It was Friday night, December 17th at around 7:30 (right before the photo shop closed) I stroll into Walmart and send my hubby back to the sporting goods while I upload our picture for Christmas Cards. We needed cards by Sunday for our church family and I couldn’t find any left with a Christian Christmas theme – but saw these beauties you could print! So I did – and then I paid for them – and was told they would be ready tomorrow (Saturday) after 11. I went to pick them up Saturday around 4pm and as I opened the envelope and was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out, I then asked “Oh, where are the envelopes?” to which the young man responded “Oh, we don’t have envelopes for the 5 x7 cards – we’re out. Waiting on FEDEX to bring them – I’m assuming all the other stores grabbed them up first. But yeah, we don’t have any” As I stood there likely staring in disbelief that I just paid $38 for cards I couldn’t send – My first thought was “You couldn’t have told me yesterday when I ordered them and paid for them that I wouldn’t have any envelopes today to put them in and send them?!?!” And then my immediate second thought, that luckily was louder than my first, was “Don’t lose your witness Kris. Don’t lose your witness over silly Christmas cards!!” In a world where everyone is always ticked off, anxious, angry about something – take your ownership in this. You shouldn’t have waited until Mary’s water broke to order Christmas cards (Funny huh? Stole that from a post I saw this week that cracked me up ) There was a group of people standing around me watching, waiting to see how I would react at that news – time to walk my talk. While my emotions screamed “Arrrgh!” My Spirit thankfully screamed louder “Walk in Love”. Christians are called to look different, act different, and walk in love.
This could have very easily been the icing on the cake and a weak moment as this year I found myself all out of sorts at the end of last week. I had lost my joy and was trying to determine why. As I prayed, as I read the bible, it became a bit clearer…. the “hustle and bustle” had stole my joy. Every year I say I’m going to get done early so I can “enjoy” the season and be “present”. And every year I fail and rush from store to store right up until we are in the car headed out. Then there’s the gifts…. On years when I’ve bought a sentimental gift that I know someone is going to love – I can’t wait for Christmas! When I bought something that I know someone else wanted and wouldn’t buy for themselves – I can’t wait for Christmas! And I’m full of Joy. But this year, well, I bought gifts for the family I so dearly love but none of them were “needed”. Ya know? We’re so abundantly blessed that the kiddos couldn’t even really give you a list of what they wanted – the adults all said “We don’t need anything….” So the running around trying to find something to buy, hoping they would like it, was slightly exhausting. The one thing the Lord kept laying on my heart to do for the last month or two – was write out a prayer for each family member. I failed. It was Sunday morning. Church then family Christmas. No time to write out any prayers. (Mary’s water had broke AND she was pushing!) That morning, in the shower, I realized THAT would have been needed, treasured and the best gift I could have given my family. And then I got mad at myself for not making it happen. The Lord spoke to my whiny heart and reminded me that I give them that gift daily and I could still let them know. As we passed out the gifts I shared with my family how much I loved them and while I bought them each a gift card, or some small trinket, the best gift I’m giving them is unseen. I read from a little book a prayer that my mom wrote for me in 2001… it said “Lord, give my daughter a Holy Boldness to share her Faith.” In 2001 I was anything but bold in my Faith. BUT it’s proof that prayers will out live us and be answered long after we are gone! My mom’s sure were! Since Sunday I have been praying for my family with that renewed joy that comes from knowing that because Jesus was born, I have an advocate who will hear my prayers and petition my heavenly Father. And THAT is why I am so very thankful for his birth!! Prayers! I covet those I know I am receiving – and feel honored and privileged I get to send them up on behalf of those I love! I wrote this post for the exhausted person caught up in the hustle and bustle …. stop. Take a deep breath. Pray for your family. Love your family. Be present in the moment. Because a year from now – or more likely a couple of months from now – they won’t even remember what you purchased – but they will remember the love you shared!
Here’s your Christmas Card friends – Merry Christmas!