Three Reasons I Stayed Off Of Facebook Through Advent

It wasn’t a hard decision. Wasn’t even hard to follow-up. For Advent, December 1st through Christmas, I decided to stay off of Facebook. I used it still for work and for this blog. But I stayed off the social part of the social media app. And I am so glad I did!

I Didn’t Miss Anything.

People still told me when someone died or when someone was upset. I even got all the good news. Some even shared their funny videos with me from their own phones. What I didn’t get was the hatred, polarizing opinions and slander. It was pretty awesome. And look! I lived to write about it.

I Didn’t Compare My Already Pretty Good Life To Other People’s Highlights

My life is pretty good. Two healthy kids. A husband who loves me. A job with purpose and a decent home. But just like the rest of us, my life can get messy. And I tend to compare my messy days to everyone else’s triumphant days posted on Facebook. So, this year I decided to remove the temptation to compare. I am sure some of you went on amazing vacations, got amazing gifts and had your long lost family members come to visit you for Christmas. And you can tell me all about it when you see me next time. Which leads me to another reason I logged off.

I Enjoyed Actual Face Time

Lunch dates. Breakfast Dates. Just evenings at home with my family. I laughed a whole lot with people that I love a whole lot. It’s so much more satisfying to lose 3 hours talking with a bestie than to lose them scrolling through Cyberspace. It filled my cup so much and I enjoyed the season way more than I have in many years.

I had the best Christmas that I’ve had in a long time. And believe me when I tell you it wasn’t because of the gifts. It was because I chose to spend more time with the ones I care about most, to guard my heart against the lies of comparison and to live in the moment given to me tied up in a precious bow from my Father in Heaven.  Every moment is a gift. And I am so glad I paused to enjoy each one.

Continue Reading

The Sacrifice of Christmas

It’s Christmas. My girls are actually getting along, the house smells of freshly baked ginger snaps and is filled with music saved only for this time of year. It’s kinda picture perfect. More like a miracle.

Among all the busyness and cheer of the season, though, I’ve been pondering something much more critical. The birth of Jesus is the reason to celebrate Christmas. We give gifts to those we love, tie them in a bow and move on with whatever the next year brings. But I am thinking of Mary today.

Believers know that Mary was visited by an angel of the Lord who told her she would bear a child. Born to save the world. Her immediate obedience and faith is astounding. She doesn’t seem to blink an eye at this news. “Let it be so,” she says. I don’t know about you, but when I found out I was pregnant with my first born, I fell to my knees and cried. There was so much uncertainty. I had never been pregnant before. I was miles away from my hometown and I had no friends at the time. I felt very alone and my child was just an ordinary baby. I had dreams for her life, and what she would grow to be like.

I think of Mary and what her mother’s heart must have been dreaming for her child. Mary knew her child would be born as a sacrifice. Even a as a sacrifice for herself.

Let’s just camp out there for a moment and discuss the difference between death and a sacrificial death because they are very different. We are all born and we all die. It is everyone’s destiny. So, when I hear songs and read stories about how Jesus was born to die, it doesn’t impact me as much. So what? We all die.

Born to be a sacrifice. Now that catches in my heart.

To sacrifice something, according to my friend Webster, is to accept the loss or destruction for an end cause or ideal.

Back before Jesus was born to be sacrificed, people would offer up their best lambs, goats, cattle etc., in order to be cleansed of their sins. It was a filthy practice, actually. Ironic, huh? Beauty becomes filth to be made clean.

So, I am thinking of Mary in the filthy stable filled with animal waste, old hay and dirt. She’s giving birth to a perfect child. A child that no doubt she prayed over, wondered what he would look like and even thought about his future. How long would she have him? How long before she would have to say goodbye to her son? Before he was sacrificed…for me? And for you.

It gives me a new meaning to Christmas morning. It makes me think of Jesus’ little birthday party very differently. We were all born. We will all die.

Jesus’ difference is the sacrifice.

Continue Reading