Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Christmas like no other

         Two more days until Christmas. A young woman walks around Walmart, with no expression on her face. She's has a toy and a pretty dress in her cart. Arrived at the register, she realizez the money in her wallet are enough only for the toy. With a desperate sigh, she mumbles "I hate Christmas!". The lady at the cashier looks at her in amazement. "Isn't this supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year?" She's wondering quietly.
            It's Christmas Eve. In the local cafĂ©, a middle aged lady is sipping a cup of tea. She's hoping in these 10 minutes, she can relax and calm down a second. She has to find a way to to tell her parents the kids don't want to stay at their house for Christmas. "How am I supposed to say "no" to their invitation when Christmas is a time when family stay together? They live alone and the kids are the only grandchildren...". She takes another sip of the hot tea. Dialing her parents' number, she takes a deep breath, and says "I hate this Christmas!". 
             It's Christmas morning. I am sitting in my favorite chair in the house, hot coffee in my hand. I'm looking at my husband talking with our family from Romania. We both miss a Christmas in Romanian style. In my mind, the two stories become vivid in my head. I feel guilty. I said "I hate this Christmas", too. I stop a tear, and I pray quietly: "God, forgive me. I don't want to ever forget the reason of Christmas again."
              This Holiday season was an unusual one for me. However, I've learned so many things throughout the last few weeks. I've realized no matter how different the celebration is, as long as you put your focus on Jesus, your Christmas will be perfect. I've discovered a new me, a renewed calling. I've stopped and cherished the whisper of God in my heart. So, yes, it was a different Christmas, but not an ugly Christmas. 

How was your Christmas? Did you learn something new?... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When you learn new things from unexpected experiences.

      "Please raise your right hand." (pause, while I do as asked) "Do you swear to say truth and only truth in this room?"

        "Yes!" The answer came automatically, while I was realizing this was the real deal. I was moments away from becoming a US citizen or not. I dodged the last thought, while focusing on answering the questions.

20 min later, I was already driving back home, with the biggest smile on my face: I am now a US citizen. The whole experience was such a great reminder for me of my true citizenship. My truest and most important identity, is my heavenly identity. I am a child of God. Just as any other country on the earth has their requirements to become a citizen, so has God. We become so suck into all "God is good. God is love. He forgives." that we forget god punishes the ones He loves. Or even worse, we I become so sucked in our schedules, dreams and ambitions, but we think "We're good, God! We're buddies.". This last 2 weeks were quite a battle for me. Untill this week, I wanted so bad to make a business with my cards. To have tons and tons of orders and all that stuff. I wanted it so bad, that I forgot the fun in it. I forgot my creativity doesn't stop with a sold or not sold card. I forgot to enjoy the process. I forgot that I can use my creativity to celebrate Jesus. It took 2 conversations with two dear friends and my naturalization interview to realize cards don't define me. I am way much more complex and valuable than some handmade cards. I'm not saying I'll never make cards again. I will, but I will not stop only at cards. I'll let my mind wander and do its "magic". 

And I'll do it all for Jesus!!! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrate Christmas

          I love this time of the year. Carols, glowy nights next to the Christmas tree, decorations, time spent with loved ones, hot chocolate and cookies, warm socks and cozy sweaters. It’s all magical, while in the same time, everything can become chaotic and stressful. Gifts have to be bought, cards to be sent out, cookies to be baked, events to attend and on top of it, you want to stop and take in the moment, create memories. So, this year, I decided I will take it easy. I will stop and wonder at the snow falling (let’s hope we’ll get some pretty soon), I will stop and listen to loved ones, I will be patient and I will celebrateJesus. I will sing carols from the bottom of my heart, smile to strangers and I will be present wherever I am. I will tell people of the miracle of Christmas, and why this is truly the best time of the year. I will tell people of the angels singing, and shepherds rushing to see the King in a manger. I will speak of the star that led 3 wise men such a long way. I will stop. and awe in wonder of the miracle of Christmas. I will sing loud and clear that love has entered the world. I will drive around just to see beautiful lit houses, and spread joy around. I will celebrate Christmas with all I am, and with all I have.
          My wish for you this holiday season is to celebrate Christmas!