A Christmas Heart Transplant

In 2007 I completely rebelled against the greed, commercialism and frenetic activity of Christmas.  It hurt my heart to see how we were supposedly celebrating Christ’s birthday by throwing lavish parties – but He was not invited. What was the point of this whole “holiday season?” I rebelled to the point where I did not put up a single decoration in our home, send out Christmas cards and I sent most of the designated gift money to Africa.  It was the perfect year to do this because we were off to spend that Christmas season with my pregnant daughter Michelle, her husband Tim and my two grandsons Matthew and Austin in the small, country town of Grassy Lake, Alberta. I loved everything about it. The simplicity of Christmas Eve in a small country church – candles burning, carols sung off key and excited children running up and down hallways eagerly anticipating their goodie bags. The serenity of the quietness and slow pace in the country, playing with my grandchildren and adoring my pregnant daughter was exactly what I needed. “This is what Christmas is all about.”  Or is it?  I have agonized on “how to do Christmas in this season of my life.”

This Christmas we will have 13 of our children and grandchildren coming home for the holidays. This is not the time for me to go into my Christmas funk, and I knew I needed a supernatural Christmas heart transplant. I prayed and asked God to give me a right heart for this season.

It began on  December 5th as Jack and I started hauling decorations from the basement and turning our home into a magical Christmas kingdom.  Once the lights were on the tree and the love ladder was in place – excitement pulsed through my veins. Jack kept coming into the room and repeating, “Oh honey, it looks so beautiful – it looks so beautiful!” Each light and bobble began to represent a treasure of love in anticipation of seeing my grandchildren’s faces beam with excitment. I wanted to shower them with love.

As I write this I know that daily God is continuing to change my “Christmas heart.” Through prayer and intentional focus I have to take my eyes off the Christmas mall madness, the money wasted on useless toys and gadgets, the angry line-ups and overindulgence and shift my focus to one deliberate purpose – “that everyone I encounter would know God’s divine love.”

Every present I have wrapped, each Christmas event I have attended; banquet, concert or a special night with a friend, has been with the sole purpose of experiencing the gift of God’s divine love to me, and the people in my life.

I refuse to let the Christmas madness sabotage my soul again.  Yesterday when Jack and I finished making the last bed for our company, and as I placed chocolates on all the bedroom pillows, my heart said, “I am ready.”  My son Donovan and his wife Erika will be arriving this Friday December 19th, and I can’t wait. The next day Ken, Janice, Brendon, Alex Ryan and their friend from Germany will be driving up from Courtenay. After that Tim, Michelle, and their children Matthew, Austin and Mya will be driving from Grassy Lake, Alberta. Our house will be bursting at the seams with games, laughter and preparing meals.

It is my Christmas Prayer that in everything we do and say, God will ambush our home with His divine love. A love so powerful that years from now we will be able to say, “Remember Christmas 2008 – wow, that was the best Christmas ever!” 

 

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3 Responses to “A Christmas Heart Transplant”

  1. Heidi ~ I am bursting with anticipation of the fun that will be happening at your house! What a blast. I pray too, sister, that His ambush would occur in all of our homes. The cool thing about our God is that He is so powerful He can ambush us all at the same time. Love ya.

  2. David L. Harris Says:

    Christmas 2007, on this day last year my wife and I sat in a hotel room, waiting for the phone to ring. At around 11:00am it did, it was a doctor from Stanford Hospital telling me to come in at 2:00pm.

    On 25 December 2007 I received my 2nd Heart Transplant.

    God Is Good

  3. Larry Dieno Says:

    Heidi
    I am with you on this. I cannot stand the commercialism of Christmas and each year for the past three I have tried to encourage my rather large family to cut back on the presents and stuff. Each we have made a little progress and our charitable donations have gone up. Our older kids agree that Christmas is not about the presents but about the time spent together enjoying each other’s company and love. I do like the lights on the house and the decorated tree part though, it helps me to relax and feel the spirit of Christmas.

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