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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What drives you?


What drives you?

Paul spoke…”Imitate me as I imitate Christ”…I think my witness is…learn from my mistakes….to learn from my mistakes I must risk being vulnerable...

In my youth…my nature was lived in the extremes…when girls in college dieted to loses a few pounds…I starved myself…when others exercised to be in shape…I almost ran myself to death…

Even my coming into the Kingdom…all was required…I lost family and education when I gave my heart to Him…this way of coming only strengthened the all or nothing way.

So I took this all or nothing approach into every area of my life…raising kids…eating healthy…homeschooling…and Christmas…

This all or nothing mentality took me swinging on a pendulum…swinging out to the edges of any topic… how to homeschool…how to eat…how to do church…
how to raise kids…how to do Christmas….

I have swung deep and wide here…I was the queen of lets make a memory…we decorated with our matching homemade Christmas sweatshirts…making gingerbread cookies…with Christmas music playing all while…we baked… we decorated the tree…I sewed dresses for my daughter…each child had a homemade ornament every year…and the list goes on…

As God in His mercy would have it…I became so sick I could not longer keep this pace…maybe He was allowing the idol I was building to be dismantled…and I started being challenged about the how to keep Christ in Christmas…

So with my all or nothing approach I swung the pendulum the other way…I started reading…listening to others… asking others how they did Christmas…so we went from many presents to 3 because that is what the wise man brought to Jesus…we went from a big tree and homemade ornaments …to a smaller tree…to a Jesse tree(which I love)…to no tree at all…
until we had no Christmas left…

What drives me/you to these extremes?  It is fear…fear of not getting it right… fear of not doing enough...fear of other’s opinions…the wrong fear of God…
fear…is a powerful force…

I learned…if fear was driving me…than I could not be led…led by His Spirit…
Fear is a cruel taskmaster…never having enough…when God leads…
His ways are gentle…His burdens light…

Today I am thankful that the swing sways much more gently…I don’t have the answer to how to celebrate Christmas and keep Christ in the center…and to be honest…I am not sure we will ever arrive to a completely comfortable place… but what I do know is…with every question asked…every winding path taken…He comes and teaches…changes us…brings freedom accompanied with wisdom...because He never leaves us or forsakes us…His Mercies are new every morning…Great is His Faithfulness!

I know many of you have wonderful traditions... you may do many of the things I have written of here...the problem is not in what we do..
but in the why...
why are we doing what we do?

So I pray this Christmas season…you will not be driven…by fear… by the keeping up…by traditions…instead ...may He lead you and your family on the path He has for you this year…walking in the fullness of His Grace and Peace and finding greater freedom in Him. 


Here's another post...Measuring ourselves by ourselves.


Join me as I link up with Ann and Emily.

21 comments:

  1. Yes! He frees us when we give it all up to follow Him. Fear is debilitating but His yoke is easy. Great post!

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  2. Oh thank you for that prayer.

    "may He lead you and your family on the path He has for you this year"

    Thank you!

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  3. toshow...thanks for stopping by...being freed from fear is a wonderful thing...blessings to you...

    Heather...I am learning to let Him define holidays...one year at a time...

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  4. Can relate to this. Once my husband told me that every meal I make doesn't have to be the best we ever had. I didn't even realize the standards I created for myself until he extended freedom. We are spending Christmas in Phoenix this year with family and that has given me the freedom to be a minimalist at home. I don't feel stressed about Christmas this year.

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  5. "Today I am thankful that the swing sways much more gently". Amen friend, Amen.

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  6. ollie...thanks for stopping by...blessings~

    redemption...oh yes the pressure we put on ourselves robs so much...so glad you are having more relaxed Christmas this year...Blessings to you...

    Janae...He is gentle...learning to go through life less like a plow...a more gentle walk...oh His Grace...Have a blessed day....

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  7. smiles...thank you for turning our thoughts back to the why...it is a season in which we can get so caught up in trying to be everything to everyone...

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  8. "I learned…if fear was driving me…than I could not be led…led by His Spirit…
    Fear is a cruel taskmaster…never having enough…when God leads…
    His ways are gentle…His burdens light…" I love that the word of God has a "be not afraid" or "do not fear" for every day of the year. I hate the feeling of fear. I find most cruel actions are based in fear. Thanks for your words.

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  9. You are so right---it should be the why that drives us. I find Christmas being more and more different. I'm not sure the honest reason so I need to evaluate a bit and have an answer to why I am doing things different.

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  10. Brian...yes..motives...we need His grace there...

    happygirl...I hate fear too...and yes the most cruel actions are based in fear...blessings and my Love be what motivates us...

    Shanda...I have to stop and reflect often...we need His spirit to divided soul and spirit...blessing shanda...

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  11. Yeah, I've lived at the other end of the pendulum (the do nothing b/c I can't do it all end) for a long time. I never thought of it as being related to fear, though... that's got me thinking.

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  12. oh wow friend. a powerful post. i am a lot like you, so this really resonated. thank you for the conviction and challenge... xo

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  13. Katie...I thought for so long I was not a fearful person...then God showed me the many faces of fear...it was in my life more than I thought...thanks for stopping by...blessings as you walk in freedom...

    emily...those who have walked the "addicted" life...have so many common struggles...Praise God for the freedom He continually brings...blessings emily...xoxo

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  14. Thank you so much for visiting Ells.
    This post is so moving. I am thankful that He works in our lives according to our needs. He comes to us right where we are and gives His grace.

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  15. I tried to do things to prevent criticism. I'd hide to even my family the messy me because I didn't want the criticism - and I would kill myself to have everything perfect when they came to visit. That includes letting my kids be kids, too - that it's o.k. to miss it - instead of me working hard so they don't miss it and garner criticism. It's a vicious cycle. I'm letting go of that cycle. Still a bit bumpy - but there sure is more peace in my life - messy but peaceful, joyful!

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  16. Linda...thanks for stopping by...blessings to you...

    bluecotton...Oh yes...when my kids where young and my in-laws came...oh yuck I don't even like to think about it...but God redeems...and I think that I way I am so intentional now with my married daughter and daughter in law...don't get get bound up...I DON'T care what your house looks like...I don't want you to stress...lets just find a relaxed place to be together...so thankful for God's Grace...Have a blessed day..

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  17. Funny, isn't it, how easy it is to let fear drive us, instead of focussing on letting the love of God drive us! Thank you for reminding me to let God lead me.

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  18. rachel..thanks for stopping by...blessings

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  19. Your last paragraph says it all, my friend. To walk in the fullness of His grace....to walk in the fullness of Peace. Thankful with you this day...that we carry sweet freedom in Him. Blessings for a great weekend! ~ jen

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  20. Jen...yes...sweet freedom in Him...have a blessed weekend too...

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