What’s Your Reason
We’ve all heard it; Jesus is the reason for the season. Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head…. We’ve all sung it….. But, do we really get it? DO WE REALLY GET WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
As an adult, I always struggle around Christmas. I have plans of what I am going to do with the kids to make sure we celebrate “The Reason for the Season.” I think as parents, we all struggle with doing the “right” thing and then struggle with “who are we doing it for.” For example, we are in Church every Sunday morning unless there is a sickness or we are out of town. We don’t miss church just because we don’t feel like going. That being said, I can promise you there are SO MANY days we get ready and show up because “it’s what we are supposed to do.” We sit through service while checking off our grocery list, making notes for what needs to be done later in the day, or making a plan for the week etc…. Some Sunday’s, we pull out of the parking lot and I don’t even look back on what I heard. I just continue my day as is it was a box I checked off for the week.
These past few weeks, I can hear Him in my heart and head…. How can you celebrate “The reason for the season” when you aren’t even putting me first every day? That hurt to type. I AM A CHRISTIAN. I GO TO CHURCH. I TEACH SUNDAY SCHOOL. 3 OF MY 4 KIDS HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS AS THEIR SAVIOR. I LOVE JESUS….. But I hear it. It is LOUD AND CLEAR. Kendall, how in the world can you find peace at Christmas, trying to teach your kids it is all about ME and you don’t live it out. Outside looking in, you got it together girl. You do everything you are “supposed” to do. And in reality, it is nothing at all. It is nothing when I step back and look at “the reason for the season.”
You always hear the analogy, “God loves us more than our parents could ever love us.” Ok, that sounds nice. But as a parent, I know how my heart literally aches for my children. Then I think about the one who created me, put me on this earth, gave me the most amazing husband, and these precious little souls that are my children. What do I do with all of that? I take it like I deserve it. I take it like it was mine to have in the first place. I take their health and well-being and I walk around with it like there is no one to thank for it. I AM A CHRISTIAN. I GO TO CHURCH. I TEACH SUNDAY SCHOOL…. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. Who cares. I can hear Him saying, “Kendall, it is not about what you are, where you go, or what you do. I just want you.”
When I think about my own children, I think, what if they said to me, “mama, I go to school, I make good grades, I stay out of trouble, I help other people, I do good things… but I don’t want to make time to be with you.” DEVASTATED I TELL YOU. I WOULD BE DEVASTATED. This is exactly what we tell HIM. When we decide Church isn’t where we want to be on Sunday (only if you are showing up to hear the word and not make your grocery list.) We are telling HIM this when we aren’t investing HIS WORD in our children every single day. We are telling HIM this when we aren’t leading by example to our kids. We are telling HIM this when we allow ourselves to put everything else life has to offer in front of HIM. We are telling HIM this when we look at these precious souls that he has given us and take them like we deserve them.
I have friends that go to church every time the doors open and they WORSHIP HIS HOLY NAME. I also have friends that don’t go to church, and they still WORSHIP HIS HOLY NAME. This isn’t about going to church. You will never find your happiness in the Church. They are just people with flaws like the rest of the world. This is about finding your relationship with Jesus and hearing HIM, and obeying HIM. How many times do we have problems that we try to fix on our own? Every Day. How many times to we fall to our knees and beg HIM to open the truth to us? Not often enough. I love Jesus. When I say His name, it makes my heart ache like it does when I think about my kids. But the difference is, I DO for my kids.
That Baby in the manger wasn’t put there so we would all have a story to tell. That baby was put there for US. He was born to die. The angel told Joseph, “For He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus wasn’t surprised by this. He knew he was born to die. Christmas really isn’t about this cute little baby born in a manger. The salvation isn’t in his birth. Jesus came to earth to reveal God to us. To teach us the truth, to offer us His kingdom, and to show us how to live and show God’s love. But those little hands and feet would one day be the same hands and feet that would have nails driven into them, so we could have life. And every single day, I take that for granted.
So, this Christmas I am challenging myself. I don’t want to just tell the story anymore… I want to live the story. I want my kids to LOVE HIM and I want them to see me LOVE HIM. Not because “it’s what we are supposed to do” but because “Mama loves him so much, she can’t help herself.”