Happy . . . Merry . . . Sacred . . . Holy

I already have all my Christmas decorations up. I always put everything up early, but this year, due to everyone’s busy calendars and the timing of a minor surgery my husband had scheduled, plus the fact that it takes approximately 20 years to put everything up, we decided to decorate even earlier than usual. Cue all the comments about skipping Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas.

The thing is, I love Thanksgiving . . . and I love Christmas . . . to me they’re inseparable. I love this time from November through December because it reminds me so much of what matters and what’s truly important in life. Rather than get bent out of shape because of all the things I see as wrong with the way the holidays, Thanksgiving through New Year’s, are celebrated, I choose to see all the good in it.

Is it too commercialized? Probably . . . yes . . . but also . . . no . . . I think you can embrace all the fun things . . . the lights . . . the decorations . . . the shopping and parties . . . Santa (yes, we do Santa or at least 25% of our family does ;)) . . . and keep your mind and heart focused on why we celebrate . . . because when I say “Jesus is the reason for the season” I’m not just being cliche . . . I mean it. I am deeply thankful because I serve a Savior, who is also God, who was willing to leave His heavenly home to live as a baby, a child, and ultimately, a man . . . who sacrificed His life in order that I might live forgiven and free here on earth and eternally with Him in Heaven. For that I am immensely grateful . . . and because of that, for me at least, there’s no way to truly uncouple the joy that is Thanksgiving and Christmas.

These are the holidays . . . literally the “holy days” . . . the spiritual and the everyday, mundane joined together . . . the quiet moments with Jesus in the dark morning hours with only the light of the Christmas trees and a warm cup of coffee . . . the prepping and preparing for family meals . . . the dressing up for parties and giving of gifts . . . the shopping and the movies . . . the reading of the account of the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke . . . the post turkey and pumpkin pie naps . . . the singing of Christmas carols . . . the beauty of the season . . . it’s all holy. It’s all a gift from our Heavenly Father.

With that, it’s once again time for a some sort of break . . . both here and on social media . . . it’s even earlier than usual this year . . . but it’s time to soak in these next eight weeks or so . . . to sit in the holy and the sacred of it all . . . the time with Jesus, yes, definitely and always, the time with Jesus . . . but also, the moments with family and friends . . . to step back from the busy, and with basketball season colliding with the holidays as it does, busy is an understatement . . . to slow down. We can say no to never saying no. We can stop ourselves from buying into the insanity and frenzy and the overspending and never stopping to breathe. I think sometimes we “go-go-go” and constantly pursue doing things and checking social media and being entertained because we’re terrified of the silence. We need to stop . . . to embrace being still and quiet and enjoy all these rapidly passing moments of everyday life. . . not just during the holidays but all year round.

I may pop in here and on social media from time to time. I’ll probably share pics here and there on Instagram, but I want to spend more time these next couple months leading up to yet another New Year living life in person rather than on a screen. I encourage you to do the same. Step back, rest, and delight in the good gifts that God has given you.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’ll leave you with the words from one of my all time favorite songs:

Gratitude

All my words fall short
I got nothing new
How could I express
All my gratitude?

I could sing these songs
As I often do
But every song must end
And You never do

So I throw up my hands
And praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
Hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah
Hallelujah

I’ve got one response
I’ve got just one move
With my arm stretched wide
I will worship You

So I throw up my hands
And praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
Hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah
Hallelujah

So come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord

Oh come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord

Come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord, hey

Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

So I throw up my hands
Praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
Hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah
Hallelujah

Songwriters: Benjamin William Hastings, Brandon Lake, Dante Bowe

May these next couple of months be filled with gratitude and joy and the peace that only Jesus can bring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: