Day 693: Leaving Luxury (Celebrating Advent)

20131203-102122.jpg

Advent season is here!

{If you aren’t familiar with Advent, the word derives from “Coming” and it starts four Sundays before Christmas… this year it started this past Sunday, December 1st… and it is when Christians anticipate the coming of Christ’s birth!}

I feel like, finally, everyone else has caught up with me and they are ready to celebrate Christmas now that Thanksgiving is over! (We decorated on November 1st so we’ve been in this mode for a while now!)

In the previous years I’ve always gotten a book or an app or a reading plan to celebrate Advent, but this year I decided that I wanted to do my own! It’s mainly happening on my Facebook, twitter, and Google+ pages where I am posting throughout the day on a typical focus.

My personal focus this Advent is giving to Christ. I mean, He has given me SO MUCH and since He is the focus, then I want to give HIM gifts. But of course, unlike my 6 year old, God isn’t really interested in Lego’s Lion Chi Temple… but He is very interested in me. in my actions. in my attempts to honor Him.

So each day has a focus like the past few days have had:

Day 1: Give Him your service.
Day 2: Give Him your praise.
Day 3: Give Him your luxury.

And I’m afraid that already Day 3 is going to be the most sacrificial gift of all.

Because for Advent, I’m going to give God the gift of giving up a luxury.

Diet sodas. Tea. Coffee.

On hold for the remainder of Advent.

Water only here.

Oh. my.

Because not having those things, well, it is going to get my attention… and that is why I am doing it. Like I said on one of my social media posts, giving up a luxury is like making a mental speed bump. It makes you stop and think, “Wait. I’m used to having this… why can’t I have tea? Ohhhhh! Oh yes! Because I can use this moment to direct my mind to Christ!

And really that is exactly what I want to be happening all through Advent… I want to be looking to Christ! Anticipating Him! And getting ready to celebrate Him!

Because when I really think about it, all of this “luxury” is really just stuff.

He is truly what makes my life luxurious!

20131203-101515.jpg

 

Day 351: Last Days

“Today is the last day. Then tomorrow I’ll get back on the wagon.”

Ohhhhhhhh, how many, many, mannnny times I have said that to myself. And said it to myself while eating something “wrong”. And, well, today was one of those days. It’s like I’m skipping past rationalization and just admitting to myself, “Okay, so I’m just gonna go ahead and sin today and then tomorrow I’ll get righteous again.”

So, I stood in my kitchen and ate my fourth muffin of the day after polishing off four biscuits from yesterday’s breakfast and said to myself “Today is the last day. Then tomorrow I’ll get back on the wagon.” And I might have added a little “It’s Christmas, after all” there at the end as well.

Santa's Food

Only, it’s not Christmas.

And, who cares? Even if it IS Christmas… why would that mean I should or could eat four muffins and four biscuits in addition to everything else I’d eaten for the day!?!?!

I dunno… maybe it’s that mindset of “Every day is a new day.”

But really, it’s not like all of those sins are washed away. I mean, yes, we sing that song. And, yes, when I meet up with God and am asked to account for my life, all of those sins will have been “paid for”. But, there will still be an accounting. I will sit with Christ and account for every moment of my life. every seed of hate. every wisp of gossip. every slide of laziness. every bite of gluttony.

And it’s not that I want to feel bad or guilty for those things… it’s that I want to choose good. I want to choose holiness. I want to choose righteousness. and purity. and power.

I want for those to be the things He sees.

In those true last days before I start my eternity in worship, I want for Him to sit with me and see the choices I made and look in my eyes and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant… Let’s celebrate together!Matthew 25:23

.

RANDOM ADDITION: By the way, I live in Texas… and we had snow… on. Christmas. Day. (I actually don’t like to go IN the snow, but it is pretty to look at and my oldest son thinks the stuff is awesome!) I stuck my head out in the stuff for about .4 seconds to get a pic of me in it! Ha!

Christmas Snow