The star on top of our Christmas tree is crooked. In fact, the entire tree is prone to leaning.
Our top-of-the-line tree stand is no match for the thin, soft trunk and we’ve been battling it since we first cut it down. The irony is that it’s one of the most perfectly shaped Christmas trees we’ve ever had.
I’ve climbed up the step ladder multiple times to try and fix the star and felt a new level of sympathy for the dad in ‘A Christmas Story’ as he wrestled their star and blew out all of the light sockets in his battle with the tree. Well, the battle with the tree and 1940’s electricity.
But, after these many (failed) attempts, I finally decided that this was going to be the year when we had a crooked star on top of the Christmas tree.
And I was going to be ok with it.
When I informed my husband that I had made my peace with the crooked star, he was shocked.
Let’s just say that the word “perfectionist” has been used to describe me from time to time.
But, the reality is that so much of my mindset about these things has shifted in recent years. While I’m always going to love decorating and keeping a tidy home, I no longer allow my mind to be so preoccupied with the things that turn out to be simply beyond my control.
And, I’ve begun to hold more loosely even those things that are within my control.
It seems fitting that our tree with the crooked star overlooks my cherished nativity that was the one used throughout my childhood and then given to me by my mom to use in my own home.
Every time I walk past this room, I’m reminded of just how much grateful I am that I’ve reached a place in my life where I’ve never been more confident in what I know to be true about myself, God, Jesus and reality itself.
All of the striving and trying and attempts at perfection can fool us into thinking that we don’t need the one thing that will actually bring us the freedom for which our souls are longing. The longing that was actually created in us with intention and purpose.
My crooked Christmas tree star reminds me of just how much I desperately need a Savior.
No matter how many times I could try to ‘straighten’ myself out on my own, I will always fall short. Yes, I could attempt to solve this by convincing myself that it’s simply a matter of being a good person. But, who defines good?
Do I define it?
Does the government or the culture get to define it?
There must be some external standard of goodness against which we measure ourselves.
And, mercifully, God knew that even if I acknowledge Him as the source and standard of all that is good and attempt to serve Him in everything I do, I will still fall short.
So He sent His Son and took on human flesh as the solution for my inability to work my way into worthiness.
This is grace.
John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The rescue for our souls came in the form of a baby but as my one of my favorite authors, Greg Koukl, likes to say, “Every nativity should have a cross hanging over it.”
I’ve been on a tremendous journey over the past three years. One that has brought such depth and richness to my walk with Christ. The maturing that has taken place has been humbling as I’ve grown in the confidence that I CAN know what is true, know how to explain and defend that truth and that it’s not simply ‘belief’ in the way that so many of us understand that word.
We are a culture that is plagued by phrases like “my truth” while we watch everything around us fall into a state of utter chaos and confusion. The longing for THE truth has never been greater but, at the same time, there’s never been a greater need for people to provide clarity to that chaos and confusion.
While I love to open my home to you and share my thoughts about decorating, cooking and family life, there is nothing I can share with you that is more important than the love of Jesus Christ. And I hope that my home is a reflection of that whether you are figuratively or literally walking through my front door.
This Christmas, my prayer is that you will see all of the beauty and joy of the season through the lens of the One who created and holds it all in His hands.
“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” ―
Merry Christmas dear friends,