I stand here looking at my home. From my kitchen I see my tree and stockings filled. I see presents under the tree. I am filled with joy at the homemade tree decorations my kids have done. And suddenly I find myself asking if it is enough. Did I pick the right things? What if they are disappointed? So then I hop on social media and my spirit is instantly overwhelmed with conviction. These stories and pleas bring tears to my eyes. Families not only do not have a tree for Christmas, but are asking for used items to gift to their own children. Families that are in need of the basic needs we take for granted every single day of the year. Clothing, jackets, blankets, food and shelter for some. Many not only live in a tent, but do not know where their next meal is coming from. (As I worry about what I am making for dinner.) We don’t know their story and we don’t know their struggles. It is not our place to judge. It is our place to love like Jesus.
In the midst of wondering if my family will be satisfied with what they receive, my heart begins to break a little more. Because if the case is that what they receive is not good enough for them, I have failed. Not in what was able to be provided, but failed as a parent in the gratitude department.
I have always done my best to ensure that my family knows why we have Christmas to begin with. That it is because God gifted us with his only son. He gave us the birth of the perfect child with the intention of the perfect child being slaughtered on the cross so that we may have everlasting life. To cover our sin nature. Because truly loving others and bringing people to the kingdom is the purpose. It’s not how much of anything you/we get. We were given the greatest gift of all, and unfortunately it gets lost in the materialism of our society.
So I want my family to know that we did the best we could. If there is a part of you that feels cheated or angry or that it’s just not enough, then your heart is not in the right place. And I will do my best to do a better job of guiding you in the right direction. Here is the catch. Guidance and direction has to be taken and heard. I can runeth my mouth over, I can set the best example I know how, but if you choose not to listen and see that is something only God can change. That goes for every person on the planet. It is not limited to my household. While I understand being surrounded by people who constantly complain about not having enough money and/or material items can be difficult. Most of the time standing in the right usually means standing alone. And that is where the greatest example can be seen.
That doesn’t mean you should feel bad or guilty for what you do have. However make sure you ask yourself if you truly appreciate it. Or do you find yourself still complaining/wanting what others have that you do not. If you are, then you truly do not appreciate the blessings given to you. We all fall guilty of that at times. But if you base your life on what others have that you do not, you will never understand the truest most selfless blessing of all. Jesus Christ. Salvation. Grace. Forgiveness. Basic needs met daily. The list is endless.
I try my best to just love everyone. (Although we all have moments of difficulty in that area too!) I wish I could quadruple what I have to give to those in need. Not only at Christmas, but all year long. Because it truly is not about me. Jesus is all we need. So whatever you could do, it is enough. Be grateful and appreciate everything. God gave us a gift we can never repay.