Thursday, December 15, 2011

Confession 213: The Santa Talk

When Chris and I first had children we decided that we were not going to do Santa with them.  It was actually Chris who felt most strongly about it and I just went along for the ride.  Five years later I have to say that I really enjoy our no Santa policy.  It simplifies Christmas and, for me, helps keep the focus on Christ.  Don't worry, I'm not some sort of Santa hating zealot.  I respect that others really enjoy having the Santa experience with their children.  It's just something we've chosen not to participate in.

That said, when our five year old came home from preschool yesterday and told me that his teacher had told him Santa was real and he lived at the North Pole, I was stumped.  As I looked at his sweet, innocent, eager little face I just didn't know what to do.  Childhood is so fleeting anymore.  If I told him Santa wasn't real, would that be just another pin prick in the fabric of his innocence?  On the other hand, could I suddenly change course while Chris was at youth group and start a new tradition of Santa with the kids?  What to do?

In the end, I decided to go with the tried and true method of a quick nougat of truth followed by immediate deflection.

"Honey, Santa's not really real, but there was a St. Nicholas who lived a long time ago and put presents and candy in kids' shoes to show them God loved them!"

"Saint Nicholas put presents in kids' shoes?"

"Yeah, they left them outside on Christmas Eve and he would come and put presents in them while they slept."

"Wow, that's funny.  I want to put my shoes outside on Christmas Eve!  Can I do that and you put presents in my shoes?"

Yes!  Awkward situation averted!!  Of course, I did have to tell him before school today that the Santa's not really real thing was a secret between us and not to tell the other kids because some parents like pretending Santa is real.  Did I do the right thing?  I don't know....but waking up to a shoe filled with goodies would be petty cool! :-)

Blessings and Peace,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Confession 212: Plans Change

Lately, I've been feeling like I had my life more figured out at 25 than I do at 35.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!!

To read about a change of plans, go over to Seeds of Faith where I'm posting today.  It's a cool site full of encouragement for the journey.  I'm also linking up at Graceful.

Blessings and Peace this Monday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Confession 211: A Legacy

I've been working on a Bible study over the book of Matthew for my Bible study ladies during the holiday season and thought I'd share it here.  This week's focus is on the idea of legacy.  

As I was reading the first few chapters of Matthew I was struck by how God moves through time, sometimes LOTS of time, to accomplish his purposes.  I was especially interested in the lineage of Christ. Throughout the lineage of Christ, we see the passing of a faith from generation to generation.  Through all of Israel's ups and downs, there were people who took to heart God's command in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to pass on the commandments of the Lord.  Take a moment and think about your own lineage of faith.

1. Who were/are the people in your life who have passed on the knowledge of God to you?  In what ways has your faith been passed down to you through the generations?  In what ways are you passing your faith onto future generations?

Some of us come from a long line of faithful witnesses who lovingly and steadfastly passed down their faith.  And yet for others of us, that faith was something we had to seek out on our own outside of our family tree.  If you look back at some of the names in Christ's lineage, you will find some pretty nasty fellows who, according to the books of 1st and 2nd Kings, "did evil in the eyes of the Lord."  And yet, God was able to bring Christ to us through them, in spite of their determination to turn from God.  In the opening chapters of Matthew we see God's master plan coming together in some very unexpected ways.  As Priscilla Shirer states, God goes "BEYOND the beyond" in working out his master plan!

2. How has God surprised you in his plans for your life?  In what unexpected ways have you seen God working to bring about his goodness?
Finally, in chapter 4 of Matthew we see God's proclamation at Christ's baptism, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased."  In this moment, we see an innocent Jesus taking on the sin of humanity--becoming the substitute sin offering for us.  He knows how this all will end, and yet he is willing to take that first step which will ultimately lead to the cross.  And taking that step of devotion and obedience pleases God, for that is what God desires from each of us.

3. What steps do you take in your own life to show your devotion and obedience to God?  Have you felt God saying to you, "This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased?"  If the answer to that question is no, then take a moment today to give yourself that affirmation.  Because it is true.  You are God's daughter, and God is pleased with you.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.  Deuteronomy 8:6

Blessings and Peace,

My Family

My Family

My Family 2

My Family 2