The Gift of Sacrifice

This Christmas, and honestly the past few Christmas’, went so incredibly fast. It seemed like this entire season just came out of nowhere. In the past, Christmas always took forever to get here because of the anticipation of new gifts. Now, I just want to spend time with my ridiculously humorous family.

The thing about getting older is that you start seeing things that you wouldn’t have seen as a kid. You see the look that someone gives someone else when a comment is made, you see the light on someone’s face when they get a present they really wanted, etc. As a kid, you are focused on one thing: PRESENTS. What amazing toy did I get? How many amazing toys did I get? Did I get more and better gifts than my cousins? etc. Christmas was always about what did I get? (at least it was for me).

This past Christmas I saw some amazing things my family members do and have done almost all of my life that I never realized.

My family knows how to serve one another.

I look at my grandma who has served my grandpa faithfully her whole life, especially during his declining health these past several years. She serves him all day, everyday. She puts his needs before her own because that is what you do in marriage. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. That is dedication and sacrifice. On Wednesday, my grandma opened a gift that my grandpa helped create (with a little assistance from my mom, aunt, and myself). It was a little time book of her and my grandpa. Just little snippets of their life together. I was beyond excited to see her face when she opened that gift. Of course it was emotional for her, but I didn’t realize how much this affected me. That day I realized how dedicated she is to my grandpa. That moved me. I got to see the gift of sacrifice.

I look at my uncles and dad who serve their dad (my grandpa) who is suffering from Alzheimers. They make sure he has everything he needs in order to function and receive the care he needs. On Wednesday, my oldest uncle walked around with grandpa (he can’t sit still for long) nearly the whole afternoon making sure he didn’t fall or hurt himself. My other uncle and dad drive out to the nursing home several times a week to check in on him and give him care. They serve their dad because their dad raised and served them their whole lives, despite his flaws. They give back because without their dad they wouldn’t be here. Even though life was difficult at times, at the end of the day it’s their dad. They are called to serve and care for him. Honor your father and mother. It doesn’t stop when your dad is 90 (or 95 or 100 as my grandpa seems to think that’s how old he is). It doesn’t stop until the day they die. Dedication, sacrifice, love. I see it now, the gift of sacrifice.

These little things normally go unnoticed. No one seems to think about how amazing that is. When you give up a part of your desires to serve and care for someone else. I think that is the most noble thing a person can do. It is a PERFECT picture of Christ. Christ gave up everything for His Bride, The Church. I see the characteristics of God alive and well in the faithfulness of my family.

Thank you, family, for showing a selfless love that Christ calls all of us into. You have inspired me to look at the needs of others before my own. The gift of sacrifice goes a long way.

Praise God, y’all, Praise God.

Feelers

Lately, I’ve been thinking about emotion. We feel a lot. That’s something that makes this life so crazy. We do things based on how we feel. If it’s too cold outside, I will more than likely stay inside and stay bundled because I don’t want to be cold. If I’m hungry, I will do what I can to get some food. If I’m tired of my same clothes, I will go buy a new outfit. You get the point. The fact of the matter is that we make decisions based on what or how we feel.

Thankfully, God gave us the ability to feel and use that in our everyday lives, but I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is something that drives us as human beings.

As I was riding back from my trip to Chicago, I started thinking what makes a person a mature or immature “feeler”. At the end of the day someone who feels then acts immediately after is an immature feeler. They don’t take the time to reflect on what they are feeling or why. They just do. They believe that their natural instinct is the right one, instead of thinking about how to deal with it.

On the other hand, a mature feeler spends a lot of time thinking about what they feel and why they feel this way before acting. They evaluate everything about a situation or person and keep it inside before making any actions.

Not saying that I am an expert in feeling, but I see myself in that second category. I spend a lot of time thinking and analyzing what I feel about things and why I feel them. I want to understand more and more why I feel a certain way about someone when they say something I think is weird or interesting or rude or encouraging, etc. I want to know why I feel.

In case you haven’t noticed from my other blog posts, I spend a LOT of time thinking about random ideas, this being one of them. I also think sometimes it is okay to NOT think about every decision that needs to be made. It’s okay to be spontaneous and goofy and not asking why. You don’t have to have everything all thought out in perfect harmony. That isn’t how life is supposed to be.

Where is the happy medium between being a mature and immature feeler? I’m not sure, but I want to find out.

Misfit Toy

I thought the title was fitting for the Christmas Season. If you don’t know the reference, go watch Rudolph. It’s a classic.

I haven’t written in a while, but I wanted to write about something I constantly think about. I don’t know about any of you, but I am forever trying to find my place in people’s lives. I have the absolute hardest time getting close to people because I don’t know where I fit in in their lives. It’s extremely defeating to wake up each day and not feel like there are many people I want to share my life with. My whole life, I’ve longed for a close-knit community that trusts and loves one another unconditionally. My family does this for me, which is amazing because I know there are too many jacked up parents that don’t care for their children the way they should. But it’s different when you’re trying to live on your own and find that community that uplifts your spirits.

A lot of times I feel like I’m in a glass watching other people get close and do life together and I just get to see it happening in front of me. I feel very deeply for people. I am a quiet people-pleaser. I don’t like to look needy but inside I’m going crazy with thoughts like, “Do they like me? Are they mad at me? Why don’t they trust me? Why can’t I be friendlier? What could I say or do to make them like me better?” etc. I could write more specifically but I don’t want to sub-blog or whatever they call it for blogging. I know I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts but I can’t escape my stupid thoughts.

I just feel like a misfit toy. Like I don’t really belong in anyone’s life. Like I’m not needed by anyone. That is my biggest fear: to end up alone. Isn’t that why we all look for that significant other? We want to have someone with us that supposedly will stay with us for the rest of our lives. I always think about it, but it is just a crutch. I want to be loved but I don’t have a lot of love to give. It doesn’t work like that does it? I can’t expect to be loved if I don’t love back.

But how do I change now? The friendships that I’ve ruined are already ruined. How do I look genuine in my love if it’s not there? These are all questions I wish I could answer. I wish I could say that I’ve been praying and asking God what He wants me to do but I haven’t. I KNOW that He will reveal so much to me, but sometimes it is easier to stay in my glass.

There have been so many times where I have thought about leaving this city, never looking back because I want to pretend nothing mattered here. But it won’t just leave. I can’t expect that. Man, I wish it worked like that. I wish I could have an answer to all these frustrations, but I will wait on The Lord because He is the only one to give me the answers that matter. He is the ONLY constant when people don’t come through.

These thoughts and feelings are very real and I know my frustrations matter to God. I also know they won’t just go away. I think in order for me to start this healing process, I need to serve others. It’s not easy for me to admit this because I am incredibly selfish. Serving is the last thing on my love languages list, to give and receive. I’m not very thoughtful when it comes to helping others. But I need to serve others, especially with Christmas coming up. There are so many people with situations worse than this. I need to get off my soap box and start thinking of others’ needs because that is what Christ would do.