Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Handballs and Barbie Heads


Christmas 1983 was the year of the handball. A real playground-quality handball! I was 10 and couldn't think of anything I wanted more, except for maybe a Barbie head.

And I got both. A handball for my scruffy side. A Barbie head for my non-scruffy side. And all was right with the world.

Fast forward to age 15, and forget about playground-quality handballs and Barbie heads with seafoam green eyeshadow that never went on as dark as I would've liked. Didn't matter anymore. My own head was the Barbie head now, and I finally discovered makeup with staying power: black eyeliner.

And with that came a Christmas list that had "Lancome's Skincare Line" written at the top. I thought it was a very sophisticated thing to want (but still a toy), and I HAD to have it. It was an absolute MUST if that cute baseball player was going to notice me as we passed each other between 3rd and 4th periods.

So what is it with toys and Christmas, anyway? Just like this adorable, "I want a toy" video shown in church on Sunday, it's GOT to be a toy or nothing. (Click here to watch!) All hopes for having a spectacular Christmas are dependent upon getting a toy instead of a boring sweatshirt. (Or, Lancome instead of Oil of Olay.)

Now fast forward to age 40; has much changed? Are my hopes for Christmas joy still found in the perfect present? Not really. But let's be honest, I've replaced toys with other things now...year-round things...things ranging from shallow to very shallow to not shallow at all: new carpet, white teeth, adoring husband, tall boots that fit my calves, financial security, a car that works, healthy kids, healed relationships, a sound mind.

Anything short of getting all of that, and I find myself in "but I want a toy!" mode. It's not a very joyous and peaceful mode to be in. Not pretty at all. It's only "cute" when you're three.

But I'm a grown up now, both in years and in knowing my God has always taken care of every need. The "needs" of this world are false and fleeting. But what God offers lasts forever. So why not continue knowing him another 40-plus years? And putting my hope in his presence, not in presents.

"I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13



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