a little and a lot

Friday, December 13, 2013

All Things Bright & Beautiful

You know what annoys me?  People shaking their fingers at the general public through social networking.  I fear my own tone could have been misinterpreted as self-righteous yesterday--please forgive me, friends.

Dear Mom-at-the-playground-on-your-iPhone...

Dear People-writing-blog-posts-to-moms-on-their-iPhones-at-playgrounds...

Dear Mom-of-young-children-who-needs-to-enjoy-every-minute...

Dear People-writing-blog-posts-who-forget-what-it-was-like-to-parent-young-children...

Dear People-who-use-Elf-on-the-Shelf-in-overly-creative-ways...

Dear Elf-on-the-shelf-haters...


No one can do anything right these days.

This is what fatigues me about writing words anywhere on the world wide web.  Those words are inevitably torn to shreds by someone else.  (Don't read too far into this--no one tore my words to shreds.  Well, I guess *I* tore my words to shreds later when I re-read my post and thought how differently it sounded than when I was writing it.)  So many of these "open letters" to people that offended us are written in defense of ourselves.

Since when did living your life mean you were living it "against" someone else?  (I love this incredibly freeing (and humorous) blog post by Glennon Doyle Melton about how sometimes we can feel as if people are living their life "at" us.)  Since when was there ONE RIGHT WAY to do ALL THE THINGS?

So, Advent.  The first one occurred in a religious setting where some people (the Pharisees) thought there was only one way to do all the things.  That is back-breaking and spirit-crushing.  Sometimes Christmas can feel that way today.  That is what I love about Charlie Brown Christmas--poor ole Chuck is so burnt out on commercial Christmas, and he's just searching and lamenting until he finds something of substance and meaning.  (Isn't that what Christmas IS all about?)

There are essentials and there are non-essentials.  Essential: worshipping Christ the King, who was, and is, and is to come.  Non-essential: how you want to do that.  With presents busting out the four corners of your house, elves playing nightly shenanigans, annual family photo holiday greeting cards, trees and lights and twinkling, and Santa Clause coming down your chimney with Rudolph to boot.  Or some of that.  Or none of that.  These are the non-essentials.

We should be challenged to think about this.  We should be convicted to be intentional.  We should not feel guilty (or self-righteous) about what we decide versus what others decide.

What moves you to worship?  What stirs your heart with joy?  What captures wonder?  What quiets you with peace?  These are the bright and beautiful things I place before myself and my family at Christmastime.

Are you feeling burnt out and weary or behind on all of it or feeling judged?  Let go of the one right way to do all the things.  Embrace the One who came near to us and gave Himself.


I'm sharing tomorrow's (Saturday's) 12th Day of Advent tonight at 6p to give you time to plan/prepare if you are so inclined.  It's my non-essential way ;) of focusing on the bright & beautiful with my family, and I'm happy to share it with you!  


Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more