Monday, November 25, 2013

if you want to change christmas.

a couple of years ago, i wasn't sure what to do with our family. where we'd gotten.
we had just opened presents and everyone moved from gift to gift seemingly unsatisfied. i don't know if you've been there, like us...the anticipation about gifts, then you get them, and then...

nothing.

you feel unsatisfied. that was it?
i'd never say that out loud...subtle thoughts for me. and giant words falling out of my kids. "i'm bored."
aw, yes. there i am. in my kids words, rolling around on the ground. "not enough".

and that is when God changed us forever.
(i'm working on some printables for you guys)

i knew i couldn't yell, just be grateful! anymore. it wasn't working, and somehow, it seemed like the opposite was happening. that Christmas, it was just a simple prayer and a simple inkling to change. on an act of obedience we cleaned out bags of toys. we prayed that God would give us a grateful heart.

help. 

and throughout the year, we did change. yes, cleaning out stuff. yes, giving junk away. but more than that, God seemed to be doing something different. we did a lot of repenting and still do.

you want more, right? 
i felt like the word MORE was important. not more world, just more Jesus.

i became more aware of my consumption. my desire to feed my heart with unnecessary stuff to satisfy my deepest craving. we decided to do one gift at Christmas. one gift to remind us of the anticipation the people must have felt when they knew their savior had shown up. like promised. all those pain staking years, looking and waiting for the savior.

one very small gift. nothing fussy. and it changed the world.
and that is what you will find under our tree.
one thing for each of you. it's all you need. can you see Jesus in that?

if you want to change the world, start small. start very, very small. very unimpressive.
like our savior coming, not born of a king's breed, not walking onto the planet as an amazing grown man. he came small and tiny in a barn to a regular old family.

it seems like small things aren't important when everyone around you is doing BIG. and NEW. and WOW. it's so luring and so deceptive. we trade getting more for...

nothing.

and there Jesus lays crying in hay with an exhausted mother and a father who doesn't know if he can stay.
pretty unimpressive, i'd say.
but did you hear how he changed the world?

this year, a small prayer is all you need. help. 
it could be that you're going to do advent this year.
it could be that you're going to pare down gifts this year.
it could be that you're going to support a child in haiti to go to school for a year!
 (thanks rachelle pichardo for taking these pics!)

it could be that you're just going to pray for God to change you.
it could be just looking in that direction.

it doesn't matter what it is. it matters that we are obedient to that small voice we hear.
the call as believers to change when we see the greatness of the cross.
to believe that the small things change everything.

perhaps the change begins this year.

10 comments:

  1. Great, great stuff! It's a quiet Truth that doesn't need bells and whistles to "pop" and stand out. I tire of the people who want to wow their readers with shock and awe. This has great style, but the Truth stands out more than the style, which is awesome! Thanks for this post!

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  2. I truly appreciate your family and these thoughts you've shared. We are simplifying our traditions and trying to focus on Jesus and others more each year too. Thank you for being honest, real and inspirational here. :)

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  3. Not to trivialize your post bc it's great and I love your perspective, but what font did you use for "light" and "world"? It's exactly what I've been looking for for a project. Thanks Jami!

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  4. I love this! BUT what did you do about gifts from extended family?!?! ;)

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    1. you really just have to focus on your own family. start small in your own family. for instance, we don't demand only one gift from our extended family...they are their own family. when you do this for a while, perhaps your family will jump on the bandwagon from seeing the change in your unit. but perhaps they won't. it's better not to fuss about what other people are doing. i know it feels like it's undoing what you're doing, but it's not. don't be discouraged. be grateful for your generous family.
      when they ask what you're kids want. say, "feel free to keep it really simple. all he needs is a pair of shoes." something like that. eventually you caould have a chat if it gets super out of hand, but i wouldn't go there unless it's insane. not worth the family turmoil.

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  5. I have the same question as Jenn - what about gifts from extended family? And just as importantly gifts for extended family? I really want to simplify Christmas gift giving. Most of our family really doesn't need more stuff - we all have more than we could ever use. But I know they don't see things the same way and don't want to come off like a Scrooge. Not sure how to deal with this.

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    Replies
    1. you really just have to focus on your own family. start small in your own family. for instance, we don't demand only one gift from our extended family...they are their own family. when you do this for a while, perhaps your family will jump on the bandwagon from seeing the change in your unit. but perhaps they won't. it's better not to fuss about what other people are doing. i know it feels like it's undoing what you're doing, but it's not. don't be discouraged. be grateful for your generous family.
      when they ask what you're kids want. say, "feel free to keep it really simple. all he needs is a pair of shoes." something like that. eventually you caould have a chat if it gets super out of hand, but i wouldn't go there unless it's insane. not worth the family turmoil.

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    2. I know I'm not Jami, but may I just say that for extended family gift giving we make home made gifts.

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  6. Beautiful...and so so true!! We did this last year after reading your post about how greedy your kids were becoming. Mine were too and I needed a change. I adored the peace that we had on Christmas morning...the kiddos playing happily with their one toy...hubs and I sipping tea and soaking in God's grace. Never going back...I finally enjoyed Christmas...and I have you to thank!! :)

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