These weeks of studying Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, have wreaked havoc on my heart and have left me hurting and wistful and thankful and a million other things that I can’t even put my finger on. But it’s completely ruined me for Christmas shopping now. There is this hard balance I’m trying to find between joy in putting things under the Christmas tree and imagining the kids faces as they rip into the packages on Christmas morning and the fact that each package represents our family bringing more stuff we don’t need into this home when most of the world lives with far less. How do you justify buying one more Lego set, one more Pretty Pony when, for millions of children, Christmas day will be just one more day without food or shelter or a family or Jesus? Makes my heart hurt. And yet, this is here and now and we have plenty and I’m certainly not going to begrudge them their packages or me the joy of sitting on the floor in my robe and my hot tea, passing them out and hoping I’ve hit it right on the nose. But we are scaling back. And talking more about needs and wants and the difference between the two. Because as much as we sometimes complain about bills and wishing we could go on a trip to someplace warm or put in a hot tub or a million other superfluous things, our “making do with less” is so far over the top for most of the world. I need to be reminded of that. Our scaling back would look like paradise to billions of people who live on far far less. Hate that things are so uneven. Hate that Jesus must weep when he sees how tipped the scales are. Hate that I can sit here writing this and still covet everything (but especially the sweater on page 67) in the Garnet Hill catalog (and don’t even get me started on Anthropologie). But that’s work that Jesus is doing, and I’m getting it slowly. Learning to hold less tightly to the things of this world. That’s not where my citizenship is after all. So I’m trying to store up treasures in heaven, where my real citizenship is, and not count the stuff of this world as precious. Not the sweater on page 67 or a new couch or even these babies I’ve been loaned or this man who wears big red and makes me laugh. Not my time or my books or my Living Etc back issues. The only thing that counts is Jesus, so that’s what I’m wrapping up for Christmas and I’m praying that after my carpet has disappeared beneath a layer of discarded wrapping (which, let’s be honest, will be a big improvement), we’ll see that little baby Jesus dolly laying in his manger bed and remember that we don’t live here. We’re living for heaven. So this is me. Trying to be real and wondering how you do it? How do you help yourself and your kids realize that it’s all about Jesus? It has to be about Jesus.