog, Have sat down several times and started several, but I didn’t want to write about all the things going on in the world, all my “issues” because they were so small in comparison with what was going on in the world. However, in reality everyday my “issues” are so much smaller than the world.
Well, Christmas is right around the corner, and the blessed thing is I am okay with it. In fact, very excited for it to arrive. It could be finding the perfect gifts for my amazing family. Throughout the year I have wrote down things and most of them were purchased – it is remembering the little things that my family says. But, also, I gifted to some others who have directly touched the lives of our children, and their facial expressions said it all. It could be the smell of cookies baking in the oven on many evenings, because Mary became the family baker. I can’t tell you the last cookies made in this home, but I am loving the change. It could be the gifts in the garage for ME! For many year, Jim and I have not exchanged gifts, but I wanted to this year. I wanted to pick out some things for him. He has gone out of his way to get my gifts, which is hard since I control most of the online purchasing, etc… It could be listening to Christmas music that also talks about Easter (which by the way is my favorite holiday). It could be that over 90% of my gifts have come from on-line and avoiding the craziness of shopping with people. It could be that the gifts are almost all wrapped, which never happens before Dec 24th here.
Oh, I had a list of more things I wanted to do and made a good thought with it – including downloading the advent devotional that I read one chapter on – HOPE! Great chapter. I have an advent book I wanted to do with the kids, but that fell along the wayside as a formal thing. I usually do the 12 days of Christmas for the kids, but that too came and went. I did start an online Bible Study, which has changed my heart, but I have gotten behind, but plan to catch up after Tuesday.
So many things, that have changed and so many things still left unaccomplished. But, I actually applied one of my life principals to Christmas this year. EXPECT NOTHING AND I WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. It is the pressure of comparing what I do with what others do, that can leave a void. I have a friend that has her Christmas decorating done by Thanksgiving and almost every room of her home. It look beautiful. But, if I set that as the standard for my life – I would be disappointed in myself because I could never do it. If I expect to give the perfect gift to everyone but can’t find it in the stores – I would be disappointed and settle for less. All I can expect of myself is to do what I can and free my self of the high expectation! I am sure Mary never expected to be the mother to Jesus – shepherds were not expecting angels – wisemen didn’t expect the north star – Joseph didn’t expect not finding a room for his expectant wife, but I am sure NONE of them were disappointed. Had they expected those things, and God changed the plans – they would have been disappointed.
I also believe that my gratitude lists have added to my heart. My eyes are fixed on the blessings and not the burdens. Sure, life still has it’s issues – but at least I have a life! I found a scripture tonight in my new Bible (my gift to myself). Of note, I got my Bible in Navy Blue (my mom’s favorite color) and my name embossed in the front with gold (I had Sheri Knight Wolfe placed because my dad and mom were such great Christian examples and so blessed. I have also been blessed to be given a wonderful husband, and may we be the example for our children). When I opened the box, I cried. Seeing my name on the Bible was like saying – “Sheri, here are my words of love and wisdom, written just for you!” Anyway, back to the verse – Hebrews 13:15 – let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise. It doesn’t say offer to God a list of complaints, wants, needs, etc.. It also doesn’t say to sometimes offer him praise, but continually. I believe by my change in focus from the negative to my many blessings, it is a praise to Him for all He is doing in my life.
I am blessed to have another Christmas with my family. I am blessed to have the money to give some gifts. I am blessed to have a church family to celebrate the season. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who picked out gifts just for me. I am blessed to have beautiful children to see the excitement in their eyes. I am blessed to have a home with an undecorated tree. I am blessed and that has made all the difference this Christmas. I, my friends, am prepared for Christmas in my heart – what a wonderful place to be!