Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winner & Staying Focused on Christmas

I'm just going to apologize right now and say my self-camera video skills are Zilch! However, I was able to get my winner for the awesome Star From Afar Nativity set on video, so here you go!!! Check it out to see who the winner was! 

Congratulations to our winner! 
Thank you for reading Running Through The Storms!

I mentioned in a post last week how we are trying to slow down our December. Already, I have to put the brakes on some things with people, gatherings, trips to the mall, decorations, buying things and realigning our priorities.

I'm reading on Facebook the frenzy of how much one should buy for their child's teachers, coaches, dentists or their friends to show  appreciation in terms of gifts. I get that we want to give gifts, to show how much we value a person and they're worth, but my question is this; Why aren't we doing this all year? Why do we choose Christmas to say "you're special" and I'm going to show you now? I'm not trying to put anyone down, it's something I've been struggling with myself. Why do I choose this time of the year? I can show appreciation 11 months out of the year, so why stress during one month of the year to buy stuff? It doesn't make sense to me. Does it make sense to you? 

At Christmas, Drew and I get asked to go to some amazing programs, events, gatherings, concerts, and family events. We love all of them, but we've had to say "no." It is never easy turning someone down, especially when you do want to spend time with them. In fact, you feel incredibly guilty, but the only way to have healthy boundaries, slow down your Christmas and keep your focus where it should be, is to say "no."

During the evening, we are trying to make it a point to spend a half hour every evening in quiet time. If you make the time, it's there. I know most people say they can't find it. Put the iPad down, turn the phone on silent mode and just make it a priority. Reading a book, drinking tea or reading a devotional continues to keep us both in check with the "quiet and simple" Christmas.

If you still are running around, wishing for a quiet slow Christmas, it's not too late! You still have 14 days to put slowing down into practice. Make a game plan and stick to it! 

Christmas was never about gifts, mall trips, programs, crazy decorations or buying gifts until our bank accounts were broke.  It was about a baby that was born in a manager. 

"While they were there, the came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night."
Luke 2:6-8

If the cloths of strips were good enough for Jesus, then they should be good enough for me. Nothing fancy. No big bows for his arrival. He was born in a stable. No fancy decorations, no beautiful home, no comfy guest bedroom. If the Savior of the world came into our world with nothing fancy, why do I take this beautiful holiday and make it something it's not? I'm very guilty of this. I'm so guilty of it, that I've been convicted it's not the way to approach Christmas anymore. 
If you're looking to change your focus this Christmas like me, let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts... 

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