Sitting in my living room looking out at the blustery snow storm outside, I am pondering what Christmas is like for you this year. Each year the “feel” of the season may be markedly different from the last. I have a dear friend who, last year, grieved her inability to carry a child; this year she is in her first trimester of a stable pregnancy. I have a colleague who is walking through the first Christmas without her spouse by her side. I have a client who is reveling in the birth of her first grandchild and yet another who just found out that she will no longer have her job in 2016.
The “feel” of the holidays can ebb and flow against the filter of what’s presently taking place in our lives. We all want to be sensitive to others while also being grateful enough to celebrate the joys in our lives as well. This can be a fine balance that I have not mastered but attempt to be mindful of. Five years ago was a “blue” Christmas for me as our family was walking through the pain of a dramatic loss in our family. I don’t think I was resentful of the joys others were celebrating, I just didn’t have the enthusiasm to celebrate that year, I understand the challenge.
What I have learned over the years is that there is always elements of our lives we can be grateful for–some unchangeable areas where our gratefulness can be expressed:
- We have an amazing God who loves us, forgives us, gives us grace, and watches over our lives every single day!
- We live in America. We are not a perfect nation and have much to learn but as of today, we are free to worship, to work, and to travel freely.
- We all have friends. Some years we may not have as many friends as we’d like but if we were honest, we all have one or two dear people who love us and this is a real gift!
- If we are breathing and our heart is beating, we still have life within us and the opportunity to love and impact the lives of others around us.
I don’t know what your holiday filter is for you this year but it is my prayer that you will take some time to ponder, even list, the good things in your life as you navigate Christmas Day. May you begin a New Year with a fresh perspective, renewed hope, and a grateful heart.
Merry Christmas to you all. 🙂