Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Spirit.

I am off to quite the start this December...as usual, it seems this month just isn't long enough to squeeze all the activities and fun and memories into it. This morning, we had our first snowfall of the year. It was a doozy too...school closed, slick roads, and about 1o inches of wet, heavy white stuff.
My kids couldn't have been more excited, especially Ava (who is 2 and a half). I think she had all but forgotten what snow was since last year. She 's young...and hey, how many of us try to forget about snow only to have it reappear each year?! =) Her reaction was priceless. She happened to wake up last (actually fell back to sleep for a bit and then woke up last) and she walked right over to our patio doors and her face just lit up! She started dancing and screaming, "Look, Momma! Snow! Snow! Look, it's snowing!" She kept dance/jumping on one foot, and then she'd switch to the other foot. I think she stayed there for about 3 minutes. Which in 2-year old time is an eternity. =)
Soon after, someone went to the front door, and she started the whole thing again...the yelling, the dance/jumping; absolutely delighted. She stepped out in jammies and bare feet and picked up a handful of snow. She threw it and grabbed another, laughing the entire time. I don't think she even realized it was cold yet. She was so taken with the novelty of the snow. I'm not sure how long she would have stood out there, but I spoiled the fun. 'Shut the door...the wind and snow is blowing inside. Kids, it's cold. Shut the door, quick!' That was my response.
I wasn't being terrible or yelling or anything, but still, I almost felt bad about having to tell them to shut the door and keep the winter outside.
I won't forget Ava's snow reaction anytime soon. It made my morning. It made me wonder when it was exactly that I lost my 'snow innocence'. I really can't recall when I changed from loving the snow to looking at it as more of a nuisance. I didn't mind the kids being home from school today, and I even threw a few snowballs myself, but I'm not loving the fact that our driveway isn't plowed and our mail couldn't be delivered. I was trying to remember when my heart changed...and the next thing I read was my morning devotional.
It's from a popular booklet called 'Our Daily Bread'. The title of today's reading was 'Christmas Spirit', and it made me stop and think in a way I wasn't planning on doing myself. It started off asking how would you define Christmas spirit. For most it's about a good feeling, and all the lights and sounds this season brings. The next paragraph is where it got a little deep.

"J.I. Packer goes to the heart of this matter in his book Knowing God. He writes, 'We talk glibly of the Christmas spirit, rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity...It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the [temperament] of Him who for our sakes, became poor, ...the spirit of those, who like their Master, live their whole lives on the principal of making themselves poor-spending and being spent- to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, thought, care and concern to do good to others...in whatever way there seems need."
I read and reread that paragraph throughout the day. I don't think I've ever thought of Christmas spirit in those terms before. It made me realize that I still have a long way to go in my faith walk through life.
It made me stop and think about how much have I really sacrificed in my life for all that has been given to me in return? I have given up a lot, dare I say more than some, in this world...and yet it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of all my Savior has given to me. I hope this Christmas season will cause a deeper love, a greater sense of humility, and sacrifice for others as well.
Talk about a heavy topic for such a delightful time of year. I think my biggest challenge is striking the balance of the season in my life and home. We definitely had a dose of that going on today.
December 1- Realized the depth and meaning of the spirit of Christmas. Check. Decorated tree with kids, took pictures, baked cookies. Check. Enjoyed the gift of my family. Check.
I look forward to seeing the Christmas spirit grow in my life all month long. My personal challenge- for hopefully my whole life long.

3 comments:

Lauren said...

Jody,
Thanks for the reminder that I still have my "snow innocence". I tend to forget about it living in NC, since we don't see much snow here, but I get so very excited at the prospect of seeing it when we travel up north for the holidays! Just a flake or two can make my day! You have done your bit to "do good to others" and impart Christmas Spirit to me today!
Thanks!

jen said...

jody- thanks for visiting my blog! U actually have visited before.. I used to me jenmartin.. but i changed it cuz i just didn't like having my last name on there. anyways... love your blog.. i come and visit often. you are a special person that i look up to, even tho i've never even met u!

Anonymous said...

Amen