It's been a WHILE since I last blogged, I know. I have loads of excuses. Lots of life happening lately. But mostly it's because I haven't really been in the mood. I've been dealing with lots of stuff lately and didn't want to spill it all on my blog for the world to see. So I just didn't blog at all. And I don't really have anything wonderful to say - I just had to get something off my chest (so much for self control, huh?)
Last night we attended Elisa's school "Holiday" program. It was called "DecemberNights, December Lights". I think the purpose of the program was more to say - hey, see how pc we are - instead of celebrating any sort of holiday. Throughout the program, they fully explained the holiday of Hannukah and Kwanzaa and one other I don't remember which. But they NEVER explained Christmas. They never even mentioned Jesus! I found myself crying a couple of times, not because my kid was so cute (which she was), but because this entire "Christmas" program completely ommitted Christ. I kept looking out over the completely packed room of people and found myself so very sad and completely overwhelmed with the "lost"-ness in the room. So many of those people didn't know Jesus, so many of them couldn't care less about Him. That makes me so very sad.
Truth is, we won't have much of a Christmas this year. We aren't doing gifts at all - not even to our kids. We just can't afford it this year. And honestly I'm a little sad about that. BUT - I still am so excited about celebrating Christmas. I KNOW it's not about the gifts. I'm hoping that this Christmas will be even better than any of the others, simply because we've been forced to take out all the commercialized junk, and have the opportunity to really focus on the point of it all.
I was able to be a part of our church's Sharing Christmas ministry this year. We weren't able to adopt a kid, but I was able to be a part of distributing gifts and food to a family in need. I went with some friends and we delivered to 3 different families (very different, actually). The first family was a very young mother and father and two small kids. When we got there, the 7 year old little girl asked her mom if it was her mom's birthday b/c she couldn't understand why else someone would bring gifts to them. The wonderful woman I was with asked the little girl if she knew that we were celebrating Jesus' birthday. Both kids looked at us with blank stares. I honestly believe they may never have heard Jesus' name before. Take a minute and take that in. Never heard the name of Jesus!! As we were leaving, my friend asked if we could pray for the family and the mom reluctantly said sure. As we were praying, the 5 year old little boy came up to his mom and asked her, "Mom, what are they doing?". He had never seen someone pray before!!
As we drove home, I began to cry. Here I am, sad about the fact that my family can't participate in all the gift giving. BUT, this family is missing out SO much more than we are. This young family has food and presents - but they don't have hope or peace. I found myself praying that the little boy would continue to ask questions, until someone would be able to answer them.
I am overwhelmed this year with the lack of Christ in Christmas! I can't seem to get into the "spirit" of Christmas this year. I am finding myself sad instead of joyful. I can't seem to shake it. There are SO many people all around me without hope and that makes me SO very sad. I am praying that God will use my discontent to move me to action. I pray that He gives me opportunities to share the hope that He has given to me. I pray that my eyes are opened even more to the desperate and hopeless all around me - and that God would use me to splash some joy or hope onto them in some way.
"My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus 'tis now."