I’m not sure if this year is any different, but I feel more aware of my want
s. I have always
appreciated beautiful things—the shoes, the purses, the clothing, the Chip and Joanna style home—but for some reason this year feels heavier. The weight of the wants has been tripping me up a lot in the last few weeks, and the inability to have it all has left me feeling defeated.
During a recent trip to Target I was looking at the shimmering Christmas decorations, daydreaming of elegant parties around my table, stories being shared over a perfectly adorned meal, music playing, classy cocktail dresses, stilettos, and wine stems beneath twinkling white lights (Friends, I own dresses and stilettos, but my typical wardrobe is skinny jeans, a t-shirt, and flats. If I’m honest, my fantasy is flat out dillusional given my reality: mother to two young boys, freelancer, Lego-cleaner-upper…).
My daydream was abruptely interrupted by a surprising, but crystal-clear thought: “Don’t believe the lie.”
In an instant my visions of sugar plum fairies fell away like a shattering television screen, and I was once again standing in Target wearing my aforementioned jeans and t-shirt.
Those words echoed in my mind. “Don’t believe the lie.”
The lie that I somehow need more to live better; that I will never experience life apart from satisfying my endless list of desires. The lie that my worth is tied to my wallet, and that Christmas is going to be miserable unless it looks magazine perfect.
It’s all an illusion. And I buy into it. Often.
This lie has a strong grip on my heart. Its tentacles wind throughout the arteries and cavities of my soul. A one-time realization of the lie doesn’t fix it. I have to fight back moment-by-moment. I can’t simply say, “I see you in the corners of my mind, Mr. Lie,” and then walk away. I have to pick up a sword and start swinging, and keep swinging, and when that ugly lie rears its head again I have to swing some more.
One of the more powerful and effective weapons to win the war is to remember the plight of those living in nations oppressed and wartorn. When I see the images of children walking among tents because their homes have been overtaken by militants I am reminded of how much I have. Then I get to tuck my children into their safe, warm beds with filled tummies and two parents watching over their welfare. These are the moments that I am so overcome with gratitude for all that I already have that I can choose to be satisfied and give out of my abundance.
Side note: it’s tempting to feel false guilt when we remember the plight of those oppressed and wartorn. It’s tempting to feel guilty for the blessings and resources we already have. But that’s not what should happen either. God does not give blessings with a side of guilt. He gives generously, and we can fully receive the gifts that He has given to us with full, glad, and sincere hearts.
However, we are to hold with open hands the bountiful resources we have, even if the bank account doesn’t have a surplus. We can choose to not believe the lie that marketers want us to believe. We can be satisfied. Our appetite for more can be satiated by embracing the fullness of life given in Jesus, whose kingdom will not be thwarted, altered, or overthrown. Because of His coming, our broken cistern-hearts have been fully mended and are capable of holding onto authentic joy, gratitude, and satisfaction.
So this week, as you tie bows on packages, check off those final names from your list, and enjoy delicious meals around tables, drink deep. Take it all in. Refuse to believe the lie that you must have more. Christ has come for us. This fact means that we do not have to forego fullness, satisfaction, and joy, but instead can embrace and receive them.
Rest. Be Merry. Be bright.
Run Hard. Love Strong.