December 17, 2014

Coffee Date // Vol. 7

The Christmas season.
A time of busyness, tight finances, joy and excitement.
As great as Christmas is, many people struggle during this season. We put these pressures on ourselves to be perfect, we have the pressure of performing while we welcome others in our home, we have the pressure of having the perfect home to host in and then there is the pressure of purchasing the best gifts for the ones that we love. All these things can be great but we are constantly fed with this idea of having to be just right in order for things to be good. This is where Christmas turns into a stressful holiday and rather than spreading generosity or joy, we spread frustrations and only focus on the ones around us.

Today is another Community Brew with two of my sweetest friends, Madison and Rachel. These ladies wanted to focus our last brew of the year on the idea of generosity surrounding this holiday season we have quickly approached.

Romans 15:1
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
 
Proverbs 11:24-25
"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered."
 
Generosity: liberality in giving or willingness to give, kindness or magnanimity, amplitude and abundance
 
This is the time we all know as "the season of giving." Sure, we give gifts to family members and our sweetest friends, but a lot of times, that is the point where it is easy to stop. We often forget that there are others we don't even know who are in desperate need of a bit of generosity. I know in the past, I would only think about the ones I know and I would happily purchase gifts to see all my loved ones light up with joy. It would completely pass my mind to give to others who I have never met and probably will never meet. 
 
I have always been so incredibly blessed my parents who worked their hardest to give the absolute best and most presents they could. For years, my parents would stack and stack our den full of gifts for my brother, sister and I to melt to on Christmas morning. They have always blessed us more than we deserve and I will admit that I would become excited for Christmas because of the gifts and time spent with my close ones. I didn't go beyond my comfort zone and give to others I didn't know. Luckily this year the Lord has truly taken a hold of my heart. For once in my life, I can say that this season is only about giving. I have told Sean that I want absolutely nothing for Christmas and my parents to only purchase small things like cookbooks and candles. I come from a giving family so I know there will be something for me on Christmas but my wants and focus for this season have nothing to do with any gift. My wants are to give to others and literally focus on nothing but the love, generosity and goodness of Christ. His presence is enough to fulfill any earthly gift we could dream of.

When we think of generosity, there is this idea that we have to give and give all this money to whatever organization we know of. Truth is, generosity comes in all different shapes and sizes. Paying money towards someone's layaway, purchasing a Starbucks for the one behind you, giving to many organizations than putting loads of money into one, giving a homeless person a blanket and some hot chocolate or simply taking someone out to lunch and investing in time with them..I promise you, all generous things, whether big or small, will make someone's day. The fact that a stranger cares enough to help speaks volumes. Seriously, someone paid for my Starbucks the other day and I sat in my car and cried for a good five minutes. Heart on my sleeve yall.
As we start to transition into a new year, keep this feeling of generosity towards others. Don't let the season of giving just be for one month, give 12 months of love to the ones we pass by and stand next to in the store lines. 

Let us all remember to focus our attention not only on the presents, but on the presence of Christ and how generous he was to all of us.   

2 comments:

  1. I love this post. We do focus on being perfect in every aspect during the season. We need to give ourselves a little margin.

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  2. I do excited about giving gifts to my loved ones and often forget about people I don't know. It's so easy to lose sight of what's truly important: Christ's birth and His constant renewal of our hearts to look and act more like His. Thank you for this reminder! I'll be pondering small ways to be generous to strangers this week (and beyond!).

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