Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paradigm Shift

Every year Christmas is a weight around my neck. I begin the feel the downward pull into Holiday Dread around August. Panic sets in around mid-November.

Not this time.

Over the past few years, I’ve set out to redeem the things I hate. The way it works is this: I’m miserable because I’m focused on myself instead of on the Gospel. So I ask God to help me focus on the Him and His Kingdom instead.

Practical application: In college, Valentine’s Day became the day I cooked and baked goodies for all my single friends and delivered them as “The Valentine’s Fairy.” I still do this and love it!

This year for Christmas, I’ve begun accumulating a list of places I can serve and help out. Our BIble study did a huge fundraiser for GFA that brought in more than twice as much as my high goal.

And since my family already did GFA last year in lieu of presents, they were on board for this year, too! As a family, we donated 4x what we gave last year!

Some of my friends and I are making eggs and bacon for the homeless guys in my neighborhood. Just setting up a table on the corner and hanging out.

I’m looking for other people who have crappy Christmas situations (divorce, sickness, child in custody of other parent, etc.) and I’m praying about ways to lighten their load and share some of the Father’s joy with them. It thrills me when I find a need like that and get to put it on my calendar.

What I’m finding is that the Gospel actually works. Not just to save people from hell, but to save me from the tyranny of myself. And perhaps you may think that’s selfish too. But the God I serve is loving and efficient enough to make the right thing bring joy. He’s beautiful like that.

2 comments:

Anna said...

Love this!
Definitely makes this season more worthwhile and fun...

This is kind of awkward maybe, but do you have any book recommendations about the fruits of the Spirit? Specifically, I want to be more kind, I just want to be a women of kindness and gentleness and not have a sharp tongue (awkward, I told you...) I just want to 'ooze' kindness, and I know I need prayer and the Spirit and the Word, but I'd love to read some books about it. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance,
Anna
annagvisser@gmail.com

Holly Bierly Young said...

Hello. I just got Crowded Skies for Christmas today, and I cannot.put.it.down. Well, I did put it down long enough to stalk you via the internet. :) Thank you for your writing and your music and your willingness to let God use you. You rock TLC and I can't wait to check out Morning's War!

I think its amazing that you are able to recognize and acknowledge that this is not an amazing/joyous/festive time for everyone. For so many people, the holidays represent a time of hurting/grieving/loss.

Thanks for reminding me to pray for those who need it this season. Much love! Holly