Every year I struggle with Christmas. The time right before Thanksgiving till the day after Christmas can be agonizingly long. I hate all the commercialism that we are constantly bombarded with, but you know what I really dislike? I dislike the empty places at the table. I miss my family. I miss the laughter of kids. I miss the building of excitement. I miss the joy of Christmas. I miss the joy of just being together.
It began with the loss of my grandpa right before Thanksgiving many years ago. He was my only dad and Thanksgiving was his very favorite day. He used to tell me, “How can you not love a day that all you have to do is be thankful?” He’d then tell me he loved me and was thankful for me. To say I can’t wait to see him again is a huge understatement.
Through the years many other very much loved family members have passed on. My grandma was just as amazing as grandpa. She did her best to teach me to be a lady (sorry, grandma 😉) and took good care of me and my siblings.
My hubby’s family was hit hard by loss, too. Him and his sister are pretty much all they really have left. Yet, my sweet hubby still manages to smile, be joyful, and welcome the holidays.
Our boys are grown men and both are married. They have bigger families to share with now so their seats are often empty, too.
(Remember when I lamented about no blogs for moms with adult kids? Well, mine changes that! We now have our “space” too.)
The Lord gave me a word for this year and that word has been joy. Clearly, it’s not a concept I grasp very well but I think I’ve found the key. When I focus on me and what I think I don’t have, I forget to look at what I do have. When I start actually counting how many ways I’m blessed my sorrow turns to joy. Being thankful is the key to being joyful. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finally figure it out!
One of my sons shared this a few years ago, “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.” That really was a God thing because he had no idea how hard I was struggling at the time. It was as if he turned the light on in a very dark room. Since then my prayer has been, “Please, Lord, help me to see things the way you do.” It’s been an incredible journey since I first started praying that prayer.
My new word from the Lord for this year is patience. Pray I survive! 😊 😳
We consider the “P” word a pretty dangerous word to utter in our household and would never consider praying for it, yet, there it is.
Have a blessed Christmas, my friends, and remember to be thankful.