Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Goodbye To Morgan the Elf

I haven't been a blogger this year, but it's been nagging at me lately to get back to it. Then, tonight, we had some events take place that I really wished I could blog about, because I love when people are transparent and honest, and share their learning experiences with others. No one's perfect; why pretend to be? So I guess I'll just jump in and be the first to be transparent, and also get back to blogging! ;)

A couple of weeks ago, we started the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf. It seemed innocent and fun, and in some ways it was. Except that in years past, we have never done Santa. We've kept Christmas focused on Christ's birth, without distraction, and my kids were taught that Santa is a "fun thing people pretend at Christmas."

For some reason this year, as the Christmas season approached, my kids insisted Santa was real. And seeing all of the fun Elf on the Shelf ideas on Pinterest, I caved on my convictions and went with it. I didn't discourage Santa, and an elf arrived, courtesy of a friend.

Well, my prayer is and always will be that the Lord will nudge me if I'm stepping out of line, and a conviction is a conviction, even if you try to reason your way out of it. The elf and Santa can be harmless, but for me, they felt wrong.

He nudged me. Actually, He practically tore my heart in two with a simple confession from a 5 year old. One morning, after waking to look for the elf, she said, "Mom...I really love the elf. I love her more than God. I used to wake up and think about God and how much I love Him, but now I think about the elf!"


Convictions are convictions, even if the matter seems harmless and innocent, and "everyone else is doing it."

So tonight I sat my kids down and told them that the elf is pretend, along with Santa. God is real. Jesus is real. The Holy Spirit is real. And I don't ever want my kids to question those truths or feel if lied about Santa, maybe I'm lying about God. There were tears, both theirs and mine. And Aimee is mad, because she enjoyed being in on a secret. But they've shed their tears, Amerie has asked tons of questions, and we're moving on. We're moving on with our eyes focused on Christ this season, not on compromised convictions, and talking about His birth, and the reason He came as a baby so long ago - to save us from our sins.

And one more thing, that I just realized as I was writing. :) Since the presents under our tree won't be *from Santa,* I can openly give credit where it's due and use it as one more way to praise God and teach my kids about His blessings. Santa didn't provide those gifts, and for the most part, neither did I. I had less than $100 to spend on my 4 kids, the two sweet babies I baby-sit, and wrapping paper and tape. And that's after conserving gas and waiting to buy shampoo. :) But there will be many gifts under our tree this year, and they came through the generosity of others, who were used by the Lord to bless us. I am so very grateful, and humbled. I have to admit, too, that watching God provide in special, surprising ways is so much better than if my finances always allowed me to buy whatever I wanted!

To those who provided, thank you!! So much. And to those who enjoyed my album of Elf on the Shelf pics on Facebook, my apologies. Our elf is retiring. I guess you'll have to be satisfied with mobile uploads of my cute kids. ;)

Merry Christmas!