I was sitting down the other day mentally going through my list of stuff I needed to do, preparing to make my annual preparation "list". I'm sure you all make a similar one too. Who to buy for, what your buying, the cost, etc.
Also thinking about the crafting to do, gifts to make. Looking in my "stash" boxes to see what I have squirreled away for gifting this year. Lamenting on my lack of items and thinking about how I was going to compensate for it.
Thinking about the traditions that we do as a family. The ones that we truly enjoy and are fun for us. Remembering what I needed to buy in order to do these things that we look forward to.
Looking at my boxes of holiday decorations and thinking about how I'll be pulling them out soon. Starting to make room in the house, paring down existing decor to make room for the onslaught that will soon be coming.
Thinking about wrapping and presenting gifts, one of my favorite things to do at Christmastime. I'm a gift wrap/ribbon/presentation junkie and I always get extreme joy out of having perfectly presented presents.
As I was sitting down thinking of these things I felt a slight stirring in me. A question quietly emerged as I was mentally making lists and plotting plans. Why do you do what you do? What is your motivation? Is it for others, or yourself? Think about that for a bit.
All the planning, shopping, procuring, presenting, wrapping, cooking, preparations that you do annually...is it for yourself to show what you can do, or for the recipients that receive? Is is for the kudos you'll receive for a job well done or is it for the joy and benefit of others? Do you do it because of the sacrifice or so you can say, "I did it faster/better/cuter/cheaper/smarter..."?
Think about it, honestly for a bit. Then think about why we celebrate Christmas. What was our Father's motivation for sending His gift to us? So we could tell Him "Good work, looks great!" or was it for our benefit of salvation?
I personally knew the answer for myself, and it's causing a shift in my perception of what needs to be accomplished. I found a bible verse that I personally know that I will be focusing on this year, as I make that mental shift.
"... I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind." Ecclesiastes 4:4.
A great verse to store away as we prepare for the upcoming Christmas season. What is your motivation for what you do, and what are you striving to accomplish as you prepare for Christmastime?