Black Friday. Immediately we think of crazy shoppers at 4 a.m. who have scouted out the best deals anticipating being the first in line to grab their finds. But I've never once shopped the day after Thanksgiving. And I realized this year that...sadly...Black Friday for me meant something entirely different. It represented the person I was becoming as the Christmas decorations were making their way out of the attic. It's the mood I was setting as Christmas preparations were being made. I heard five eager voices exclaiming, "Oh! Christmas decorations! Can I help you decorate?" And all I could focus on were the five sets of hands heading for all my breakables! In my mind I knew that if everyone just got out of my way, I could have the entire house decorated in one afternoon. And those Christmas cookies I had to make? Well, if the kids would just run outside and play for a little while, I could have them baked and decorated perfectly in the time it would take them to absolutely destroy my kitchen! Yes...I was definitely the personification of what was quickly becoming "Black Christmas."
Then all of a sudden, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks: my Heavenly Father could do a lot of things without my help, and I'm positive they would turn out 100% better without me there to continually mess them up. It seems like anytime He allows me to "help" Him accomplish anything, I always let Him down. I'm constantly failing and having to go back to square one and start again. But God always seems patient and full of grace with me. He always wants me to try again. Why? He could do whatever He wanted to do with a snap of His finger. He could end natural disasters and stop crime and erase hunger if He chose to...so why doesn't He? He wants His children to be a part of accomplishing His plans! As easy as it would be to do something and say, "Look, I'm God and I can do whatever I want"...how much greater it is for Him to be able to say, "Yes, I'm God. If you want to know who I am and what I can do, just look at my children."
I realized that if I could make my children be perfect little robots who never messed up, who always said exactly what they were supposed to say and do what they were supposed to do... I imagine it would be pretty boring around our house. And it would definitely not be genuine. The same way that I want "relationships" with my kids, not just a script acted out by some perfect actors...God wants the same with us. He doesn't want perfect children who don't need Him. He wants honest, real, imperfect kids who are continually learning and growing. In the same way that my 8-yr old daughter can think I hung the moon because I know how to tie a scarf and my 3 yr-old son thinks I'm magic because I can blow a bubble with my gum...how much more does our Heavenly Father's heart overflow with love for us when we discover something new and wonderful because of Him???
The same way that my life is enriched when I allow my children to help me decorate the Christmas tree, my Savior's heart is longing for the maturing of our relationship that comes when He allows me to be a part of His plans. He wants me to be a part of His life no matter how bad I mess things up. So this year, I'm going to try to focus less on how beautiful those sugar cookies turn out and focus more on the intentions of the little hearts that made them!