I am sitting here at 5 am. The house is finally quiet...not something that happens often. It is the slow down. All the family that was here for Thanksgiving has left for home. My house is somewhat picked up and I had a few hours of sleep last night....good start!
I have done a lot of thinking this week. There has been a lot of pain for me between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day for many years. For many years this has been a hard time...a time that I just couldn't get excited about, truly, I dreaded it. In fact, until a few years ago, I didn't even see the pattern.
Last year, just before Thanksgiving, I was baptized!! You know, for the first time in as many years as I could remember, I was excited! I couldn't wait for the holidays to come...I couldn't wait to make new memories, good memories....I couldn't wait to start new traditions with my own family. Not all of that enthusiasm was met well....in there I forgot that others had issues, too. And so the enthusiam I started off with didn't stay as strong....but I made it through by the grace of God!! I didn't break down!! I didn't have to be medicated!! I can't look back and say at any one moment I thought I was going to fall apart!!
Jump to this year.......
Thanksgiving was beautiful! The old Kim would have snapped within hours. The old Kim wouldn't have handled the chaos around her, the changes of plans at the last moment, the life happenings that weren't planned out. I actually enjoyed myself and didn't start feeling overloaded just yesterday when it hit me how tired I really was....but even that wasn't near the issue it would have been in the past. I knew I was tired...didn't hide it from the world, in fact I gave them all the heads up...lol.
I haven't been this excited for Christmas since I was a little girl! I haven't been able to jump from Thanksgiving into Christmas without worry, dread, the what-ifs since I can even imagine. Last year was better than it had been, but I still wasn't excited......I was happy that I was happy...I decorated...but I still hadn't caught the "wow" of it all. I have caught the "WOW"! I am so excited that my Savior's birthday is now only 24 days away!! You see, it had always been about the gifting to me. I didn't know all this other "stuff"......I didn't know the story of Jesus' birth. Sure, I had heard the songs...sure, I had read the kids stories......but I had never looked at it and accepted the gift that I was handed! I had never looked at it as this is His birthday and I should celebrate Him! I had never realized that on this day He was born so that He could later assume all my sin, heartbreak and pain by being crucified for me!
And so....this Christmas I am revamping my season!! I didn't put up a bunch of santa claus, he is a character. I am putting up Jesus Christ, my savior and king!!! I am not counting down til Christmas, I am counting down the birthday of my Lord! So, this calls for celebration! I am going to celebrate this year. I am not gifting in the normal sense because I cannot afford it, and this is finally ok with me. Instead, I am making a conscious effort to do Christlike things in my daily living....yes, I do this everyday, but I am being more intentional for this season. I am going to speak of Him boldly and proudly like never before....I am going to really watch for little things that I can do for others that wouldn't seem to make a difference (cleaning up someone else's gathering so the host doesn't have to, unloading shopping carts for people as I am coming into or out of a store, smiling at everyone and yes that includes those who seem scary, etc). I have just enough time left before Christmas is here to make this a habit.........
I know that some of you may not understand the joy I am filled with right now....I have a lot to be stressed about --- my son is in prison, I have little money...... --- but please understand that with Jesus Christ at the center of all I do, He will provide what I need and so I need to provide what He needs.......I will honor Him, I will love Him, I will cherish Him, I will praise Him and I will worship Him!!!
Merry Christmas to you all....I hope you can find the peace and happiness I have found!