Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gearing up for the Holidays

Being on Thanksgiving break has afforded me the opportunity to blog a bit earlier today...so nice :)  
I've got a question; what kind of feeling do you get when you see this picture?

I know for me, it brings a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of cinnamon, warmth, jingle bells, Christmas songs, red and green, hot chocolate, snow, sitting by the fire in my pajamas reading a book, and the smell of Christmas trees. 
I don't know what it is, but this year I just absolutely can not wait for the whole Christmas season to start.  
Actually, I take that back....I think I do know why.  Over the last 2 years or so, amidst all of the craziness, God became a reality for me, and you know what is crazy?  After thinking (and I mean really thinking) about whether I believed what I said I believed or not, I came to realize that for the longest time, I had been riding on my parent's beliefs and not making them my own.  Yes, I knew all of the right answers to the Shorter Catechism, and Bible stories, but I think that's all they were to me; just stories.  Ya know, that word, stories, can get to you after a while - you can almost start to think of truths as fables.  I did without even realizing it.  

Well, I had always heard that at some point in your walk with Christ, you would have this moment when you come to a crossroads that made you decide to either follow Him fully, or follow the world. 
I guess I was expecting a huge defining life crisis that would bring me to this point, but that's not what happened with me.  
It really has been a gradual process within the past 2 years that God has been super kind in taking me through.  It's a cool thing to be able to say:
"I am not the same person that I was even 2 months ago."
He continues to sanctify me daily (and let me clarify something.  None of this is because of anything that I've done....it's God waking up my dead heart!)
and so that is (the long version :) why I think that I am looking forward to Christmas this year more than ever before.  I believe that I am finally beginning to understand and be thankful for the this season of celebrating Christ's birth.  

Oh!  Haha.  Why am I talking about Christmas, when Thanksgiving hasn't even come yet!?!  (some of my family members would shoot me....NO Christmas until after Thanksgiving type of thing....)
SO, I want to end this post with Thanksgiving.  I've got a huge list of things that I'm thankful for, 10 of which I'll list here:

1. Salvation
2. My family 
3. That group of guys from our Church who came over this past weekend to help us work on our basement

4. Christmas
5. My new iPhone that I got for 99¢ (whoohoo!)
6. All of the family that will be coming over for Thanksgiving (can't wait guys!)
7. Cozy, icy, gray weather like this

8. Friends
9. The chance to relax and think about plans for the future
10. The fact that I have never been in any REAL need of anything.  

In America, we are blessed more than I think we'll ever know or truly realize.  
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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