What Christmas is all about...
This year, I'm reveling in all the things that make up Christmas for me. I'm loving the baking. I'm loving the present wrapping. I'm loving every minute of our time off school. I'm loving the Christmas lights and the cheesy Christmas movies. I'm loving the excitement of my kids. I'm loving the feeling that everything is going to be okay in the end and that God is the focus.
The tragedy of last week reminded me that I really can't prepare for every eventuality. I can't do anything about putting off my last day or that of anyone I love. I likely won't wake up on my last day and know that it's my last. The mother of the killer and all the other victims of his senseless crime had no idea that they'd be waking up to their last day.
Surrendering to the unknown and giving up control of my life is hard for me. But I know that the idea of control is really only in my mind. There are so many variables I'll never be able to corral or make manageable.
So I'm going to wring every bit of Christmas spirit and New Year newness out of this holiday season. I'm going to try my best to savor all the moments I missed emotionally last year. I'm going to show kindness and try to be understanding. I want my heart to be full and not empty and the only way I can do that is to keep from wasting precious energy and time on negativity and toxic people.
I can surrender myself to this season and to the God who gave a part of Himself for me. I can open my heart to the knowledge that my life is in His hands. I can remember to savor life because it is fleeting. I can remind myself to hug my kids a little longer and kiss their cheeks a few more times a day than I normally do.
I'm not going to miss it this time around. I have goals for the coming year, but they all are part of the idea of learning to really live in simplicity. In this new phase, I want to go deeper. I feel that that desire is something I have gained by enduring such a difficult time in the last couple of years.
It's time to move forward, keeping my eyes on the things that are unchangeable. I've begun to learn what it means to die to myself and yet to learn to love myself. I've also learned how important it is to stand up for the things I value. My life is in God and I'm setting my heart on things above, on the place where I belong. This life isn't my end, but knowing that makes me want to experience the richness of what life can be.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.--Colossians 3:2-3
My prayer for all of you is that you can let go of the hindrances in your way, and be open to the newness of life and the feeling of turning a new page in your existence. Every day is an opportunity to make a new start. Don't worry about pleasing people, but seek to be kind. Don't be afraid to rock the boat, but keep a tender heart. I'm gradually becoming my true, contended self, and I wish that for all of you, too.