Even if it’s only in your mind’s eye or in your memories.
Enjoy the warm breeze on your face, the cool sand on your toes.
Breathe deep and exhale slowly.
Receive the reprieve for the moment.
Just sit and soak and let all the worries and cares wash away with the tide.
Then, open your eyes, realize your reality, but don’t dread it.
Know that your strength has been restored, and you can escape away again tomorrow.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
By the time you read this, the big day will be over, and will have moved on. We will be readying for the next as they new year is barreling toward us.
But I’m gonna post it just the same. I didn’t want to share during the festive season. I didn’t want to bring any gloom or despair. Yet, maybe some one needs to hear we all can have a bluesy Christmas sometimes…
Today was Christmas Eve Eve, meaning the day before Christmas Eve, and I’ve honestly struggled throughout the day to be cheerful. If I’m being honest, the struggle hasn’t been just today, but it seemed to be most prevalent through these past few hours.
We had our family gathering, and so many had returned. It was so great to see, and really fun to watch the littles jump and squeal with delights of grandeur and thrill.
Yet, I felt so out of sorts.
I didn’t mope. I didn’t whine, shed tears, or even frown. My sole remained solid. We chatted, laughed, and engaged.
No one knew. Not one even guessed. But the heaviness over my heart was so hard to turn around.
And I’m searching deep to find the reason why.
Nobody died. The bills aren’t overwhelming, and the kids aren’t sick. Our family is doing fine, and our marriage is at its all time best…even the in-laws are amazing and sublime.
Yeah. Don’t squint your eyes at me. It really is the truth!
So, why am I so down? What’s making my heart blue? I’m reaching down in the depths and crying out for the Father to reveal what’s true.
It’s like walking through a mountain park on a crisp, cool, fall afternoon. The sun is shining down beautifully. The leaves rustle in the wind, and the birds are chirping, getting ready to head to warmer lands.
And all of a sudden, your boot sloshes in the mud puddle that caught you unaware.
It’s not at all a tragedy. It’s not really even a shame. It’s simply a muddy bootleg, but it’s disappointing all the same.
And try as you may, it puts a little damper on the moment. Now, you can choose to let it ruin your day, or you can choose to shake it off and simply keep on skipping through that field. Yet, you do look back at that splash dirt and grime, wondering where it came from and what its purpose was lying so your fate was sealed.
That’s a pretty good picture of my heart today. I will choose joy, and I will choose peace, even if I have to fight to obtain it. But I’m still exploring the edges of my soul, hunting for that foul stain that is seeking to bring forth the rains.
And then all of a sudden, the name reappears, and the memories present themselves like a flood. That old wound which I thought I’d forgotten. That lost emotion which I try to keep hidden, even from myself, crashes in with a loud thud.
Some things are lost forever which can never be recovered. Some connections can not be reconciled. Some relationships are better left where they were placed and never riled.
But the pain in a little girl’s heart sometimes just creeps back and is secretly worn like an old cellar door left unlatched in the night to catch the wind in the middle of a storm.
Grief appears unannounced. Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. It might be a loved one lost; it might be a broken heart that can’t find amends. It may be a concord that has been shattered.
Grief has no time limit, and it has no bounds.
But I will choose joy. I will choose peace. And He will help to bring healing, as I bring it and lay it down again and again.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Get ready to celebrate. Get ready to share some joy.
Even in the hardest moments, even in the deepest grief,
Someone needs your smile. Someone longs for your love, even if it’s brief.
No matter your tradition, no matter your religion,
Get ready to shower love. Get ready to share some cheer.
Even in the hustle and bustle, even in the busiest season,
Someone desires your embrace. Someone yearns to hear the true reason.
So, pour a glass of milk and set out the cookies.
Brew up the cocoa and drain a hot cup of Joe.
Share the purpose of peace and show them how to cope.
Share the story of Christmas and show them The Hope.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
The holidays always bring with them interesting family dynamics and semantics.
For some, it’s just simply dealing with the edges of uncomfortable scenarios and conversations, but nothing real out of the way.
No harm. No foul.
For others, it’s complete removal from the dysfunction and toxic environment which accompanies family, celebrations and traditions.
Survival of the Fittest or Crabs in a Barrel.
For most, it can just be learning to navigate between the two extremes.
The Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Wherever you find yourself during your yearly festivities, strive to do better.
Better yet, don’t just strive to survive.
Learn to thrive!
Your thriving isn’t going to look like another’s.
So, do what you can do to succeed.
Their crazies aren’t yours, and yours aren’t theirs.
They don’t have to understand.
Happy Crazy Holidays.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider thatthe longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they doalso the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know thisbeforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.