My Christmas Day started like this:
For the first time since 2010, I haven’t awakened Christmas morning with a little one excited to see what Santa left. I didn’t get to see him race to find the milk and cookies gone, the carrot half eaten, hear the squeal of surprise. I have missed the wonder and awe in his eyes. You see, my Christmas hasn’t even started yet. It will come later today, but it won’t feel the same.
It’s hard not to feel some resentment in that, this time of year especially. If you choose to walk away, you should be accepting of the consequences that come with that choice instead of continuously asking the rest of us to pay for what you want. You take the second seat, you bow your head in humility, you know in your heart you may have managed yourself wrong, but you accept what needs to be done to do right by those you’ve crushed. It takes rare people to go through a separation and still find the value in the other. Not what someone else says or continues to feed you. You put ugly influences in their rightful place and work hard towards a new kind of peace for all involved.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself this morning. I’ve worked hard to get through this holiday weekend not focusing on the sorrow, but my sorrow track seems much greater than my joy track. There has been quite a bit of Christmas music going (those who know me are shocked, right?), but this was one of the first Christmas songs I really stopped and listened to this morning, and it felt fitting:
Where Are You Christmas? (YouTube link to song)
I opened my ‘Choose Joy’ devotional (eyerolling-ly appropriate for all of this upheaval) and the verse jumped out at me, “There I will go to the alter of God – to God, the source of all my joy.” Psalm 43:4. Amen. There was my punch in the gut. My true joy cannot even come from my favorite little human in all the world. Though he is my greatest earthly treasure and gift, he cannot hold my joy. My joy must live outside of even him. It must live in me and what I create around myself. It really is a choice and the source is always ready and willing.
If there is one thing I can impress upon you this Christmas, it’s that no matter how hard or dreadful or dreary things may feel or seem, try harder. Make sure you give this life your all, your family your all, your loved ones your all. Don’t quit. Choose joy. It’s there. He’s there. When it all seems hopeless: pray. And when you’re tired and exhausted and done: pray harder. Ask him to be your source: abundantly. He will.
My Christmas Prayer this year: Psalm 43
“Declare me innocent, O God! Defend me against these ungodly people. Rescue me from these unjust liars. For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the alter of God – to God, the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!”
❤ Merry, Merry ❤