As I am rocking my littlest one to sleep, iPhone in hand, I have a quiet moment, and I consider Facebook, but instead I choose Ann Voskamp’s blog. I cannot believe when I read, the first line of her post.
“It’s been over ten years of nothing under the Christmas tree here .”
What? Am I understanding this right? No presents at Christmas? Ten years?
My heart has stopped beating. I scroll the page, astonished, yet captivated by the words I am reading.
“What does Jesus get for His birthday? …if we get wrapped presents for our birthdays, real sacrifices from people who love us — they gave up other things to give something to us — then why don’t we do that for Jesus’ birthday?”
Breathless, I continue reading.
“I just know that now he’s fifteen and I stepped out into the light and we’ve done all the Christmases since his way, giving away. It’s not at all wrong to do it differently, but just for us… all the Christmas gifts — gifts for the Christ Child…So this is how we do it: We pick out gifts from His catalogues.”
I have received a catalog, similar, from World Vision in the mail. Pictured on the front, a child holding a sheep, whose eyes reveal he knows what it is like to do without. I thought about showing the kids so we can buy live chickens and goats for people who are hungry and poor in another country. But, I never did. Grouped together with junk mail, so cavalier, I toss it.
Raise them to be world changers.
The thought of figuring out how brings me low.
Is He asking this of me? Of us? Next year, all the Christmas gifts, gifts for Christ?
My heart starts beating, again… for His heartbeat.
Give to Christ for Christmas,
because Christ given to us, is Christmas.
“Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40
“You did it to Me.”
“You did it for Me.”
It will be a year of their birthdays different, showing honor and celebration of their life. So, come Christmas, it will be a time of celebrating His life given for us. It will be a year of discovering how we are to give to the least of these. It will be a year of cultivating hearts. It will take sacrifice. It will take a paradigm shift in our thinking. It will not be easy. For lack of understanding, they may resent it, at first. Others might judge. It will take the working of His Word and the leading of His Spirit.
Husband agrees. We have talked about changes already. I just know, He is showing me this is the way, in this chair as I sit and I weep, holding one of my precious world changers asleep in my arms. This day has been so hard already, with messes and bickering and selfishness and blindness to the incredible gifts we all have.
“We don’t need more stuff! We need more heart to feel what others feel. We need more selflessness lived out daily. We need more love and compassion supported by our works, not more words. We need more of God.”
I want to wake up to the asking of the questions,
“What can I do to serve? What do I have that I can give?”
Raising servant leaders, selfless world changers, on fire for Christ? Really? When most days I feel confined to 200 square feet of kitchen floor with piled high dishes that conquer, and on every surface, dust that defeats.
The things of this world steal me away and I let them. I am taken in my thoughts and in my actions, and the time is squandered. And this is what I demonstrate. And this is what they emulate.
And what of eternity? What of the treasures in heaven where moth and dust do not destroy? What of my daily proclamation that my life is HIS? My heart burns in repentance, as tears flood.
Let it be for more than just a moment that my heart is arrested for the things that matter to You. Let it be for a lifetime lived in pursuit of You, selflessly giving, seeking to be a blessing, considering others interests above my own. Let it be that I live what I say I believe and walk in what I teach them.
To my mind comes a song made prayer, from my youth in God. It continues to be my cry…
Search my heart
HEAR MY CRY, INCLINE THINE EAR TO ME
The Word and Spirit transcend my mind and press pass my reasoning to the very core of who I am.
I have been discontented
because I am unable to reconcile myself
to a continual absence of fire.
I want to come near my children
and feel the heat of their desire after God,
and my children come near and feel mine.
And I know, only God can light the flame.
Next year, all the Christmas gifts, gifts for Christ, giving to the least of these. His Spirit compelling me to come deeper. I know it is of the Lord. The beginning of a the new year will mark the beginning of a new work He will do in us. In His faithfulness to lead, He shows the way, this new way for us. So subtle and quiet is His directive. I could have easily missed it, blind and deaf.
Give me eyes to see and ears to hear You calling, calling us out of mediocrity.
May our hearts respond. Let our lives be a pure reflection of You. Show us, it is more blessed to give than receive. God help me, help us. All Consuming Fire, have your way in us. Awaken our souls, for the world You love. Your will be done. Let Your will be done in me… In us.
This post, a continuation from Gain.