• outsideofordinaryl

To Do, or Not To Do…

Although I still have a few Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge, my tree is up, my house is decorated, and I’ve made my list of Christmas cookies to bake….SO that means it’s officially the Christmas season. For the most part, that’s a wonderful thing, but with all the wonder comes a bit of weary as well. One thing in life that I have noticed, is that there are those who are party-goers and those of us who are party throwers. Some are thermometers, while others are thermostats, givers and receivers, etc. Neither category is better than the other. The truth is both are needed for a fulfilling experience. And no matter what side of the fence you’re on, Christmas can be exhausting.

I am more content throwing the party. (I’m pretty sure it’s a control issue under the guise of servanthood- now, there’s something to chew on.) I recognize that God has given me a gift, an ability to make things “special”. I know it’s a gift from God, because it brings me so much joy and satisfaction when I use it. Then there’s that other voice…do you ever hear it? Shhhh, listen:

“Oh my gosh, why do YOU have to do EVERYTHING? Must be nice to be invited to parties, just eat the cookies, instead of making them, sit down to a beautiful table, with courses of stunning food and 3 desserts, sit in the ambiance of twinkling lights and the warmth and comfort of a beautifully decorated home, get uniquely wrapped gifts that someone had to put tons of effort into finding, shipping…oh don’t forget the stocking stuffers – you think it’s easy to creatively fill a stocking with little items you might actually like? Does anyone even REALIZE how much time, effort, and energy goes into making THEIR holiday special? OMG, you must be exhausted – Not that anyone cares, or wants to help.”

I hate that voice. And trust me, I know the depths from which it heralds. God gives, and the devil comes to steal and destroy. When I sit down to coffee with that voice, things get ugly. I go into “martyr-mode” and anyone who is near me will either be shamed (I can easily become an ugly voice in their life) or they will wisely remove themselves from my presence.

So how do we shut down that ugly voice that can turn what we love to do, into a pity party?

Here is a list of 6 “ordinary” truths that can make your holiday preparations “extraordinary”. Let’s step out of our circle of expectation (I have to do all this stuff to make sure everyone has a great Christmas), and get a different perspective – ready?

-Make a list of what you REALLY want to accomplish, and scratch off the one you like the least. You’ll discover that Christmas still happens. It’s okay not to send Christmas cards if you do not enjoy the process. -Your idea of a “perfect” Christmas is not necessarily everyone else’s. People enjoy comfort above perfection. -Trying to impress others is really only self-adoration – think about it. Ouch. Are others blessed by your efforts, or intimidated and shamed? -Create out of love, not out of obligation. Obligation isn’t nearly as beautiful. -Starbuck’s is not the true source of your strength and power. Stay in His word this holiday season and you will find the encouragement that not only you need, but that you can share with others.

“The Lord gives strength to those who are weary. Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall. But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.” Isaiah 40:29-31 CEVUS06. (Take that to the mall with you!!!)

-Thank God for your creative abilities. Use them to not only serve others, but to bless HIM: 

”Your faith in the Lord and your service are like a sacrifice offered to him.” Phil 2:17

after all, Christmas is actually His party, not yours.

May your Christmas season be a sincere celebration of the birth of our Savior – have fun!

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