The Contented Grinch


Normally, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.  I usually love all the shopping and baking, Christmas songs (that get started Nov 1st) and the baking, the crowded stores, Christmas movies and did I mention, the baking?  It leaves me warm and fuzzy and excited!

This year however, I’m feeling a whole lotta nothing.  Well, that’s not true.  I’m feeling conflicted.  As the year has worn on, and at times dragged on amidst a great many stress inducing, chaotic moments God has been working on my heart.

I feel like of all the lessons I’ve learned this year, the biggest one is to find a place of contentment.  Life for us here still holds a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions, heck life in general holds a lot of uncertainty for everyone and for the longest time I’ve been praying for clarity.  I’ve been asking God for answers, direction and at times, secretly wishing He’d send me a magic crystal ball to see what our future holds.

By nature I’m a Type A planner.  I make lists and then I color co-ordinate them, my grocery lists are divided into aisle and my days are generally very structured.  It makes me happy, it makes me feel like I can function, like I’m in control.  Being that, that is my nature don’t you think the best thing I could wish & pray for this Christmas is that elusive crystal ball?

The thing is, the harder I try to gain control over things, life, Audrey’s health, Bethany’s emotional struggles, the harder God works to show me one key thing.  He is God and I am not.  (ps. Thank heavens for that.  I’d totally hate to be responsible for telling the Mayans they were wrong!)

It’s taken the better part of 29 years but these last few months, more and more I’ve been feeling my heart fill with contentment.  I’m content with our home, our family, our life.  Some days it’s harder to relish in that than others, but at the core of it, I’m finding joy and contentment in just being, with trusting that since He is God then He really must have it all covered, and I don’t need to.

So, when it comes to presents and the commercial portion of the holidays it’s hard for me to get into it.  I love buy gifts for everyone, it’s still the best part, the problem is you have to venture into greed filled stores to do so and I find that exhausting.  You can’t walk a toy aisle without hearing 1 or 30 kids whining with a bad case of the “gimmies”, people who should be happy are over all grumpy and store clerks call me “Ma’am” and wish my “Happy Holidays” all in one sentence.  It’s enough to give any happy person a bad case of the Grinchies.

I am now and will always be SO happy to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Just as I am thrilled and excited to celebrate the death and RESURRECTION of that same Jesus Christ, because without it I would have no salvation.  It’s just that, all the rest of it seems lame this year.

I don’t want to think of things I “want” because wanting feels like it might kill my contentment and I don’t want to let this feeling go.

Maybe once I pick Bethany up from school today and Christmas holidays officially begin I’ll feel a little more festive.  Maybe I won’t.  It doesn’t really matter to me.  Christmas will be perfect this year, because no matter how many or how few gifts are found under our tree, no matter if it rains (probably will) or snows (hoping it might), or if we decide to watch 83 movies just because, we are going to love our girls, we are going to love our family and we are going to rejoice in the fact that a long time ago a baby was born, laid in a manager and with His very first breath, changed MY life and your’s forever.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16