I'll admit, a fraction of me feels like just putting my head down and shuffling through Christmas this year.
In my own mind, I'm shouting "Blasphemy!" to myself. I'm usually all about Christmas, by July 7th I'm ready to start putting up the tree.
I'm all about hope, which is what Christmas means to me.
I'm all about sparkly lights.
I'm all about presents.
I'm all about the music, the people, the food, the meaning, the stories, the memories, and on, and on, and on.
I should feel thrilled, even more than usual this year, because this is my first Christmas as a graduated "adult". Yes, to all of those nineteen to twenty-five year old's out there, you know exactly why I put the word adult in quotation marks. At this point, I am assuming that once you reach the heightened age of twenty-six this whole adult thing will begin to make some sense.
I should feel all of that, the joy, the sparkles, the warmth....
....but I don't.
Life has been hard for me and my family for the last couple of years. We have been in a really difficult living situation that just keeps getting more cramped and hard to live in. God has really done a lot of painful work in our hearts over the last few years, digging up things and forcing us to work on them.
The last few years have been really great when it comes to growth, and I wouldn't trade this season for anything. I have matured so much.
But I'm tired, I want to move on, to the next place, literally, I want to get to a different house. Maybe I sound like a whiner, but certain things like AC, a furnace, less mold, and other things seem fairly reasonable to me.
So what does this have to do with Christmas? This: life just feels too messy and hard to fit Christmas into.
I know, that sounds nuts, doesn't it? But it's how I feel. Trying to fit Christmas in around all of the messy chaos of my life sounds so hard. And I know for a fact, I am not the only one who feels this.
Across America, across the world, there are millions of people who live busy, chaotic, and messy lives. And millions of those people celebrate Christmas.
Should we all just put our head down and shuffle through the holidays when we don't feel put together enough to celebrate? Should we just forget about the joy this season, and feel sad about the things that don't feel right? Not that Christmas will ever look like it does on Hallmark Channel, but, I have had more orderly Christmases before.
It's tempting, it may be really lame, but in a sense, it does sound easier to close up rather than trying to engage this celebration.
That is how I feel...
...but that is how I refuse to live.
I REFUSE to allow my Christmas to be taken from me by the troubles of this world and my own heart. I refuse to let joy slip away and be replaced by gray clouds. I refuse to let this season pass in a blur.
This Christmas, I choose to eagerly grab onto truth, life, and joy. This Christmas is precious, and beautiful, and just what I need right at this moment in my life.
I want to share this choice with you, and so, I have decided to write about Twelve Truths of Christmas that I am going to focus on this year. Starting on Sunday the 13th, I will be sharing a single truth each day, something precious that I am focusing on this Christmas season.
Join me. Don't let this precious season pass you by. I know life feels hard, maybe you are depressed, maybe your circumstances are less than ideal. But this is our Christmas, this is our Savior, and this season about our hope and joy!
Merry Christmas! See you all on Sunday for Day 1- Joy.