What if this was your last Christmas?

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Can you believe another year is about to close?  It feels like I simply blinked and it was December again! How about you? However, if I take a little time to reflect over the year I realize that within that crazy, busy year there have been some monumental experiences that should not be overlooked; there were so many learning opportunities for me.

One of the biggest “stand out” experiences for me was, unfortunately, a horrific car accident in which my husband and I walked out with our lives and we are beyond grateful.   This unfortunate experience has given me many moments of reflection as I think about the brevity of life; it goes by so fast and sometimes it is stolen from us.

Our car accident has caused me to take a deeper look at my passions, my professional work, my personal life, my meaningful relationships, as well as my physical & emotional health. As I stepped out of the truck that day, badly shaken, my first thought was an overwhelming gratefulness that our lives had been spared but following that I experienced a very clear picture of what really matters in my life~ people.

As you walk through the holidays, how can you navigate the season so that the busyness does not steal from your connection with others? How can you slow the pace in order to share tender moments along the way? Christmas traditions can be so fun, baking and office parties can be invigorating; but taking the time to be certain that those you love know that they matter is really at the heart of Christmas.

What’s tugging at your heart this year? Is there a relationship that needs encouragement? A single mom struggling that needs your touch? Does your spouse need the festivities to slow down so that the two of you can remember what great friends you are; or perhaps work towards being again?

Our unexpected accident has only heightened my awareness that every day is a precious gift!  Truly, the 2016 Christmas season could have been our last! Every day is, indeed, a gift! Instead of chocolate indulge deeply in the relationships that surround and bless your life and in doing so you will have a very Merry Christmas.

We can be so clumsy~

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I love the Christmas season; it can be such a joy-filled time.  But, every Christmas hasn’t been a time of celebration for me; there have been a Christmas or two that have been really tough to get through. The darkest Christmas season for me was the first year after my dearly loved nephew had passed away.  My heart was broken and full of unanswered questions. Celebrating felt odd, it felt wrong.

Over the past month I have seen many blogs expressing that we need to be especially careful and mindful of those who are experiencing a Christmas season that is full of difficulty.  Sending “Merry Christmas” cards may not be the best choice.  Pictures of all our happy celebrations on Facebook might be insensitive….

Certainly, it is valuable and necessary to celebrate joy, to share love with those around us, and to express thankfulness for all the blessings in our lives BUT how do we do that while being kindly sensitive?

I don’t have all the right answers, but I think we can be clumsy.  I would never infer that we would choose to be insensitive; yet I think that we can be…especially in this season. Perhaps, if we just asked the Lord for extra wisdom He can help us navigate this season with celebration and grace.

For the mother that just lost her child, for the woman whose husband is suffering, for the family that just lost their home, for the couple whose marriage feels hopeless, and for those who are simply lonely……I will try not to be clumsy with your heart; especially in this season.  Please forgive me if I miss the mark.  😦