I never really know the best place to start with a post like this. I love when I sit down at my laptop with no real plan, direction, or outline, and let my fingers hit against the letters on my keyboard until they form the thoughts I am trying to process.
Though random at best, it reminds me again why I started this little space. To share my heart.
Every year since I can remember, I’ve been sharing our family pictures on here around this time of year. With the exception of last year, we had our pictures professionally done. We typically don’t and just have fun on our own with my sister taking them. Of course the quality is different, but we work with what we get and I don’t have to worry or work around anyone’s timelines. While it was fun to treat ourselves last year (and I won’t say we wouldn’t do it again), it didn’t come with the same family memories and stories to tell like in years past. And this year, those stories were back, and did not disappoint.
My little man C had his own agenda of where he wanted to stand, who he wanted to stand next to, where he wanted to sit. Ok, basically he was bossing everyone around and running the show. He tried to run away a few times…we titled those pictures, running out of 2020. I mean, I can’t really blame him. We even turned on some Christmas music and had a dance party in our Christmas trees.
Ok, back to random thoughts. I don’t think I have to state many points to justify how different his year has been for so many of us. I think we’ve all been effected in some sort of capacity. The holidays included.
This year, the slower holiday pace and extra family time has emphasized even more the importance of focusing on what we do have. Sure we are missing some of our favorite gatherings and events, but not having every weekend packed and being able to feel more present, has been a blessing in itself. In the years to come, I might even be saying no to more things so that the season doesn’t feel chaotic and rushed.
I want to look back on this different time of celebrating with a thankful heart. It’s allowed us to have a deeper focus on why this time of year is so important. Sure all the magic, glitz, and joy is amazing, but humbling our hearts to reflect on our heavenly father is all we really need.
When I think about the hurdles and nonsense we’ve all had to overcome this year, it’s easy to get down on ourselves, or focus on how trying its been. Then, I think about that first Christmas night and the many hurdles and obstacles that Mary and Joseph had to overcome.
I mean, my girl Mary was having contractions and people where like, oh well. Jesus did not come into this world easily. There wasn’t a red carpet rolled out for him with every door wide open making life easy. In fact, it was the opposite. If we think about it, through all of those trials and doors closed in front of them, God opened another for them, and they ended up exactly where he wanted them to be.
That’s what I want to try and focus on this Christmas season. If you’ve been following along around here you know how hard it was for me losing my daughter this year. And I’m not saying this time of year has been any easier on me. My heart breaks every night when my boys pray for a new baby sister, or how I think about how this would have been her first Christmas, or something so silly like we would have had an even number of stockings this year.
Then I think about the meaning of Christmas and the joy and hope I have in knowing my savior was born so that I can have everlasting life. Even though God closed one door for me (I’m still questioning why, God?), I have to trust that somehow He is going to put me right where I need to be.
It makes me think about how one of the first things the angel Gabriel said to Mary was, do not be afraid. Often times our fears can be greater than we’d like to think. I have a sweatshirt that says, faith over fear. And while I know and trust in that saying whole heartily, sometimes I can falter in my fear. Then I’m reminded, that God reminds us 365 times in the bible (one for every day of the year) in some form, that we don’t need to be fearful.
So this season, I’m focusing on the family I have in front of me. The ones I will love from afar. The joy that is still in this season and in our savior. The hope that is not lost. The love that is still around us. And the peace that can live in our hearts.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!