It is the Christmas season...and it's only a week away! Wow! One of the more "popular" blogs out there does a wonderful Christmas Tour of Homes. How you play, is that you take pictures of all of your Christmas decorations in your home, post them on your blog, then link to her blog. I stumbled upon it yesterday and there were over 700+ links to other blogs, all of these women showing their homes and decorations. I thought, what fun!!! I LOVE to get new ideas and of course, to peek into other people's homes. Well, I got a lot more then I was bargaining for.
After the first few blogs that I visited, I started feeling sad/bad about my own circumstances. The pictures on these blogs were amazing! The decorations were incredible and gorgeous, and the homes were absolutely beautiful. I started looking around my humble little rental home. Most of my furniture hand-me-downs, hardly anything on the walls to decorate. For Christmas, I only had up our very tiny and very sad looking tree (that we had bought a few days before). I had started the comparison game in my head. I don't know if you ever do this, but I start comparing what I have to other's and then a feeling of "not measuring up" comes in. I was thinking....there is no way on God's green earth, that I would ever post any pictures of my very sad x-mas tree...and it being our only x-mas decoration at the time, next to these beautiful homes and gorgeous decorations.
I finally just stopped looking at the blogs and shut my computer. That's when God started speaking. He reminded me very quickly that last year, I didn't even have a home. (We were in our nomadic period of staying with friends/family before we moved to Brazil.) He also reminded me that Christmas isn't about decorations or how "pretty" your house looks. It's about Jesus, and the condition of our own hearts. When I looked into my heart, it wasn't very "pretty". I had a lot of lies and ugly things to get rid of before my heart would be truly ready and "beautiful" for the spirit of Christmas.
Since then, I've been looking around my house and appreciating everything I do have. (Even my sad and tiny x-mas tree!) Now I am so thankful that I have it! I have a home, my wonderful husband, my spunky son, baby Dawson on the way, and a very blessed life. I'm doing the most to make my home filled up with as much "Christmas Spirit" as possible. And that doesn't mean any fancy decorations, but the condition of our hearts.
Renato and I have talked about some family traditions we can start now with Camden and carry with us wherever we are in the years to come. Some traditions that aren't about what we buy or put up around the house, but what we fill ourselves with. We want to fill up with joy, peace, and love, then spread that to those around us. We've talked about what we want to do together Christmas morning as a family, and start some fun traditions like a special breakfast, and other fun activities.
With my heart changed, my home and all of my very minimal decorations are so beautiful to me. I can't wait for Christmas morning to share with Renato and Camden the joy, wonder, and blessing of our Savior's birth. AND, now that I have my heart cleaned out and "beautiful" once again, this evening I'm sitting with my husband on the couch, in the light of our little tree, listening to beautiful Christmas music, drinking some hot tea, and thoroughly enjoying that tour of homes on the blogs once again. I'm loving looking at all the beautiful homes and gorgeous decorations...without even a hint of the comparison game sneaking in!
Thank you Lord for changing my heart and opening my eyes to You and all You've blessed me with.