Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best Way to Prepare for the Coming of Our Savior: Thanksgiving

We were sitting on my bed picking away at the matted snarls in her long, thick hair. It’s been a tedious process for one who has never liked me to brush her hair or scrub her small, tender head. So I’ve procrastinated–posed-poned that battle. However, since she was recently complimented on her dreads, I decided it was time to bite the bullet!

“Why does my hair tangle so easily?” She’d often ask, frustrated. “It’s not fair!”

She has had the burden of snarls since her hair first grew past her shoulders and countless times we have sat together for this painful regimin of combing them out. At seven now, she sat there reflective, while trying to brave the process:

“Mom, it’s like my snarls are my sin and my straight hair is God and we’re getting all of the sin out.”

How clever of God to use that difficult moment to show her what sin can look like in our lives.

All of that matted hair close to her scalp caused her scalp to be more tender than usual with snarls pulling and tugging into one mess from every direction. 

You see, although her hair has been difficult to maintain, she has hair that most people would trade their own for–rich, full-flowing hair. Hair that styles easily, yet hair that requires more attention than most people's hair.

Beauty never comes without burdens and burdens never come separate of beauty.

Like sin that easily entangles when not thrown off, all of that beautiful, full-flowing hair became quickly entangled by a mere lack of perseverance in brushing it morning and night.

We worked on those snarls until we could pick no more, then I took her to her Aunt, a hairdresser, the next day for assistance. She picked and combed at it another hour, then washed her hair clean and gave her a fresh haircut.

My brave child walked away flipping her hair, feeling like a brand new girl.

The weight was gone, just like our sin when we've done all we can do and finally go to Jesus to allow Him to remove it and we're made a new creation in Him.  

The truth is, we cannot possibly comb through this matted life on our own. We need Jesus. We all need a Savior. And we'll all realize it sooner or later–maybe sooner because we've known scarcity and He's all we've ever really had or later because we've had much, yet come to realize He's all we've ever really needed.

We are rich. We have much. And the best way I can think to prepare for the coming of our Savior this Christmas season is through Thanksgiving. 

Because when we see our life as a gift rather than seeing the burdens of this life, we will be more grateful for even the burdens that come with the fulness of our life in Christ. Because they, too, are gifts that remind us of our need for Him.

I can't think of a better way to prepare for the coming of our Lord's birth this Christmas than to prepare with thankful hearts in this season of Thanksgiving and Advent, which follows. 

Consider Ann VosKamp's newest book, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the full Love Story of Christmas, to richen your Advent and Christmas season.

May your holiday season be filled with the richness of God's love.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race that was marked out for us... Hebrews 12:1

Counting with Ann, gifts of gratitude today:

early mornings, reading biographies with my five-year-old
seeing every last one of my weaknesses and praying to be transformed by the renewing of my mind
everyday with these children
a contagious love for learning
abundant resources given to us
combing through snarls and tangles and sin, daily
daily made new
time with family


  1. I know so well what you are talking about with your daughter's hair!! My long hair is also beautiful, but I dread every third day when I wash my hair. One needs a Master's Degree in hairdressing to navigate your comb through the tangles. Wearing it a bit shorter has helped a bit. Oh, I know that if we had to comb through our own tangled lives, we would all have been walking dreads!! But for Jesus and His grace, there I go!
    Blessings XX

  2. Brought to mind Hebrews 12:1, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles & let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Great post! Yes, may we usher in His birth with hearts filled with thanks. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. You are a smart mama ... listening and processing. (and combing)



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