I've never really had a hard time with leaving the "Christ" in Christmas. Yes, I'll occasionally, in shorthand, substitute and "X" but find no heresy in that since X is the first letter for Christ in the Greek, an actual symbol for Christos. All good.
It's actually the "me" in Christmas I have a hard time taking out. Ok, so there's not officially an "m" and an "e" together in the word, but there sure as heck is a "me" in my Christmas.
Fear not, I am not about to rant and rave about the awfulness of gift-receiving or last-minute shopping or making Santa requests because goodness knows those 3 things send my adrenaline into overdrive and make me smile every twelfth month of the year.
It's a different kind of mind shift.
And not just in December.
For about the last 10 months, I have spent a considerable amount of time inside my home. For a couple of months I was too large to go into public since the crane wasn't always available to remove me from getting lodged in the front door. After that, I had 2 tiny munchkins, who, along with their 2 siblings, required ENORMOUS amounts of time getting out the door. Though we do get out and about a couple of times a week, it's not near the daily excursions I was used to in bygone years.
So that's left me with a lot of time inside my head. A lot of "How can I maximize my purpose on earth while spending the majority of the next couple of years inside with the same 4 tiny people?" type questions.
I have made a lot of specific goals in regards to my home, my wifely attributes, values I teach my little ones, daily routines, etc. A laundry list really.
But all of this spills out from my main life purpose on this earth: to love Jesus and strive to live a life that exemplifies Him - whether that's to the 4 tiny people I see everyday or to my favorite Publix cashier (and I WILL stand in line an extra 7 minutes just for her) or to a neighbor that drives me bonkers.
It's a mind shift of taking not just the "me" out of Christmas, but taking the "me" out of my life. Because it's not mine. It's Christ's. And when I can fully grasp that this life, this Christmas, is not all about me, it becomes a MISSION to live it for Him.
The Advent Conspiracy we've been talking about this month at church has really opened my eyes to the theme that's been residing in my head for many months now.
I don't at all see it as just a December thing.
to worship fully
to spend less
to give more
to love all
How those 4 things look to each individual is what makes it beautiful. The potential for changed lives - breathtaking.