The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving today, Christmas and then we start a brand new year.
How will you spend these next few weeks?
Some may create new memories.
Some may relive memories of holidays past.
Many…will do both.
Many already do their very best to try and get through a day but the holidays seem to put extra emphasis on the losses we have suffered and the pain we endure.
Sometimes it is all we can do to just breathe much less find a joy that is more than fleeting.
By now many of us have learned that the things in this life are but a moment.
A visit with a neighbor, a hug from a grandchild, an encouraging word from a friend. Even our favorite meal is fleeting. But there is joy to be found in each of these.
This week we had family and friends over to help us with our Christmas tree but the night before the house got busy with people and activity it was just Haleigh Raye and me. On a whim I decided to get down every single Christmas box I had stored. I could have been the main focus on Christmas Hoarders. By the time I got everything down and out it looked liked my dining room had turned into a makeshift Christmas trinket shop. I sifted through it all feeling like I was transported in time and, needless to say, many feelings came over me. Then I came across our ornaments. Ones we had been given, ones the kids had made over the years and special ones we had picked up over time. And then I came across a candle. Given as a present, it was one of those things I knew would look just right…someday. So I never bothered to get it out of it's original box. Each year as we went through all the Christmas storage the kids would get it out and ask me to burn and display it. But I never did. I was waiting for the right time. The right occasion. Each year it got packed back up and stored. And so…the joy of the moments of watching that candle burn, even as short as it might have been, never came. I never allowed them to. Too busy, too trifling or too frugal with something as small as a candle but for whatever reason it was never used.
I missed the joy of that moment I could have shared with my kids. I missed giving them joy. I missed watching their joy. Even if it was something as simple as burning a candle.
This season I challenge each of us, (including myself), to find the simple joys. There are struggles, there is pain. There is heartache and there is physical ailments.
But there are also little hands that want to help. A face who wants the book read one more time. A senior adult who wants to share. A person that really wants to tell us how they are doing when we ask.
Or the candle that needs to be burned…
even if just for a moment.
(And this candle that reminded me of so much will probably burn all season long.)
"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints." Philemon 1:7
And as we say at my house...
Merry Thanksgiving and Happy Christmas to you and yours!!!