A Heart Three Sizes Too Small

The holidays are killing me. I’m running my legs off to satisfy the “musts” in my head. MUST decorate the house beautifully so the girls can feel Christmas. MUST send Christmas cards to friends and family that Must have the baby Jesus front and center. MUST bake tons of cookies to give away. MUST have a present ready for each person I fear will give me one.

And none of it is going well. I baked a ton of cookies, but my blondie bars wouldn’t slide nicely onto their sticks for easy chocolate dipping. My chocolate hardened into something undip-worthy even though I used my double boiler. I ran out of time to decorate my meringues. The cards? I haven’t even started them yet. Tension while we decorated the Christmas tree (Rosie insists on tackling anyone sitting on the floor, Chloe whinny that she’s too short to do the star, Ron tired from a long day at work, Mommy not at all enjoying the people I call dear.) I pulled out a Hail Mary and managed to look peppy and Christlike while we unwrapped the nativity. I oohed and ahhed about baby Jesus and told Rosie how important He is. I’m a great actress.

I’ve been noticing some ugly attitudes forming like a cloud in the back of my mind. Jealous of other people’s flawless looking families. Lonely because Ron has been so busy. Coveting and feeling sorry for myself because we always have to pinch our pennies. Last week I hit the lowest point I’ve felt in years. And it surprised me. Well really, it humiliated me.

I thought I was stronger than that! I thought I had gotten over most of the sinful attitudes and garbage that plagued my younger years. After all, we’re leading a Bible study now because we’ve come “so far.” Then here it all was, back again. With a vengeance. Ron and I spent most of last Saturday snapping at each other and I averaged at least an hour and a half of crying. That’s so not us. We never act like that anymore. What the!

And don’t get me started on the extra poundage. There is NO TIME to diet or exercise. And cheese filled foods call to me this time of year. It’s cold out and I want to eat things. Any things. All things. I completely fell off the diet wagon. With my metabolism—or lack thereof—I have to LIVE on an eternal diet. If I’m not watching what I eat, I immediately start gaining. There’s this never ending fluctuation. Diet, lose a little weight, feel better, eat some cheese, gain the weight back.

I have to live on a diet to maintain happiness with myself and my curvy figure. When life gets busy and I stop paying attention and let the calories flow, I don’t like myself. It is constant. It never ends. And yesterday, God opened my eyes to a parallel.

Likewise, I have to live on a steady diet of focusing on Jesus.

When life gets busy and I lose sight of Him, my malnourished spirit starts being herself. My dad called me Thursday morning to check on me because I sent my parents this pitiful, “pray for me, I’m losing it” text on Wednesday. Since they aren’t used to texts like that from me, they called several times to check on me. On Thursday morning, I told my dad all about the awful person I had become over the last couple of weeks. His words opened my eyes and helped me find my footing. He said, “Of course your acting that way. That’s who you are. That’s who you will always be.”

But God.

Who we are without Jesus is always the worst of ourselves. The only thing good in me comes from Christ my Savior. When I look away from him, those same bad attitudes, those same covetous eyes are going to come back again and again and again. I MUST stay on my diet! I MUST pick up my Bible and feed my soul with the Bread of Christ because it is a proven fact that nothing good dwells in me. I can’t enjoy the holidays with a malnourished heart. Heck, I can’t enjoy an easy day in June with a malnourished spirit.

Jesus is so good. He redeems my garbage every time, happy to have me back at His feet and kindly forgetful of all the yuck I thought about while I was straying. Once I let Him have the throne back, I humbly noticed all of my blessings. My sweet funny kids. My loving husband. My pretty home. And on and on and on. So many I’m crazy ashamed of myself for looking longingly at my friend’s.

I’m back on my diet. (The Jesus one, not the “no cheese” one. I’m going to eat cheese for a few more days….) My perspective is fixed and the holidays hold the promise of precious time to celebrate the King of Kings with my family. And with you. 🙂 Whatever your MUSTS are this season, don’t neglect to worship the One who came to earth to bring us a reason to celebrate.

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