The other day I had a startling revelation:
I’d developed a sudden aversion to Instagram.
After digging through the inner recesses of my mind (you have to remember, I used to be a therapist, so finding the “why” of even the most trivial matters was, and is, important to me), I figured it out.
I was tired of seeing all those danged, gorgeous Christmas trees.
This has been a month of people giving home tours and showing off their incredibly-decorated, model-home worthy Christmas trees. There are even Christmas-tree competitions.
And quite frankly, mine doesn’t measure up.
Here’s a picture of our tree, in all its 7-foot artificial glory. It isn’t fancy. In fact, I think most would probably think it looks kind of shabby.
If you look closely, you’ll see my ribbon is askew and there are mangled ornaments surrounding the tree skirt, which is kind of like the ornament graveyard. Because I *gasp!* let my kids go near it. There are some burnt-out bulbs, and areas of the tree where the branches aren’t as thick as I’d like them to be. Every evening I have to do my tree-fixing rounds to try and get it to look more presentable.
Despite it’s flaws, the tree is special to me. I couldn’t imagine trading it for a designer Christmas tree, even for a day. Just about every ornament has a history, commemorating first Christmases, vacations, special occasions, and on and on. Every year each ornament goes on with a story that goes something like, “Do you remember when we had this ornament hanging over S’s NICU basket?” “Do you remember the shop where we bought this on our vacation?” “Do you remember…?” Remembering is important to us.
So even though it may not look it, this hodge-podge tree is special. It is beautiful to us. And because it is my family’s tree, ours is the only opinion that matters.
And you know what? I can relate to the hodge-podge tree. There are times I feel like I’m not as beautiful, or as fancy, or as special as all those other trees out there. I definitely fall short of perfection. Sometimes parts of my life are askew. And I feel at times like I just don’t measure up.
But when I take time to ponder it, I know that’s okay.
Because there is someone who sees the special-ness in me. Someone who has lovingly crafted who I am and who continually works to beautify me. Even though I’m far from perfect, He loves me anyway. And sometimes I can imagine Him saying things like, “Remember how you felt when you lost your daughter? Now you can help R., who just lost hers.” “I know you are feeling deeply hurt by S., but remember, my Son went through that too. And now you know how to respond.” You see, remembering is important to Him, too.
He wants us to remember that His gift to us is the reason we have Christmas.
And even though that’s something that’s especially important to remember at this time of year, the gift is for every single day. All year long.
My imperfect tree reminds me that God sent His Son because He loves me. He loves me when I look frumpy, He loves me when I’m sad, He loves me when my house is messy, He loves me when I exemplify the good qualities He has given me, and He even loves me when I royally mess up (which happens often). And His is the only opinion that truly matters.
He also loves you and each of us, no matter how we may appear to the rest of the world.
And that, this Christmas, is something worth celebrating.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
For an uplifting video message about the true meaning of Christmas, watch here: