Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Christmas Tree

This is sorta silly and I don't ever want to make light of God's activity in my life or anyone else's. He is amazing, awesome and all powerful, but what I find so amazing is that He doesn't have to be intimate and personal with us, but He chooses to. One little thing this holiday season is our Christmas tree. Typically I go all out for just the right live tree. I tend to be rather extravagant when it comes to Christmas trees. David and I have had major fights on what to spend on a Christmas tree. This is serious. Well, last year I bought just the right tree and then felt horribly guilty because of the big deal I made over a tree and how the money I spent on a tree could have fed orphaned children for a month. Soooo, this year on our way to get our tree, God reminded me of last year. By the time we got to the place we normally go to buy the perfect tree they were closed so we headed over to Lowe's. Somewhere between the two I was committing to not spending as much as last year, but didn't have a set price in mind. When we got to Lowe's they were closing up too. I asked the guy if he would let me in if I picked a tree real quick and he allowed me in. He had to turn the lights back on for me and everything. We walked in, he held up a tree and I said, "ok, we will take it" wanting to be true to my word. It didn't look like much, but it was a tree. The remarkable thing was the transformation of my human extravagant heart...suddenly the tree was in its rightful was just a tree....not a statement of my value or decorating ability, or a sign of our income or a prediction of the holiday was just a tree. We paid $30 for the tree and I was just thrilled. We brought it home and David put it in the tree stand and I said, "Well, it is not much of a tree...the best thing about it is the price...but, God could transform this tree like He did Charlie Brown's. He loves me that much." David just smiled and said, "yes, He does." I asked God to bless our skinny pitiful tree on my way to bed and woke up wondering if He had done that. On Saturday my sweet friend came to put lights on the tree for me (one of my favorite holiday traditions...and yes I know I am spoiled by her gift). Still, not much of a tree but the lights helped and we turned it a quarter way around and that was better, but still, the best thing about it was the price. Last night the little girls and Catherine began to put their ornaments on our tree. By the time they were done I looked at the tree again and said, "look at the is beautiful...look how full it is....God did it! He made our tree beautiful, just like Charlie Brown's" Of course everyone laughed, but no one could deny the transformation, nor could we account for it. Now, if you don't believe in Christmas tree miracles or that God cares about my tree one way or another, I would beg to differ. God cares that we can now sponsor another child for 2 months with the money we saved and He cares to teach my stubborn heart to trust Him and to watch with expectancy what He can do with my tiny steps of obedience. I am celebrating my tree this morning and the God who cares for me. Have a story to share? I'd love to hear it. With love, js

p.s. Another wonderful blessing of this season...we celebrated Davie Anne's 6th "I gotcha day" at Panda Express, her favorite restaurant. It was so fun. After that we headed next door to Chickfila where Matt was due to get off work and had some ice cream. It was a fun evening. All we were missing was Sarah and Chris :) Our other fun blessing is my Christmas present for the dog. Samwise Gamgee is now the proud owner of a Petsafe training collar and it has changed his life and ours. I can't believe we waited so long to be able to enjoy our dog. It is amazing!!!