The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

grinchIt’s wonderful and fun and smells like peppermint and cinnamon. You can’t help but be in a good mood! After all, it’s Christmas, right!?

This may seem pessimistic, but more than likely, there’s something hiding under that cheery holiday smile. Maybe it’s disappointment or pain. Spending Christmas without a loved one. It could be any number of things.

I want to talk today about one of the “Grinches” that can easily steal away our Christmas spirit and how you can keep him out of your life.

Expectations

Let’s be real. I have these crazy expectations around Christmas. It’s not about other people or gifts or even the weather (well, that’s not exactly true). But I have expectations for myself.

I’m going to spread joy and make people’s day. I’ll be on top of things. I’ll make it perfect.

Maybe you get that way too. And then there’s that sick feeling in your stomach when you miserably fail at perfection. I get it. And I hate it.

All those months of letting God speak to me and change me into someone who’s content and confident in Him. And then a few days into the season, BAM. I found myself crying in the car on the way home from a Christmas Eve service.

Why?

Because I’d failed myself. I had these stupid expectations that I could be someone who was good at everything. I could be the girl who seems invincible, who’s always smiling and who people love to be around.

Let me tell you a secret; I can’t be that person all the time. It’s exhausting.

But the fact that things don’t feel right, and there may be legitimate pain under the surface, doesn’t stop the power of God.

I love how the apostle Paul writes; “But He said to me  ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness, that the power of God may rest upon me.”

You see? When we have these expectations, we fail, they fail, the world fails. But aren’t we all a bunch of failures anyway? Without the grace of God, we’re out on the first strike.

But because of His grace, it doesn’t matter whether you have a Pinterest perfect Christmas, or you can’t get the tree to stand up right.

Because of His grace, we can show grace to others knowing that we’re all imperfect.

Because of His grace… Jesus.

Jesus. Everything about Christmas is about Him. Our lives; are they not about Him too? Our fears and failures; are they not accepted and forgiven by Him? Our hurt and heartache; can it not be healed by Him?

Jesus. Not only is He the “reason for the season”. He’s the key to our lock. He’s the answer to our questions. He’s the baby to our manger. He’s the star to our night. He’s the Christ to our Christmas.

I want to wish a very Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers!

May the Lord bless you and your families this holiday season!

Love and blessings,

Moriah

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Have you had a “Grinch” come to steal your Christmas before? What expectations can you give up this year because of grace?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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Something More

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2:19 pm

Twas the day before Christmas.

I was hiding behind my computer screen trying to come up with something brilliant. I had to get this post out before Christmas.

Writers block had been hindering my thought process for some time and the excitement of the holidays was really getting to me. I had to make something up. Like they say, “Fake it till you make it.”

I began thinking about how we hide behind this mask of the internet and social media. We create an image of who we want people to think we are. We try to look smarter, happier or stronger than we really are because we think people will respect us more. It’s a facade.

Facade – an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

I wondered, how can I relate this to Christmas?

Then it hit me. Jesus did exactly the opposite when He came to this earth.

Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himeself…”

Our amazing, all-powerful, all-knowing God came down to us as the Christ child. “Illegitimately” born in a dirty barn in Bethlehem into a carpenters family. That’s pretty humbling.

He could’ve been born into a royal family and shown His power from day one. He could’ve ridden into Jeruselam in a golden chariot. He could’ve reigned as a king on the earth and forced everyone to worship Him.

But that’s not how God works. He chose a young teenage girl who had commited herself to doing His will to bring forth the little life that would save our souls. He chose a humble carpenter to help raise His one and only Son.

Luke 14:11 “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

In light of this, how are we to celebrate Christmas? Surely not by superficial festivity with a barrage of self-gratifying nonsense and somehow relating it all to the birth of Christ. Because honestly, Christmas must be something more.

I want to challenge all of us (myself included) to rethink our concept of Christmas. Let’s not put up a facade and just try to make it to the new year. Let’s be humble and celebrate the real things. Not some made up story, but THE story of how God saved the world using people like me and you.

The Gift in the Manger

I heard this beautiful Christmas song on the radio today and I just wanted to share it with you all.

Remember that Christmas is about the greatest gift, God’s love and grace poured out on a sinful mankind.

This song is called “2000 Decembers Ago” by Joy Williams and asks the question, did anything or anyone understand the glory of God and His Gift who was born that night? It made me ask myself, do I see and understand His gift now? Am I living in response to God’s mercy and forgiveness? Enjoy!

 

Blessings,
Moriah