Several people have had things to say about my word for the year, and I should say first of all: if you're kind enough to care that you may have hurt me on facebook or in the blogosphere, it probably wasn't you.
And it wasn't just one person, anyway, or regarding one topic. I could compile a list of all the posts I allowed to disrupt my inner peace last year, and guaranteed: your mouth would hang plumb open.
It's my problem. I have an anger problem. I have a getting-over-it problem.
I've been trying so hard to pray and work it out, and it's probably even more complicated than I realize or can articulate, but I'll tell you right now: I'm incredibly apt to judge a judger. So sad. So sinful.
Also, I think what we say and how we say it matters. I'll never utter or write a word for which I won't take personal responsibility, and I'm not going to lie: I think everyone should operate that way.
And then there's this: unless I've sought your advice, or unless you're one of my trusted advisors (and you'll know if you are!), I would prefer that you not tell me what to do. Tell me what you do, by all means. Tell me a story, your story, any story. But don't tell me what my story should be.
So. Santa Claus. I read this post before Christmas, and I'm not going to link to it or name the blogger, but she was writing against the whole Santa Claus thing, and it was even more than that. It was a call to action: a "mothers stand with me" type thing.
And you know, my own pastor's against the Santa Claus thing, and it doesn't bother me. He doesn't make me feel pressured to do things differently. He doesn't make me feel judged. Upon reading this blogger's post, on the other hand, I felt more discouraged than I've felt in a long time.
I wanted to put my head down and cry. Am I feeling convicted? I asked myself.
My children know that Christmas is Jesus's birthday. Charleigh played with our nativity set all season; in fact, I think "Joe" lost another body part. We participated in the Bethlehem Walk. At our church, the girls blew out candles on a birthday cake for Jesus, and we attended Christmas Eve service. And--as he does every year--my daddy read the Christmas story to us straight from his Bible.
Our Santa Claus works in a copy shop just down the street. We visit him throughout the year, and he passes the girls little cards that say: "Santa caught me being good." My children were the only ones in the copy shop when we visited in December; Santa changed into his fancy clothes just for them. He held them and loved on them for the longest time. It was beautiful. I flat-out refuse to believe our Santa has stolen anything from anyone...including Jesus.
And you know something else? True conviction of the Lord never makes me want to give up or quit. True conviction of the Lord never makes me cuss under my breath. True conviction of the Lord never makes me want to punch out a sister.
Now, let me be careful and clear here: it's not my place to judge my sister's heart or intentions in writing that post. I'm not bold enough to say that post wasn't of the Lord or that He didn't intend those words for someone else. I will even grant that He may change my heart over the Santa Claus thing down the road. God doesn't change us all at once, you know; if He did, our heads would pop off.
All I'm saying is: I allowed that blogger's words to discourage me during this season of my life and that--especially since it wasn't the first or only time I've felt discouraged by them, recently--I don't intend to return to her blog.
|Jesus's Birthday Cake|
|Christmas Eve Service|
|Yes, there's an elephant in there. There was also a tin man, at one point, and a police officer.|