Beyond Presents, Food, and Endless Events

November 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm 32 comments

I was shocked to see the Christmas stuff out at Costco right after back-to-school was over. Seriously?!?! Does anyone really have their act together enough to be thinking about Christmas in September?

For our family, the busyness of the season begins this week. Orison’s birthday starts it off tomorrow, and we don’t really take a breath until next year.

There will be 3 major holidays, 5 birthdays, and 1 milestone wedding anniversary between Friday and mid-January.

I really want this time of year to be intentional, where we take time to talk and ponder words like Thanksgiving and Advent and Immanuel. I want to feel them somewhere in the middle of my chest.

I want them to take my breath away.

I’m excited for the things that make this season busy. I want to stand in awe and joyfully celebrate forty years of my in-laws’ faithfulness to God and each other in marriage. I want to lift my voice to sing “Happy Birthday” multiple times to people I love and then again to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to the God who sent his Son so that I could love them.

I want these things to land on me in ways that go beyond presents and food and endless events.

Only God can do this in my heart. Only he can open my eyes to take notice of the beauty around me. Only he can free me from the love of money and consumerism that would numb me. I pray that he does it for me, and for all of you too.


Entry filed under: Faith, Family.

From under the covers I emerge Book Club

32 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karla  |  November 13, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you for this. I really needed to read this today. From August ’til year end, we seem to have one birthday after another, then tumble right into Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am really trying to be purposeful in the way I use my time, energy, and money this year. Most of all, I desire to have the right heart attitude.

    P.S. I love your blog and your husband’s. My sister, Sarah, is Jenna’s dear friend.

  • 2. Vicki  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    What a sweet blog you have! Found you via Twitter, actually, and wanted to say amen to this post! May His goodness to us hit us hard this season…

  • 3. Pete Wilson  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Asking God to open my eyes! Great post.

  • 4. jamsco  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    102.9 Lite FM started playing Christmas songs today. In my opinion, this is too early, but it didn’t keep me from singing ‘Feliz Navidad’ quite loudly in my car.

    But now I will keep it off until after Thanksgiving, which is my rule for our family.

  • 5. Jessica  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    This is such an encouraging post! It makes me smile! It is too easy to let a busy schedule become a burden and then miss out on truly celebrating such great events!

    I hope this holiday season is a great one for you and your family!

  • 6. Pam  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    YES!!!! This year, I have committed to being so intentional and THAT is why I am buying birthday / Christmas presents now. I want it out of the way so that I can take the whole month of December to meditate, celebrate and savor Christ. I’m also working on starting some traditions in our family that will be centered around biblical truths.

  • 7. stacey  |  November 13, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Dana and I aren’t even doing gifts this year for each other….I am over it. We are adults….what do we need??? NADA. I am already done for the kids. We never exchange with parents or anyone and haven’t in years. To me it is more about sharing food and good friends and family etc. Not about gifts……..I am sick of going in the stores and seeing Xmass before halloween is even over. I love the deocrations but c’mon already. Let me enjoy each of my seasons…….everything is just rush rush rush….I can’t stand it the older I get…..and 38 ain’t that old. Tell Horison Happy Bday from Us…..Griffin had his bday on Tuesday and Dana has his on Saturday…..our 20 year anniversary is on Wed. Making it 20 years is present enuff for me……I don’t need tangible items.

  • 8. Shari  |  November 13, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I know this is totally unrelated to your current post (which I think is a really great reminder for me this coming Christmas season! thank you!) but I just had to tell you that since you turned me on to Cake Wrecks, there is a particular “Cat Video” on Cake Wrecks.. where this little cat sings “I love cake, cake, cake.. etc” and I cannot get it out of my head! HELP!!!! :o) I’m posting it tonite on my blog just so I won’t be alone anymore..
    Shari L.

  • 9. Ashley  |  November 13, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Wow! You said exactly what I always think this time of year. I guess we go about it by taking one day at a time and making the most out of each one. Thank you.

  • 10. nmwally  |  November 13, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I really like this post, Molly. I’ve been thinking about how easy it is for me to get caught up in the everyday routines of life without really stopping to savor the people around me or the God who gave it all to me, so this resonated with me. Thanks for sharing.

  • 11. Chris  |  November 14, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Well, as a piano teacher, I start my students on Christmas music in September so that by December they are able to play several pieces for family and friends and when we visit the nursing home.

    The commercial side does start way too early though. We try to just take the opportunity to turn the conversations to spiritual things. The Desiring God “Seeing and Savoring” giveaway has been a great encouragement to us and our friends, as well. We got a case last year to give to family and friends (Christian and non-Christian) and ran out. I’m halfway through the 2nd case we got this year. It has been very well received:)

    When we lived in Erie, we were able to focus on Jesus especially on Christmas Eve in our family devotions and church service and visited one relative. Christmas Day was a whirlwind trying to get to the other grandparents and all the other aunts and uncles in one day. I joked that the kids would have candy for breakfast (from their stocking), cookies for lunch, and jello for supper–not a good nutrition day. We would arrive home around midnight and collapse.

