Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Jesus costs too much!

Tomorrow I am heading to Little Rock with some gals from school for a couple of days at a Reading Conference.  I am so excited about the conference and the things I will (hopefully!) learn. 
While we are in Little Rock, I am pretty sure we will do some shopping and eating!  I personally don't have a whole lot of shopping to do.  Over the past month I have done an excellent job (for me!) at ordering some Christmas gifts for the kids.  In fact, I have all of Elise's Christmas shopping finished!  I have been detouring Elise from seeing the UPS, FedEx, and USPS deliverers and have hid the gifts well (or at least I hope so!). 

SHHHH....Don't tell Elise the hiding spot!

The Christmas season is beginning!  Downtown El Dorado businesses have began their open houses.  The stores are beautiful!  The City is doing their Lighting Ceremony on Thursday.  People are putting up their trees!  Oh my!  Didn't we just take all that stuff down???

I tried my hardest this past week to get in the "spirit".  I thought that a visit to Seasons or Wreaths and More would motivate me to put up the Christmas tree.  I even purchased some wrapping paper and a few decorations while I was there.  But it is just not happening.  The pumpkins are still working just fine for me.

My Christmas "motivation" pile!

When I was shopping last week and having such a hard time at getting "antsy" about decorating for Christmas, I remembered the story about Ethan.  Our Ethan has always been a interesting kid.  The things he says is so random.  The way he does things is so....so....I can't even describe it.  He has always been like that.  Very obedient for the most part. (He has caught the teenage attitude bug lately, urghh!) 
Ethan and Tyler at the Razorback basketball game

A couple of years ago Ethan was really into playing Farmtown on Warren's Facebook account.  He was very committed to making sure he harvested those crops.  He would plant corn, rice, pineapple trees, and Christmas trees all together on a 5 x 5 piece of "land."  I would periodically check on it to make sure he was doing what he was supposed to.  On this particular day, Ethan and I were sitting on the couch.  He was real excited about his plot of land.  He showed me all the newest things he had a bought.  He had some new palm trees, a pond with a yacht in it, and even some camels.  As he moved around on his land something caught my eye.  It was a nativity.  Wise men, Mary, Joseph, Angels, animals, and a stable.  But something was missing.  Jesus.  I looked at Ethan confused and said, "Where's Jesus?"  Innocently he replied back to me, "He cost too much."

"And this will be a sign for you;
you will find a baby wrapped in cloths,
and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:12

Every year at Christmas I remember this conversation I had with Ethan.  I remember the shock I was in when I saw his nativity.  He had everything else about Christmas perfectly placed.  Bought. Wrapped.  Hung.  But no Jesus.  He had the story in mind.  The important story there.  Good intentions.  He wanted Jesus, there just wasn't anything left.  So Jesus had to be left behind.

The Christmas season is here and I don't want to miss HIM.  I don't want to have good intentions and no Jesus.  I don't want to have everything else perfectly in place and realize I  have no more money or time for Jesus.  I need to choose wisely how I will "spend" this Christmas season.

"For a child will be born to us,
A son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

I will soon need to put that tree up.  We love it so! We love all the fun that goes with it!  The music, the HOHOHO, the candy, the gifts, the excitement like a child.  It is the most wonderful time of the year!
Elise, Uncle Wade, Ethan, Santa (Warren), Tyler, and Poppa Gene.  Christmas 2004

 But I cannot let beautiful tinsel or gorgeous red ornaments get me in the "spirit."  Instead I need the ONE who makes all things beautiful and shed His blood for me.  I need Him to fill my heart with His Spirit. That is what Christmas is all about.  I don't want to miss HIM!    I don't want to be shocked that I missed Him in 37 days when I am taking that tree down. 

"Do not be afraid;
for behold,
I bring you good news of a great joy
which shall for be for all people..."
Luke 2:10
"...a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11b
Put on your shopping shoes, check that list twice , grab that big handbag, make memories, and be sure to stop for  a Starbucks along the way. (I suggest a caramel brulee)  Just be sure you don't pass Jesus by as you go.   Happy Black Friday Shopping!

Elise, Warren, Ethan, Poppa Gene, and Tyler.  One of the very last time Poppa Gene played his fiddle.  Christmas 2004