How was your Christmas? Good I hope.
How was mine? Oh, I cried a little. It was a good Christmas and all, but still I found myself crying at the end of the day.
I started preparing early. I worked hard to make everything perfect. I prepared my heart, prepared my house, and prepared my turkey.
But everything wasn’t perfect. It was average.
My vision of a Norman Rockwell picture-perfect family gathered around the table, was simply the Schacht Six plus 1 eating turkey and mom’s stuffing like they did every other year. Nothing was out of the ordinary, nothing was extraordinary, it was quick and simple and over too quick.
I told myself I wasn’t going to do this–compare myself to other moms, compare my Christmas to other families, compare my store bought shortbread to the ones my mom used to bake. But in the end, that’s exactly what I did. Again.
And then the disappointment set in. I got down on myself.
I’m a terrible mom. This Christmas is a disappointment. My table setting is so dull. My kids are going to move out and never want to come home for Christmas. My stuffing looks weird (it’s true–it did).
Maybe it was my time of month… Maybe it was the lack of sleep I had the night before… Or maybe (more likely) it was the enemy turning my attention away from those things that are good.
In Philippians chapter four, Paul writes:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
But how do we do that? If you’re anything like me, this kind of thinking comes out of nowhere when I least expect it. It lurks around the corner waiting for the ideal moment to bring me down. It holds on, and it’s hard to let go.
The answer is found in the same chapter. In fact Paul spells it out in the very next verse, when he tells us to practice:
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:9
There will be trouble in this life. Nothing will be perfect. Plans will fall apart. We’re living in a fallen world where people let us down–we’ll let ourselves down too.
We need to practice those things that we know to be true. We have to practice the things that we read in the Word. If we want a sense of peace and joy, we need to change the way we think, and what we’re focusing on.
The Bible says to resist the devil and he’ll flee from us. In order to do that, we have to make a stand. We have to be firm and persistent with our thoughts.
I’m changing my way of thinking. No I’m not perfect, but I’m growing in grace, and that’s a good place to be!
You are loved by an almighty God.
LOOKING AHEAD IN 2016…
Coming this February, we’ll be doing a series on the four loves: philia, eros, agape, and storge. I’ll have all kinds of details and a FREE printable study guide available in mid January here on the blog.
In the meantime, click here for a sneak peek at the 30-day prayer journal I created to go along with the study. Amazon offers a peek inside! Oh, and just so you know, the journal is an optional addition to the study.
For more information, visit Amazon.com
And here’s another little peek at the inside…