Saturday, December 13, 2014

Places Not to Shop (Unless Really Cute)

A friend of mine has daughters. I have daughters. And when it comes to Christmas lists - unless you ridiculously rock at parenthood by keeping the holidays focused on hand-knitted tea cozies, crockpot soups, and baby Jesus - your daughters might also make a list of places NOT to shop (unless really cute)... with an added *Don't be Cheap* for good measure.

Kind of like this:

It's one page out of my friend's twin sixteen-year-olds' Christmas list "packet." I think it's adorable. And when I showed it to my almost-eighteen-year-old, she couldn't agree more. Only she would've swapped out Target for Ross. ("Ross is so ghetto!")

Now, now. Easy on the "materialism - that's what's wrong with kids these days" spiel. Just think, what materialistic visions of sugar plums danced through your head when you were sixteen? For me, Christmas joy was dependent upon Lancome's $55 skincare line - big bucks for 1988. (Now it's Dove Soap and a jar of coconut oil.) 

But was fancy skincare really reaching for the stars? Sure, my mom got it for me. And sure, it was aMaZiNg... and to this very day, I still give Lancome props for getting that cute baseball player to remember my name and glance at me as we passed each other between 3rd and 4th period.

But what if my parents had something bigger in store? Why, it didn't even cross my mind. My Christmas wish lists always seemed to stay within the realm of reality. Wait, hold on... I think during my senior year in high school I asked for: "A rugged man who doesn't ask if he can wash his hands the second after petting my dog." Which actually (thank-you-Jesus!) became my reality a few years later. (Jeffrey Eugene, woot woot!)

**(Attention all sissy men! If you absolutely must - like, you're gonna DIE if you don't - wash your hands after petting a potential girlfriend's dog before leaving her house on a first date, do one of three things:  1. Don't ask for permission. Just march into the kitchen and do it. [There's just something weird about the asking.]  2. Wait until you use the restroom at the restaurant - but don't be in there forever.  3. Risk death! People all over the world cuddle and play and watch TV with their dogs - while snacking even - and die of something completely unrelated thirty, forty, SEVENTY years after the non-handwashing event occurred.)**

Now that I got that out of the way, where was I? Oh yes - what if I never "controlled" what I got for Christmas and instead TRUSTED my parents to give me something extraordinary?

Errr, scratch that. Still convinced they needed my help.

Okay then. What about... now that I'm a big girl... I start trusting God, a God who never needs my help, to give me something not only Christmas Day extraordinary, but everyday extraordinary?! 

You see, I've got these phenomenal hopes and dreams and longings - a wish list a mile long - awkwardly mixed with fear and worry and feelings of inadequacy. 

What's a girl to do? I know, go shopping! (Duh!) And at places I shouldn't be shopping at: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Kohls, and Target. But before I do, I'll recite the following poem or "declaration" from author and speaker, Beth Moore:

I am not in control.
I cannot control all my people.
I cannot control my situation.
Even when I want what is best, I cannot control the outcome.
I cannot make people behave.
I cannot make people believe.
I cannot make people be strong because I am not God.
He alone knows the end from the beginning.
He alone knows how this thing will turn out.
I, hereby, fire myself from His job.
And, I agree to see my fight for control as what it really is...
A screaming testament to my distrust.

Merry Christmas! And by the grace of God, may all your hopes and dreams and longings come true in the New Year!

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