Lessons From Advent

8:00 AM



Every year, I tend to get completely caught up in the commercial side of Christmas. The money spent, the last-minute shopping, the wrapping paper, and the stressed, tiring dinner parties. It's not even fully into the Christmas season, and people are already starting the December rush.

My family has been experiencing a weird time financially. My dad works in a different city and drives home every weekend to spend Saturday and Sunday with us. This means two electric and water bills, two heating and A/C bills. This means two home payments per month. This means we have to watch even more carefully than ever how much we spend and what we spend it on. This means making small sacrifices.

All the years before this one, I loved the commercial view of Christmas. This year, I've been thinking a lot more about it. I'm thankful for how blessed we are and I've realized that we have nothing to complain about financially compared to families in genuine need. I need to focus more on the reason for the season, and that's Jesus.

And my so-called sacrifices. Only getting small birthday gifts and minimal Christmas presents this year pale in comparison to the ultimate Sacrifice made for all of us so long ago on that cross at Calvary.

I've also been able to determine more clearly than ever the difference between want and need. I know we hear this all the time, and sometimes it feels like it's the only thing we'll ever hear. But when I don't have as much of a choice this year, I've been able to appreciate the things I have and be satisfied with them without wanting unnecessary things. I don't need an actual camera -- my phone will do. I don't need a personal domain right now because this blog isn't a business (plus you have to be 18 to apply for AdSense. Grr.). I don't need a new dotted notebook to start a Bullet Journal in because I have plenty partly-used notebooks lying around. I don't need new shoes because I have too many perfectly good ones already.

My conclusion? What seems like a bad thing is actually a wonderful blessing in disguise. The 2016 Christmas season has taught me to focus more on things that are meaningful rather than the things that aren't. My family doesn't have a bad financial situation at all -- I've just become accustomed to taking things for granted, and these past months have set me straight. I've found that sometimes, a roadblock is only a stepping stone to realizing the things that count.



{winter photography}
honestly, (I think) this is proof for my second-to-last paragraph. I don't need a camera because my phone takes perfectly fine pictures already. orrrr maybe not and I'm just laboring under the delusion that they look better than I think they do . . .


{I saw these berries and went "BERRIES!" and my sister had to wait for me while I took photos. typical me -- although it was kind of annoying that the focus wasn't as sharp as it could have been. and yesh the weird bright part at the top annoys me too. *hides*}



{yes yes I took this like a month and a half ago but it was seriously freezing and felt like winter on that day sooo it counts, right?}

have you guys been listening to an adequate amount of Hamilton? what's your favorite thing about Christmas? what's your favorite Christmas carol? leave me a comment down below!

love, sarah

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6 comments

  1. Sarah, you are so incredibly wise. You are absolutely right. I'm facing sort-of the same thing...last year for Christmas I wanted large amounts of things, but now I'm asking for fewer, smaller things and trying to keep my focus on the One who gave it all. <3
    Amazing post, my friend.

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    1. Grace, you are so incredibly kind! Yes, focusing on Jesus makes everything more meaningful. Thanks, Grace! ❤️

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  2. Wow your phone takes fantabulous photos! My tablet, sadly, DOES NOT. *sigh*

    Also I loved how you said this situation is forcing you to realize you don't REALLY need new stuff... My dad struggled for a long time with finding work, so I know exactly what you mean. It can be scary, but you learn a lot from it, too.

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    1. I'm really glad to hear that the photos look good! Yeah, tablets usually produce super grainy photos. :P

      Aww, thanks! My dad was in the same situation exactly around this time last year, which was a rough time, but you're absolutely right -- we can definitely learn from it. ❤️

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  3. OH YEAH. Hamilton for the win. I love the mixtape. <3

    I love what you said about this. And I love your pictures! They are gorgeous, even though they're used with a phone. I use my phone for pictures as well. Even though I'd like a nice camera, the phone is very portable and easy to edit. :P

    Loved this! <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. HAM IS MY JAM. *high fives* And yes the mixtape is soo cool! (although I'm still a tried-and-true fan of the original recording. :P :D)

      Ahhh thank you so much Katie! You're so sweet! <333 Yep, I agree!

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