Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas on Purpose: no guilt

Party invitations.  Open houses.  Children’s programs.  Hand lettered Christmas cards.  Home made cookies.  Sparkly outfits.  Tree decorating……..
And on and on and on. 
There seems to be no shortage of things to do this time of year.  It can be exhausting to think about.  Especially as a homeschooling mom.  And that is where I feel the urge to hitch my wagon to the guilt train.  Guilt over not elegantly hand letting my Christmas cards, guilt over barely doing lessons with my kids, guilt over not crafting wonderful handmade gifts for my friends and family, guilt over saying no to certain events, guilt over not being able to do it all. 
We should not be walking in guilt, especially this time of year.  Jesus came to save us from condemnation, why do we so often take it up again?  Because of what Jesus did we can walk in freedom, especially at Christmas. 
Now, really walking in freedom is a lot easier to say than do.  But it is possible.  It comes by prayer, it comes by staying close to Jesus, it comes by figuring out what he wants your Christmas to look like.  And then it comes by realizing that you have to say no to some things so that you can say yes to other things.  And also by being gracious with others who do the same.
So at our house we say no to extra parties and then we say yes to family time.  We say no to elaborate Christmas cards, so we can say yes to time making crafts with the kids.  We say no to fancy gifts for friends and say yes to extra money to buy gifts for children in need.  We say no to a lot of things, and that was hard to do at first.  Really hard.  But the more we practiced it, the better we got at it.  And it’s allowed us to be free to do Christmas how we want, and how we feel honors our Lord.
So what can you say no to this season…and what does that leave more room for? 

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