Monday, December 06, 2010

Change of Heart

I started this Christmas season longing for a different focus. I wanted my kids to see the meaning behind the season.

I made a list of places where we could give. I looked up their phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. I emailed a handful of local social service organizations in the area.

The longing in my heart grew and so did my frustration.

I waited on email replies that never came. I put out the list of phone numbers but never found a calm moment to call.

I've mentioned this a few times recently- I'm having trouble keeping up with my day-to-day life. At the end of the day -and often right smack dab in the middle of it- I am depleted.

I cannot erase the desire to give from my heart or reconcile the difficulties of a busy life.

Is it possible that my life just doesn't lend itself well to giving?

My heart's cry is that I want less of me.
I cannot erase the desire but I can change my heart.

I've realized that the havoc that might be created with a stressed-out mom taking 4 kids on a service project isn't what's necessary.

That's not a change of focus for Christmas. I would have put a check mark besides "Giving" but it wouldn't have come freely- out of love. That's not what I want.

I can give to others from my life- from my heart.

I want to live what I believe. If my heart is full of a dedication to God this season, the kids will notice. If my desire is to serve God, I will see opportunities to meet needs.

I've decided to focus on my community. My neighbors. My friends. Teachers. Other Parents. Clerks at the grocery store.

In some ways, it is only a heightened awareness (stepped up effort) to something I was already working on. I may only be able to offer babysitting, cookies, a meal, a friendly conversation- but I will give what I can, without reserve. I will look for ways to meet needs and offer kindness.

We may still donate toys or food locally but I am committed to showing love to those around me in new and personal ways.

This is where I focus on loving others for Christmas.


jonah and becky lang said...

I really enjoyed this post. I usually have a lot of good intentions for "greatness" but what I really need to do is love the ones I love well.

sharon said...

So well said. You can make a difference and have a different focus without signing up for more activities, even if they are good activities. In your season of life, you will be able to really influence your kids' hearts with peaceful giving as it comes naturally. I know God will give you opportunities. It's not local, but I'll tell you what we did last night. We all sat around with the World Vision gift catalog and bought presents "for Jesus", a new mom and baby kit, seeds for a family, and medicine. We did this all cuddled up on the sofa and then we all put our money in, whatever the girls had to give was fine and then we prayed for the people who would receive these gifts. All done without leaving the house and we were in our pajamas. I can't wait to hear more about the opportunities you have to reach out to others in your community. Love you!

Pam said...

Such a good perspective, Jane Anne. I am learning many of the same kinds of lessons in this season I find myself. God has stripped me of so much of myself, and in its place I am finding freedom from my misguided heart attitude and a surge of His view of this holiday. Thanks for articulating what's been planted in my heart.

aerotatt said...

as one of the friends you have offered help to, I say Thank You for your assistance and offer of more. You are a wonderful, giving person.