Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keep me from temptation

Did you like that video?

I've watched it at least 5 times, and each time I've been convicted. My heart is greedy. I might want to spend to give a gift, but I have to evaluate-

is it because I don't want to put time and thought into the gift?
.... or maybe I want to avoid my own internal debate - what could happen if I didn't fulfill this obligatory need to give

... or am I worried about the possibility of awkwardly having to slink around a gift given to me that won't be reciprocated....

- just who is it that I'm afraid of?

Psalm 27

1 Light, space, zest— that's God!
So, with him on my side I'm fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.

2 When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,
I'm calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I'm collected and cool.

4 I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet.

I can't stand in fear of what I think other people might think. Most people who know me will know that I am, if anything, self assured... and rarely do I shy away from doing things out of a lack of boldness. But I am still motivated by the thoughts of others. Usually, it's my thoughts of what I think others will think about me.

So for this Christmas season, it means focusing my heart on the Savior - God's great sacrifice, a gift to us. Drawing to Him for my strength and rebuking the enemy's tugging my credit card out of my wallet (no, I know, that is my sin, not Satan's, but he sure likes to tempt me.) I am choosing to put a little more thought and love into what I will give, and I hope some of it will be more of the intangible, and less of the spend, spend, spend. I have really enjoyed Amanda's posts on 31 days of Peace during this season of Chaos... if we turn to the prince of peace, I think the gifts of presence will be ones that will be remembered much longer.

My best Christmases have been these past few years, as an adult. Nothing can replace the sense of joy in giving gifts to our children. There are needs that were filled, but more so, to see them connect with something that they have longed for. What parent doesn't want to give good things to their children? (is that scripture??) Unfortunately, we have struggled with understanding that there are cons to giving freely to our children - the children are prone to spoiling. Not only are we wanting to lavish good things to our children, but so are many of our family members. We are very blessed to have such generous and loving family. But when we all came together and filled a literal room with gifts, our children were surrounded by material possessions and were unable to truly find the treasure in any of it.

A few weeks ago, at our church's women's gathering, we talked about our Christmas traditions. A.T. shared the concept of the
Victorian Stocking Tradition

Something to eat
Something to wear
Something they need
Something to read
Something to play with
With this simple list, I still am able to give to our children, and hopefully, they will see joy in simplicity. We will not be completely outlawing gifts this year, but we will be doing less spending of money and more spending of ourselves.


  1. Good words, Sarah.






    More love.

    You've got it all, girl.

  2. I love the Victorian Stocking list. I'm going to use that myself -- though I could still go broke doing that list with six kids!


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