I'll admit -- I thought our Christmas cards were cute this year. But they should have been; they were a little pricey too. For that reason, I only sent out 25. So if you didn't get a card, I'm sorry! I literally sent them to family... and to people who sent them to us!
I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. They're trendy and well designed with picture perfect family photos. They send a message, don't they? The message is typically -- "We're happy. We have it all together."
I love my Christmas cards this year, but at the same time, I can't help but look at them and think what a farce that message is. We do not have it all together. We are not always happy.
"Sending warm wishes this season" our card says on the back. It says nothing about what a difficult season it's been for us. When we lean our heads in together and say cheese, you can't see the tension between us. We smile big to make sure it doesn't show.
Not pictured in our happy family photo of four is the little guy who's been in our house for nearly three months. Partially because he wasn't with us at the time we snapped the photo and partially because I didn't know if it was appropriate or not. I question a lot of things lately. How to answer people's questions, whether to smile or show distress, how much to disclose...
Also not pictured is the little nugget in my belly whom we've barely acknowledged because we're too overwhelmed. Not pictured is the $400 lab work bill laying on my counter I'm trying to ignore in hopes it will go away. Not pictured are the harsh words that have been hurled across our house at each other.
We are broken, imperfect people who simply know how to smile pretty and choose a good Instagram filter. That's it. We have nothing "more together" than you. However, we also have a Savior who redeems all the broken, messy pieces of us and makes us perfect through Him. There's a chalk board in my living room where I wrote "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." This Christmas season has been different than I expected, but looking at my own handwriting, I'm reminded it's ok. Because this season isn't about how many perfectly wrapped presents are under the tree (right now, there's zero. I hope to get started soon). It's not about how clean and well decorated my house is (thank goodness) or even how well we are keeping up with our Advent devotions (because we are way behind). It's about Him. This broken, messy life is exactly why He came and what He wants to enter into, if we'll let Him. I need to do a better job of inviting Him into the messy moments and thanking Him for already making us whole, 2,000 years ago.
If you see my Christmas card this year, I hope you won't think, "What a perfect family!" Feel free to admire the card design or the girls' hair bows, but then stop and think to yourself that there's more than meets the eye. And also shuck the burden of presenting yourself as the perfect family. Because though the Christmas card you sent me was adorable, I know better too.
from our imperfect family to yours.