Monday, December 19, 2016

A Humble Christmas Message

Hello and welcome to Christmas week! 

Wait a second. Can you try to imagine a bucket of fake snow falling on your head, Christmas lights flashing on in an instant and your favorite Christmas song starting to play all at once? That's the kind of enthusiasm I'm going for right now. So, let's try this again: "hello and welcome to Christmas week!" {cue the enthusiasm}

Thank you!

Christmas time is such a special time of year. I know it's a little different for everyone, but for me, the spirit of Christmas is nostalgic and filled with fond memories from childhood. Even more fond memories are those we are making with our little girl each year.

Sometimes, however, this time of year can be hard for many reasons. Along with all of the joy this season brings, there are some not-so-fond memories and feelings I have to deal with this time each year, as well. I'm sure I'm not alone, and that is why it's heavy on my heart to share.

Being a child of two parents that were never together during the holidays means that I have never been in just one place during Christmas; I'd always bounce around, not sure exactly where I'd belong or fit in best. I know that I belong with all of my family, of course, but that doesn't mean the feelings weren't there at one time. Also, just because I'm an adult and have my own family now, doesn't mean that those feelings don't try to sneak their way back in to my heart this time of year, either. The holidays can be tough in that aspect.

I think, however, that because of the hard feelings I've had to overcome, it makes me appreciate the joy and all of the happiness this season brings, just that much more. I believe that if I hadn't had those hard feelings to deal with in my past, then I wouldn't know how to truly appreciate all of happiness and love surrounding me today. I am truly blessed to be apart of such a big extended family. I'm even more blessed to be surrounded with the love from my own little family, too.

This Christmas, as always, we will bounce around from one side of the family to the next and, instead of letting the feelings of not belonging come to heart, I will take heart in knowing how blessed I am to have so much family to bounce around between. To have so much of our family with us, and to be able to visit with them is a privilege denied to many this time of year; whether it be from distance or loss.

If you have experienced loss, I hope the spirit of the season makes you feel closer to those you lost. I hope you feel them near to you when you see the beautiful twinkling Christmas lights, and feel them surrounding you with their love as you listen to your favorite Christmas songs. I have a few friends who have lost so much this year, and they are in my heart, especially during this season of hope and love.

So, whether Christmas week tends to be a stressful week for you or, a week filled with painful memories, or a week that you've been dreading for some other reason; I hope you remember one thing. God's grace is always waiting for you.

Let us not forget what the season is truly about. Let the Christmas lights and the presents under our trees be our beautiful reminders of the light and the gift given to us from God. No matter how dark your days, there will always be light with Jesus.

And so I'll say it again, only with a more humble heart. "Welcome to Christmas week".

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