Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What I learned from Charlie Brown

Or perhaps more accurately, what God spoke to me through Charlie Brown.
It all started when we set out to find our not so perfect, perfect Christmas tree.  Not so perfect because it was coming straight from the wooded wilderness,not a tree lot.  But perfect just the same because it would be our  tree.
We headed out of town and took the first forest road the map directed us to, and then we drove and craned our necks to search through the trees for any evidence that our tree was there.  After about ten minutes we spotted something.  We parked and began the walk; through the woods and in the snow, watching the sun bounce off the snowdrifts all along the way.
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Finally we saw it, just up a head and we scampered over fallen logs to get there.  There it was, perfect in all it’s imperfectness.  And this is where things began to go horribly wrong.
DSC_0036(Along the way we found a little tree for the kids.) 
I noticed that top was a bit thing and scraggily.  Zac noticed that there was a nice point at the top, perfect for a star.  I mentioned something about just using the middle, which was the fullest.  Zac did not hear (although I was sure he did).  We did agree that this tree was the one.  I was thinking all along that the middle was going in our home; that I could cleverly disguise the fact that it was the middle with a barn star on the top and careful placement of ornaments.  Zac was very committed to the scraggily top.
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And so down the tree came and home we went, full of hot chocolate to warm us up after a quick round of snow angels and snow ball throwing.
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We got home and the disaster began, the disaster of my attitude anyway.  Zac promptly cut the top to the right height, stuck it in the stand and brought it inside.
“What do think?” He asked.
I could barely utter the things I was thinking in that moment.  They ran from wondering what happened, Charlie Brown’s tree looked better, how could our tree be any uglier, and no amount of lights and ornaments would hide the fact that the top of half of the tree was so sparse it was barely there.  Needless to say, Zac and I had endured a major communication breakdown over the tree. 
And while I was pouting and crying and carrying on like a spoiled brat over how perfectly awful the tree was my kids were watching A Charlie Brown Christmas.  In the middle of my fuming God stilled my heart just long enough so that I could hear the words about the true spirit of Christmas, peace on earth and goodwill toward all.  I remembered that Jesus didn’t come to the world as a baby so that I could have a perfect Christmas tree.  He came so I could know him, and in knowing him I could be perfected.
So I stopped my obsessing and controlling and fit throwing.  And I apologized, first to God and next to my ever patient husband.  I decided that we could in fact make this tree work, which is what my ever patient Zac had been saying all along.  He got out the drill and drilled some holes in the bare places, and stuck in extra boughs from the rest of the tree that was discarded to the front lawn.  He strung the lights and we hung the decorations and my heart settled down. 
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Yeah this tree is anything but perfect, nothing on this earth is except God’s amazing love for us.  But it is perfectly imperfect, it is a work in progress.  Just like me.  And I’m so glad God’s heart towards is not like mine towards our tree.  He won’t give up and walk away because I haven’t matured enough, been good enough or lived a perfect life. 
Our tree reminds me of God’s perfect love for me, for us.  A perfect love that is expressed in a tiny baby who came to save our souls.

7 comments:

  1. I think it's a perfectly perfect tree. And what a blessing it's already brought to your family! Merry Christmas!!

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  2. Good word - thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's apparent that temptations probably abound this time of year - trying to steal our joy and contentment. I have had a similar experience - feeling the need for a new tree (ours is very charlie brown-ish - store bought on sale a few years ago to be our first family tree) new tree skirt, new stockings - for what? Will any of these things make Christmas more special? More Meaningful? No, it's focusing Jesus and what he accomplished for us by coming to earth. So glad you are also finding contentment and thankfulness this season.
    Cheers!

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  3. Thanks for your transparency.
    So refreshing to land on a blog that is aesthetically pleasing AND honoring to the God. Your post both convicted and encouraged me. Thank you.

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  4. We used to do that! Cut a tree from my parent's friends yard that was overgrown with pine trees, and doctor them up with a drill and glue! Brings back memories.

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  5. Beautiful reminder. I do love Charlie Brown and those great moments. God does love us so even though we can be more unsightly than any scraggly tree.

    Ruth

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  6. how true it is that God is continuing his work on us tirelessly. Just when I think things are looking up I let Him down again. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who turned into the big ugly Crazy Christmas Mom this year! Lesson learned. :)

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  7. Your tree is beautiful but the work God did in your heart is so wonderful. Thank you again for the gentle reminder of why we celebrate Christmas!

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