Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Truth about Santa Claus

Man, what a day. Filled with sweat, blogs, my true calling and the truth about the Easter Bunny.

You may or may not have realized that I spent the better part of the day creating my own little corner of cyberspace. 13th time is a charm. This is the last post, I swear. But I couldn't end on an old blog.

Where to start? Hmm. Well, you know about sweat, my other blogs are full up with sweat. You might also know about blogs, or else, how on earth did you get here?

Good question. I'll keep the ball rolling.

There's a chance you're less familiar with my true calling.

Up until about a year ago I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I went back to college in 2006 hoping I'd figure it out along the way. People would ask me [a 26 year single mom who'd quit her job to return to school full-time] what I was studying. I would smile and confess my uncertainty. That went over well.

And then one day I was driving home. I don't remember the exact circumstances. I just know suddenly it hit me like a lightning bolt. And I knew.

I wanted to be a preacher.

Yikes. What? Why? I don't know. I can't explain it. I felt so calm and everything seemed to make sense. Tears came streaming down my face. It just felt so right. For days I floated around the world. Yay God!

I floated all the way to cloud 9. My life had meaning, purpose, significance!


Then came the doubts.

First of all, I'm a woman. I'm young. My past is riddled with shadiness. I stutter. I'm not incredibly sure of myself. I don't have a commanding presence. I make rash decisions. And I'm not even close to being equipped enough to teach, counsel and minister.

I've been waffling for awhile now. Is this what God really wants? Really? It's a huge calling and I am so not worthy. For a year now I have bathed in my incertitude. Enough is enough.

This morning I prayed and asked for a sign [if He wanted to give me one]. I don't usually ask for signs. But I had a feeling I might get one.

And I did.

It came through Rob Bell [Pastor in Michigan of a church called Mars Hill]. I was listening to his most recent sermon while picking up my messy apartment. At the very end he went on this mini shpiel on doubting. He said that one of the painful parts of pastoring had to do with other people's junk. Not only did he have to deal with his own digressions, he must counsel others on their's. And after listening to the worst of worst [when things that would just go haywire] sometimes he felt like giving up. Like why even try?

He said that doubts are fine, but they need to be tested, probed and drop-kicked. You have to hold them up to the light, throw them in the deep end and see if they float. Like: what if he did quit? What if he gave up, slept in on Sunday, and threw it all away? What about the people whose lives have been changed because of Mars Hill? What about the saved lives? What would he say? Or do?

In that light, it begins to sound silly. And again, I had tears streaming down my face. So what if I'm a girl? So what if I'm young. And thank God for the mistakes I've made because they've given me the endless stream of passion and conviction that I possess today. So what if I stutter [so did Moses]? And as for the rest, if God wants this of me, He will use and mold my tendency to make rash decisions and my ordinary presence.

So, boo-ya, doubts! Take that. There's your sign.

As exciting as that was it wasn't the most eventful part of my day. I told her. I did it. The Easter Bunny. Santa Claus. Even the Tooth Fairy. It's all out in the open. And to be honest, it's a little heartbreaking.

I grew up on Santa. Even after I figured it out I lied to my parents so they'd buy me more stuff. My parents never told me about Jesus. I didn't know the story. Santa was the reason for the season, the only way I could rationally explain all of the hoopla.

I was saved shortly before my daughter turned 3. Since that time I have been wrestling with this whole Santa dilemma. My mom is a huge Santa fan. And she gets even more excited about Easter. Every year we have a big egg hunt, search for baskets and finish the day with a home cooked meal. And I love it. It good clean family fun. But still, how can we justify lying to our kids [and then punish them for lying to us]? I know it's not exactly that simple. And I loathe the idea of bursting my daughter's magic bubble. So in the 3 years since this first came about, I've kept my mouth shut.

But a couple of weeks ago I heard an argument that I found hard to ignore.

Santa knows when you've been naughty or nice; and he can be all over the world in one night.


God knows when you've been naughty or nice; and He can be all over the world in one night.

At least one of those sentences is not true. But, if we lied to them about Santa, who's to say we're not lying about Jesus?

And why, for goodness sake, does some supernatural fictional character dominate both of the major Christian holidays?

I could ignore my conscience no longer. And there is no day like the present. We sat her down. Jermaine did most of the talking [thank God]. He spoke about Jesus and the resurrection [we decided to focus on Easter first, seeing that it is upon us]. She had lots of questions. He told her the truth and explained the reason for the charade [fattening the pockets of corporate America, of course]. She asked about Santa and the Tooth Fairy. We confessed it all. She was sad, but I think overall she took it pretty well. We asked her to let the parents of her Santa-loving friends do the telling when they were ready. She agreed.

These are not the greatest photos. But they do capture "the talk."

I feel compelled to do something really nice for her. I'm dreading telling my mom. But, I think we did the right thing.

I'm dying to hear what you think. I know this is a touchy subject - touch away.


Andrea said...

I understand why you told her one hundred percent, but I'm selfish and want one or two more years of Santa and the Easter Bunny. And that face is heartbreaking :)

me again :) said...

also did you notice that jermaine's face did not change at all in the two pics, but obviously sadie did :)

brandyglows said...

Editor's note [in reference to the photo]: I know how this looks [like we absolutely broke her heart]! But I PROMISE this was simply her listening intently. She didn't even know at this point.