Finding Your Christmas Spirit
I can’t believe that it is almost Christmas.
For some reason over the past few years, I have had a little more trouble than usual getting into the Christmas spirit.
Thankfully I have an amazing wife that has 5 times as much spirit as I do, so it makes up for mine. Right?
I think one of the things that really gets to me is that I feel obligated to buy presents. And that causes us some stress.
Not the actual purchasing of the gifts, but the stress of finding the right gift for the right person.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a shoot-from-the-hip person.
What that means is that I have a tendency not to plan, and then hope for the best. Believe it or not, I am actually getting better at planning. I guess running a business will do that to you. Lol
Now Jenna on the other hand. She is the exact opposite. She HATES when we don’t have everything planned out, and then we don’t have a backup plan. But she doesn’t stop there, she wants a backup plan for our backup plan. Then a backup plan for backup plan.
After she has all of those planned out, then she might feel comfortable. Or she might make one more backup plan for her backup, backup, backup plans. (I’m confused and exhausted just typing this. Lol)
My point is that she completes me and helps me to be a better person. Especially around Christmas.
Because I would be in the Friends episode where Joey and Chandler give Ross, Rachel, Monica, and Feebe gifts from a gas station. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFcrp-mvEho
While Jenna is thinking about Christmas gifts in January. She is constantly on the lookout for a great thing to give to others. She starts coming to me earlier and earlier every year with ideas for others.
Where I was going with all this initially is that Christmas is not about gifts. It is about sharing our love for Christ and God with the world.
The world that we live in today and have lived in ever since I was born has made Christmas about gift-giving.
The worst part is that we expect those gifts. And if someone doesn’t give a gift that we truly like then we might have hard feelings towards them.
Not the point of Christmas at all.
Christmas should be a time when we thank God for the gift of his son. A time when we thank God for the gifts that he has given us.
It shouldn’t be a stressful mess where we don’t even want to leave the house.
Here’s my suggestion for this year.
No, I am not going to say give all of your gifts away. And I won’t tell you not to give to charity. And I’m not going to tell you not to serve those in need.
My suggestion is that we give the gift of Christ this Christmas.
Let’s pray more as a family in Christ. Let’s keep Christ and God in our thoughts as we give gifts. Let’s have that conversation with our kids about what Christmas is really all about.
Because those things right there are the REAL gifts of Christmas. Those gifts are what will make the biggest difference for others.
Not the newest video game system, or a new phone.
Today is probably the easiest take-action I have asked of you.
All I would like you to do is pray.
Pray for Christ to shine through everything you do this Christmas season. Pray for God’s will to be shown to you so that you can be as Christ-like as possible this next year.
Lord, today we pray for you to fill not our hearts, minds, and entire bodies. We pray that you would fill the space around us. Fill our homes with your love. Fill our schools with your love. Fill our businesses with your love. Heck, fill those we don’t necessarily even like with your love. Lord, today we pray that you help us to have you in our hearts in everything that we do. Help us to shine as you do, so that others might see in you when they us. Help us to know that you are the reason for the season. And give us the courage to share that with the world.
We ask all these things in your precious Son’s name.
A Little More
I was sitting in the back room of our local elementary school while my kids were out on stage doing their performances.
To be 100 transparent with you I felt like I was in trouble. AGAIN. Lol
My wonderfully amazing wife had talked me into doing something extra special for the kids.
You see at the time she was SUPER involved with our little school. She loves giving the kids an experience that they might never get otherwise.
In the past every year she had managed to find a “Santa ” to come in and visit the kids after they finished up the Christmas program.
But this year, she couldn’t find anyone!
I mean she searched far and wide, but everyone was either not interested, too skinny, or had kids in the program and they didn’t want to miss it.
So, she convinced me to join in on the fun.
But I had one condition, it couldn’t be like anything else that they had ever done before.
As I sat in the backroom with paint drying on my face, I could hear the kids singing.
I put on my Santa Coat, gloves, and red stocking hat.
