My Not So Picture Perfect Advent Project
Does anybody feel like the month of December lasted about 30 seconds? How are we starting a new year already?! I thought I’d start this new year, by recapping some of our Christmas break- and giving a little dose of reality check for us all.
Remember that Advent calendar I made? My three year old loved it! It was fun to see her excitement as she exclaimed, “What’s in there?!” before she opened a box. But you want to know real life? On more than one occasion we had to do several boxes in one night. Real life was me scrambling 2 minutes before we did it, trying to make or find the symbol that belonged in that box, because I never did get it all completed before.
Real life was the gingerbread nativity we made for one of the Advent activities we did. It looked like this… hahaha (laughing is acceptable. )
Our stable completely broke apart, some wise men lost their heads, and the legs of baby Jesus’s manger came off, making him unrecognizable.. We were so tired after making them, we decided to forego decorating and actually putting it together, and just let the kids eat the burnt, broken pieces.. 🙂
Ah, isn’t that the way of it? We get these great ideals of how things will go perfectly. We’ll have the perfect Christmas, with the perfect family moments, and the perfect lessons learned.
The trouble is… nothing about this world (or me!) is perfect. We get sick. Our cookies burn. Basements fill up with water. Our tempers flare and before we know it our three year old is looking at us asking, “When you talk to me, can you not do this…” (and she proceeds to raise her eyebrows). Haha, oy.
Oh, but the amazing thing is, God takes our messiness, our broken days, and imperfections, and he redeems them for His glory, not our perfect ideals. Amazingly He takes a frustrated “mom look”, and turns it into an opportunity to share that the gospel is not only for my daughter, but her mommy as well. He takes unwelcome sickness and turns it into an opportunity to remember our strength only comes from Him. He takes an angry three year old tantrum, and turns it into a time when we see our little girl openly confess to something else which she didn’t even have to tell us.
God takes our messiness, our broken days, and imperfections, and he redeems them for His glory, not our perfect ideals.
God had a different plan this Christmas; the same one he has for this New Year, and the same one He has for next Christmas. Interestingly enough, it’s the same plan he had that very first Christmas- to redeem our days, to redeem our brokenness, and redeem our hearts… to bring what was once far away, closer today than it was yesterday.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Join My Newsletter!
Each month I send out a newsletter that highlights some of the small graces I’ve been drinking from that month. They might be music we've been listening to in our home, a story of God's kindness, or a new-favorite recipe.
When you sign up, you'll also receive a free download of a collection of writings about the way God uses memorials in our lives. I hope you'll join!