Keeping the Joy in Christmas!
As I write this today, I’m focusing on the emotions of individuals during the holidays. People are mixed with every emotion from joy, happiness, excitement, sadness, loneliness, regret, anger, hurt, and some are even stressed and overwhelmed.
I read a post on Facebook one day about someone’s view on seeing all the pictures from people “sharing” their homes for the holiday. Homes looking beautifully decorated, lovely and colorful with the Christmas colors of red, green, gold and silver! This person had stated how it made them feel. Basically, it wasn’t a good feeling they had because in their eyes, after seeing the pictures, their home wasn’t measuring up and how it really didn’t matter or how unimportant those things were to them. It sounded to me that the pictures that everyone was sharing, including me, was making them feel either overwhelmed or that they just didn’t have that knack or want to, that it just wasn't that important to them. I will say that my intention with my pictures is never to make someone feel “not good enough” or what I like is better than what they like, and I’m sure that is not the intention of the others either. But what they wrote made me think about emotions and how people perceive things. I know personally that I do have a gift of decorating and coordinating parties etc. I love doing it and I love sharing it. But I don’t do it to brag or to let others think I have it better then them. Because the truth is… we all want or wish for something that someone else may have or a version of it.
You know, people are always sharing on social media. They share pictures of their husbands, wives, their children graduating, children’s birthday parties, etc. or a birth of a child or grandchild, a vacation or great time at a sports event etc. NOW, the thing is this… many don’t have a husband or wife because of divorce or they are widowed, many couldn’t have children for many reasons we may not even know why, many will never experience a child being born or a child getting married or the excitement of grandbabies. Some have lost their children prematurely. Some have never been on vacation nor could they afford one if they wanted one, for others a sporting event couldn’t even be in reach because it too is so expensive. We ALL experience emotions when pictures like these are posted on social media. Any one of us could get to a place of feeling sad or resentment because “hey, that didn’t happen for me” or devastation because they see someone’s child getting married and know that their child died and will never get to experience it. Or how about the women or men out there that have become widowed and miss their loved ones, especially this time of year. I don’t believe any of us realize that our very happiness can cause someone else to feel sad in a very second by just what a photo represents. I know that I have personally felt these kinds of emotions. I know that 6 years ago when my niece got married, although it was a joyous occasion, for a second, the emotion of sadness flooded me because I knew that I would never experience a daughter getting married to the man of her dreams. A couple years later when she had her first child, again the enemy reminded me that I would never experience the birth of a grandchild and that took me to twenty plus years down the road that seeing a grandchild get married was out of the question. What about all the missed ballgames, dance recitals, graduations etc. These are types of pictures that I get to see daily on social media that if not careful, I could allow the enemy to bring a sadness into my life. BUT, what I decided years ago was this, I will allow that emotion for only a minute or two and then I decide to not only celebrate it with that individual but I celebrate what I do have and share those things with family and friends and, in some cases, the world through social media.
I think what we all need to do is celebrate with the individual (s) that the exciting thing is happening to or for in their life! All of our lives are different and we all get to enjoy and share different things in life. What’s important is that we embrace our differences and the life we have at this moment and learn to walk in the abundance of God’s goodness and promises and celebrate the goodness in others’ lives also. And, by doing this and being grateful I believe that God can reveal to us the true desires of our hearts.
This is a difficult time of year for many but when we keep our eyes on the reason for this season, the birth of the Jesus child and what He came here on earth to do, as we remember the love, joy and peace he brought, we too can share that Love and Joy with others so that they can walk in the peace that He offers no matter what the circumstance of our lives are at this moment. One thing is for sure, emotions are temporary but TRUE joy can live through anything you are going through or have gone through. There is not a disappointment out there that true JOY can’t override.
So, as you enter into this season, celebrate with others. Love on them. Enjoy the pictures they share. Embrace our differences. Pray for those hurting and lonely and invite them to join you if they have nowhere to go. But most importantly, invite them to know God (Jesus) so they too can have a life full of Hope and Assurance that they can live a life full of His Glory and Grace, Peace and Joy, Hope and Forgiveness. That they too can deal with the difficult times or emotions because of He who came to dwell among us to show us how!
Keep the Joy in Christmas! Let's not get stressed out about the little things or the things we can't change. Let us keep our focus on the things that matter, finding joy in every aspect of this wonderful time of year and in our lives!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Until Next Time,