BIG. ON. MERRY. (i really am)
I. AM. DETERMINED. TO. HAVE. A. MERRY. CHRISTMAS. Look at me. I'm wearing a cute new scarf my cousin sent me for Christmas, for Santa's sake! And (though I had to take a picture in our scary bathroom at church, where exists the only full length mirror in the building!), I'm also wearing overalls--because I love them and I found an awesome vintage pair at the thrift store a while back and I decided today to just wear them, no matter what my smart-alecky kids will say! I'm trying, really trying, to be in the Christmas spirit.
But let me just say....it's been a year. A year of big family changes, big job changes, big financial struggles, the big emotional upheaval of a kid heading off to college and another kid moving back home. And, I am just getting over a 3 week bout with a respiratory virus that would not leave me alone (during two of the busiest weeks of my year at work, no less).
But Christmas is my jam, man, and I'm NOT--I repeat, NOT--going to let Christmas 2016 go down in our family annals as a downer.
So, here it is....my pledge, my big decision in a year of big events....Christmas 2016 will be BIG ON MERRY!
Not because my decorations are the best ever (there are still tubs of Christmas stuff sitting in my dining room as we speak!)
Christmas this year will not be big on merry because my house is as clean and organized as I'd like, or because the presents I am leaving my office shortly to scrounge together on a tiny budget are the greatest ever.
No, Christmas 2016 will be BIG ON MERRY because I'm choosing it. I am choosing to be grateful for what and who I have in my life, because God has given me all I have. I am choosing to be joyful despite the fact that there are some big unanswered questions looming for our family in 2017, because no matter what happens, God will be with us. And, I am choosing to love, because the people God has put in my life need it, and so do I, and the best way to get love is to give it.
God showed us this by giving us the best, most love-filled gift He had when He sent His one and only son to the earth, entrusted to a faithful, but unwitting teenager.
So, I will rejoice, like Mary, the mother of Jesus did, when she had just received that mind-blowing, life-altering BIG NEWS that she would bear God's son. She had no idea what would happen to her or to the new life within her, but she chose to be grateful and joyful and loving:
I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened - I'm the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.
Luke 1:47-50 THE MESSAGE