“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all….”
~Edward Pola and George Wyle
Andy Willams is playing on my iPod this very minute. I love this song. I love this season.
The truth, however, is sometimes the holidays are not the most wonderful time of the year.
The endless schmaltzy movies (which I adore-full disclosure), cheerful music blaring (which I, again, adore) in every store, unrealistic expectations (which I’ve fallen prey to)…there are about six weeks from mid-November to Christmas that will sweep you away. Will you be caught up in thanking God for our myriad blessings, in the glory of our Savior being born, in the fun of the season, or in the frustrations, heartache, and disappointments?
Okay, let’s stop for a moment.
Thanksgiving. I know, I know it’s a loaded word. But isn’t it truly supposed to be a time of being mindfully, intentionally, profoundly grateful? Christmas … another loaded word…. Isn’t it really a time to remember that our Savior was born. He lived. He died. He rose again. Y’all, He lives!! Ummm, that’s miraculous!!!
When you look at the essence of the words, of the holidays they’re quite wonderful. We have made them hectic, chaotic, and less than holy.
So many of my friends are facing a different holiday season this year. A son is serving overseas in a dangerous locale, a man is grieving the death of his beloved wife, a woman is spending her holidays in the hospital, a child is recovering from the loss of his daddy, a woman is grieving the loss of her marriage–too many are learning to cope with the new normal in their lives.
There are a few things you can do if you’re struggling this year:
- Remember the holy. Deliberately focus on what the holiday is, not what man has made it.
- Seek God. He is the lover of your soul, your maker, your hope, and your salvation. He is the only One who can soothe your soul.
- Practice gratitude. Yeah, you’ve heard of gratitude journals and you know to make a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each evening. There’s a reason you’ve heard of it. It works!
- Help others. Get the focus off of yourself and your pain. Actively seek out ways-big and small-to serve and “love on” others. It really helps.
God is good. He is here. He loves you and He wants a relationship with you. Thanksgiving and Christmas should remind us of these things. As always, I wish you MUCH joy!
“In his epistle, James reminds us that this precious gift called life we have been given lasts only about as long as a vapor. Our days on the earth are limited and very precious; we must not waste a moment.” Christine Caine (11/29/15)
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6, NKJV
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