    Now we live far from all family members, so it’s a lot quieter on Christmas Day. We miss everyone though.

  • 12. Crystal  |  November 14, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Amen! That’s all I have to say.

  • 13. Dolores Bowers  |  November 14, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Thank you Molly! This one is going up on the fridge for a daily
    reminder. The theme at our church now, as a new sr. pastor
    has taken over, is “Be intentional!”

  • 14. Abbie  |  November 14, 2008 at 11:02 am

    so glad that He is able to open my eyes and that I don’t have to work up the ability in and of myself!

    thanks for the reminder as the holiday season approaches.

  • 15. Elizabeth Esther  |  November 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

    One way we are re-focusing this busy season is by deciding to limit the gifts. The children will be receiving three small gifts each. This includes stocking stuffers. The truth is, they don’t NEED anything. We are also going to focus outward on OTHERS. We are putting together a family project. We are not buying any new decorations. Last year we were forced to have a simple Christmas because I was on bed rest. This year we are choosing to have a simple Christmas because it was better that way.

    Very thoughtful post, Molly. Thank you!

  • 16. MrsMK  |  November 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    beautiful post, Molly!

  • 17. Tiffany  |  November 14, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    i found myself saying “yes, yes” and nodding my head while reading this post. your thoughts resonate with me.

    also, i noticed costco’s christmas stuff out too in september. yes. it’s ridiculous.

  • 18. Jen  |  November 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    My sister-in-law posted this on her blog. It gave me a lot to think about. I, too, am disgusted with myself and consumerism.

  • 19. Tina  |  November 14, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    well your previous commenter just posted the video link I was going to. It was so good. Last year we had an advent tree and read a devotiona every dayl that Ann Voskamp wrote and hung the ornaments.
    Here is the link for it.

    You may also enjoy going to her blog and typing in advent. She is a beautiful writer and her posts are always so heart searching.

  • 20. Sarah  |  November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you, Molly. This post is so sweet and I am thankful for the reminders!

  • […] to Molly Piper’s Christmas Post Molly Piper blogged an excellent post yesterday titled Beyond Presents, Food, and Endless Events. Those are my thoughts, ponderings, and prayers. I’ve just never crafted it into words nearly […]

  • 22. Leslie  |  November 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    This is excellent, Molly.

  • 23. petiteartichoke  |  November 15, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I just discovered your blog and already love it. This post was a blessing and you guys are the cutest family. : )

  • 24. shawnda  |  November 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm


  • 25. Kelly @ Love Well  |  November 15, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    This is beautiful and timely, Molly. I pray God gives you moments, if not days, to savor the season, even with the activity.

  • 26. Jonathan Parnell  |  November 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Thanks, Molly.

  • 27. robyn  |  November 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

    ooh me too! i love this season and all it’s business and celebration and thanksgiving and standing in awe of God!

    I hope yours is a wonderful one, it sounds like you have a bunch of celebrating to do!

  • 28. Shannon Archer  |  November 16, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for agreeing to attend my kids’ birthday party in the middle of the chaos…these winter birthdays do tend to help make things crazy!

  • 29. Jeannette Paulson  |  November 17, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Well said. Thanks for encouraging all of us to be more deliberate.

  • 30. Shannon  |  November 18, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Just curious if you have any good suggestions for children’s Bibles or worship cds. I have 2 toddlers and thought you would have a good suggestion for the Bible. I’ve seen so many different types out there and read so many reviews on several of the “popular’ ones that make me look elsewhere without any luck. We’re choosing to do 3-4 gifts each this year for the kids – each with a specific purpose – like spiritual growth, creative play, etc. I’d really like to get them a Bible and some cds to sing along to. And ideas? You can email me at shannon_clubb at Hope your book club was fun!

  • 31. andie  |  November 30, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Have you seen this site? it goes so well with this post.

  • 32. Julie  |  December 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Molly, I just read this entry this morning and wanted to share something I’ve done for several years between Thanksgiving and New Year. I reread Isaiah chapters 40-66. It continually gives me the “big picture” of what God has done in sending our Messiah and makes me “feel in the middle of my chest”, as you so aptly put it, Advent and Immanuel. He is indeed with us! Blessings on your family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

We're the Pipers!

Sponsor a Child!

Sponsor a Child with Compassion!

On Browsing and Commenting

You may be a stranger,
but you're not a stalker.


What the Tweet?!?

%d bloggers like this: