Tuesday, January 4

Christmas Love: Pay it Forward

Anybody else out there have a list of things that they aspired to accomplish during the month of December, but somehow just didn't seem to get to?

We put so much pressure on ourselves, don't we?

Every year I promise myself it's not going to happen, and every year it does...I get frazzled and tired and end up with 3 colds and feel crazed! and, in the end, I am disappointed at some of the things I didn't end up doing instead of relishing in all that I DID.

I'm not implying that I didn't enjoy Christmas, because, if you read my last post, truly I did. I just wish it hadn't come with so much emotional turmoil (in the weeks before) on my behalf.

All that said, I have a few positive thoughts to offer to anyone else who found themselves in the same boat...a few 'don't be so hard on yourself' thoughts.

Christmas is an INCREDIBLY joyful and exciting time, especially if you have children. HOWEVER, it is only one day out of the year, it has become incredibly commercialized and it isn't even Jesus' REAL birthday!

Alright, now you're probably thinking "Geez Lisa, thanks for the positive, uplifting words...next blog please!" 

My point is this...I think the Christmas season is a WONDERFUL time to be filled with inspiration to feed the poor, give gifts to less fortunate children, bake cookies for and connect with your neighbors, reach out to family members you haven't seen or connected with in a long time, spend extra time with those you love and so on. But, it does not need to be the only time we do these things.

For example, Scott and I made a list of things we wanted to accomplish during the Christmas season. Our list included finding and helping a less fortunate family (with food or donations or something tangible), having a get-together with some of our neighbors so that we could develop better relationships with them and I personally wanted to reach out to a family member I haven't been very close with ( a cousin) and to just have coffee and check in with them (they have had a difficult go of things in life).

Those are all WONDERFUL ideas. Sadly, they remain just that...ideas. We had this great planning meeting at the beginning of December and jotted all of these things down and never did any of them...
(I did send cookies to two neighbors, took another neighbor to the Christmas production at church, and helped my grandmother with some of her Christmas shopping...which must count for something, right?!)

When I was reflecting on all of this several days after Christmas and feeling a little disappointed I had the most wonderful God-inspired thought: Lisa, just because Christmas is over doesn't mean you can't still do those things. The poor are still there. Your neighbors still need to be loved. Your cousin's life didn't miraculously become easier in December. 

This wonderful peace came over me and almost brought me to tears. Thank you God! 

And THAT is what Christmas is all about. It's about Christ coming into the world to be human. To serve humans. To love humans in a tangible way. Not just on his birthday, which would be silly, but ALWAYS. All the time. All YEAR round.

So...if you were inspired to do good things this Christmas, but didn't get to some of them because life got really busy, cut yourself some slack. Most of us are parents of young children, and about all we can handle right now during a month as busy as December is often just loving on our own children and reaching out in small ways...making a few cookies, talking to a couple of neighbors, and at least writing down your good thoughts about helping others.

BUT, here is our challenge. Find a way to take those very thoughts and turn them into ACTIONS this year. I am resolving to still have a get-together this month or next with my neighbors, to still seek out a family in need and to get in touch with that family member, but I'm giving myself the WHOLE year to do it...not just a couple of weeks.

And that's o.k.

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