I recently had the most wonderful conversation with my 14 year old son regarding Santa Claus. During a car ride home, my six year old began singing Santa Claus is coming to Town. After my daughter joined him in the chorus, my very wise eldest child (and co-pilot) turns to me and asks, “Who came up with Santa Claus anyway? Don’t you find it creepy? I mean, why would anyone be excited about an old fat man knowing when your kids are sleeping then sneaking in your house?” I BURST into laughter! My first thought was the Tim Gunn commercial for Lifetime. Believing strongly in teachable moments (and after we had both enjoyed a good chuckle), I shared the story of Saint Nicholas which left ME pondering the motivation of my own heart this Christmas season.
Nicholas was born to wealthy Christian parents during the third century on the southern coast of Turkey. His parents died when he was a young boy. As he grew older, he was convicted by the teachings of Christ and in obedience he used his ENITRE inheritance to help those in need and dedicated the rest of his life to serving Christ, even being imprisoned for his faith. How the story of this Godly man with such a giving heart and love for the Lord has turned into a fable of an “old fat man knowing when your kids are sleeping then sneaking in your house” is very unfortunate.
Since that night, jolly old Saint Nick (the real one) has been on my mind. I started looking at around at the people in my life, my church home, the town I live in, the place where I work, the schools my children go to and I became overwhelmed and completely humbled by my surroundings. As soon as I stopped focusing on the one part of my life that feels incomplete, I was able to experience the countless blessings that I couldn’t possibly begin to deserve! This revelation came into focus several nights ago:
Early December and evening has set in the crisp North Georgia mountains. Excitement fills our home as the much anticipated Christmas decorating festivities begin! Laughter and jubilation abolishes any remnant of sadness or worry as we prepare for Jesus’ Birthday celebration!
I remember being a little girl and how the pure joy of this moment would beam out of every pore of my being! After 35 years, that is one thing that hasn’t changed in me. I sat back and watched as my children decorated the Christmas tree with all the ornaments made by their own little hands; some not so little anymore. I cherished the sight and thanked God for the gift of that moment. It became clear that my selfish and undeserving flesh has not stood in the way of God pouring out His Grace, Mercy and BLESSING all over my life!
I have the most wonderful family and friends who inspire and encourage me every day!
I am ecstatic to be part of a church family whose desire is to obey God and run full force in His will. Where my children are learning more than Bible stories; they are learning what it means to be Christ-like and are actually going out and meeting the needs in our community. Where a single mother (as stubborn and independent she feels she must be) can rest assured that her babies will stay warm this winter thanks to her “family members”.
I live in a town where the people take care of each other whether they know you or not.
My children attend schools where they are allowed to celebrate Christmas! My six year old (who is being tested for learning disabilities) has a teacher who refuses to give up on him. EVERY child in her class is blessed having her in their lives! I’ve never known a teacher who gives as much as she does! What she teaches goes so far beyond textbooks and will be with my baby through the years as he grows into a man. She blesses this mother’s heart! I can only imagine how much she blesses the Father’s heart!
I have the most AMAZING job! I can’t thank God enough for placing me there. My patients bless my heart daily. I am able to work for one of my dearest friends! She is a brilliant physician and surgeon and although she has the prestige of being called Doctor, I have never met a more humble and giving woman. She truly cares about her family, friends and her patients; not just physically but spiritually. My ring tone for her sums up who she is to me: Sometimes I swear I don’t know if I’m coming or going but you always say something without even knowing and I’m hanging on to your words with all of my might and it’s alright. She and her husband totally win Mr. and Ms. Saint Nick 2010!!!
My focused has changed. Although the longing is still there to NOT be single, it’s such a small piece of void compared to the bulging blessings that fill the rest of my heart! I want to be a giver like Saint Nicholas and all the people I am surrounded by everyday! I don’t want to live in the fantasy of Santa Claus where the motivation of my being “naughty or nice” depends on what I can get! I have MORE than I could ask for and far more than I deserve.
Be a BLESSING as we go through this hectic holiday season. Let’s stay focused on WHO we are celebrating and what “gifts” we can give Him for His Birthday!