My que for the Christmas program at our local elementary school was when they started singing How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
It was my job to sneak out on the stage and start playing with the kids.
All while being dressed as the Grinch.
This was probably one of the most fun experiences that I have ever had.
I mean I was 100% Grinched out. I gave Jim Carey and Hollywood a run for their money with my outfit (NOT, lol)
Then after the song I grabbed Santa’s bag of gifts that had been sitting on the stage the entire performance and ran off to the back and then out of the room to another room we had set up where I got the opportunity to ask the kids what they wanted for Christmas.
Kind of like Santa would do, but so much funner that Santa could ever be.
You see Santa is sweet and nice. While the grinch is, well he is the grinch. And I loved playing that part!
I would ask, “What do you want for Christmas?”
“Well Mr. Grinch I would really like, _____”
“HMMMMMM, NOPE! Not this year. This year I believe I am going to give you Kitty litter! Hahahahaha”
My other favorite line was, “Why do you want that, so you can break it? I tell you what, let go rummage through the trash and I’ll give you someone’s broken toys.”
Then I would start to stand up while they were on my lap.
The kids had such a fun time, because it was so different from what they were used to. And that made it a BLAST for me.
Lord, today we come to you with HAPPY hearts. We are so grateful that you give us the opportunity to change the lives of those around us. We are grateful that you give us the wisdom to change our lives and the lives of those around us. And you make it so simple. We can do it with a single smile. God today I would ask that you help us to smile more. The next time we see someone down, help us to smile for them. The next time we are down, help us to remember that you gave us the best gift ever. The ability to know you, your son, and the holy spirit. God, we are so grateful for everything you give us.
We ask all these things in your Precious Son's Name
A Little More
The other day I got a call from one of our clients.
I love talking to our clients so I always smile when I answer the phone.
“Hey Dan, one of my drivers is pulled over and they are saying that our permit doesn’t cover what we weigh. Isn’t that why we hire your team to make sure that these things don’t happen!”
My smile immediately vanished.
I was shocked because my team is amazing. and it’s not like them to miss something like 20,000 lbs on a permit.
So, I asked him, “Who have you been working with, and who was the one who called our team to get the permit?”
To get to the bottom of the problem I needed the details.
They gave me the details.
My next call was to my team. Then after I got the details I got them started on getting new permits to get the problem fixed. I’m a solutions guy, not an excuses guy.
But I NEED to know the real reason why it happened so that we can fix the issue.
My next call was to the driver so that I could see exactly what happened.
I knew he was going to be upset. He was pulled over and they were going to give him a HUGE ticket. I wouldn’t be happy either.
I made sure not to smile when I made the call. I had a serious look on my face. As we chatted I learned that he was the person who gave his weight to our team. I asked where he got the weights from and how in the world they were off by over 20K lbs!
That’s when he told me that he might have gotten the wrong scale ticket from the weigh station where he originally weighed.
Immediately my heart leapt with joy, this is NOT our fault!
Now to get the problem resolved and get this driver back on the road was my only goal. I was not going to assign blame or make anyone feel bad.
Hey, we all make mistakes. I do it multiple times every single day.
The owner of the company shot me a text. I'm getting permits from the big guys. They won’t make these mistakes that cost me time and $$$$$.
No problem. Let me know if you need anything. We are here to help.
After they called the “BIG Guys” they called me about 30 minutes later.
Hey, we can’t get an Idaho permit until Monday. It’s Friday night. And we need to drop this load off tomorrow afternoon.
I told him that I would NOT make any promises.
But my team went to work!
We got the permits that the “BIG Guys” couldn’t get.
My team had the Idaho permit in less than 20 minutes. For the right weight this time.
Here’s the point of all this.
When things don’t go right, smile. I have taught my whole team this.
That right there is how we got the permits. They smiled as they worked and it didn’t take any time at all.
Ok, there might be a little knowledge that went into this too. Lol
Next time you need anything DOT, don’t call the “Big Guys” , call the team who can get it done!