A few days ago, I decided I wasn’t going to send Christmas cards. Thanks to social media everyone in my circle has, ad nauseam, seen what my children look like and are doing. There’s also the fine line between sharing what’s new and sounding like we’re bragging. I also cannot, I repeat cannot, send a Christmas card without writing something in it and I just couldn’t rationalize the time for that.
But yesterday I had an overwhelming desire to send Christmas cards. Although I’ll complain when I have to sign, address and put stamps on them two days before Christmas (that’s when cards get to you when you order them December 13th), I’m over the moon…that’s right, over the moon, excited I decided to send them.
One of the things God has wanted to free me from is my desire to please everyone. He has been working this year on helping me see me the way He sees me, that is, He’s been helping me like Laura. When we are people pleasers, for me anyway, it’s often because we are constantly worried we aren’t enough. Worried we’ll disappoint, upset or inadvertently annoy someone. I’m worried people will notice…notice all the things about me that aren’t perfect, Christian and are downright ugly.
What does my people pleasing have to do with Christmas cards? When God gives you the loving homework assignment to start liking yourself, it’s an unpleasant process. He weeds out a lot of pride, untruths and lies that are deep in our hearts and minds that we don’t want to think about or acknowledge. But I’ve learned this year, like anything God wants to free us from, once we begin to break free from that bondage, stress and exhaustion, we look back and wonder why we didn’t ask God to help us sooner.
I’m glad I’m sending a few Christmas cards out this year because it’s probably the first time I’m doing it because I’ve wanted to. I didn’t care if it seemed I was admitting to liking my kids, because I do.
I wasn’t worried (as much) about how my hair looked in our family photo or what I wrote about Christ. Although I’ve always been the crazy “religious” one in our family who has to over spiritualize everything, this year for the first time, not only do I not care everyone thinks I’m weird, I’m quite okay with it.
Why am I so excited about my Christmas cards? I guess because this year they symbolize the goodness of God. They symbolize the freedom we can have in the simple but heavy burdens we carry like constantly worrying about what people think of us. Christmas cards, this year, have reminded me the more I like me, the less I care if others don’t. And when I worry less about what others think of me, knowing I’m fully known and fully loved by God, I ironically also seem to be able to love others better.