Last Christmas I experienced my 24th Christmas in Kentucky. That is where we raised our family and developed our Christmas traditions. Joys, heartaches, challenges, and great love filled those years of my life. A year ago, moving to California was not on our radar. And here I am, about to experience my first Christmas in California.
I’m looking at an artificial tree we just bought. For 24 years our family went to an Orchard/Winery and rode in a wagon to cut down our own fresh tree – in snow, cold, rain, sunshine. It was our tradition. Now I have a tree with lights already on it. There will only be three of us here this Christmas. In the past I had up to 15 people around for Christmas. This year I am looking at palm trees wrapped in lights and wearing short-sleeved shirts.
What is this season for you? Is it carrying on with familiar events and traditions? Are your kids growing up? Is there grief you are facing? Are you just plain tired?
This holiday season several friends come to mind. For one friend, this is her last Christmas. She is dying of liver cancer. Another friend is experiencing the season suddenly single after her husband of many years ended the marriage. And another friend is facing the season after bankruptcy.
I know you have friends too who are experiencing a very different Christmas this year. Or maybe YOU are experiencing a season that is a little less than jolly. If this is the season you embrace a friend, loved one or stranger to help their holiday be cheerier, may the following words help you. Or if you are the one who needs the cheer I pray you be encouraged with this simple message.
Receive. Receive. Open yourself up to receive God’s grace and abundant love. When we are experiencing pain, grief, illness, change, or disappointment we tend to look back and yearn for what once was. Sometimes fear overcomes us and paralyzes us. And an invisible barrier goes up as our effort to protect ourselves but we are really just keeping out what just might bring us comfort and joy.
Receive. Open yourself to receive. Receive God’s blessing – in a different form. Receive His peace and let it wash over you and through you. Receive hope for the bright tomorrow. Receive – notice – take in – the little, everyday gifts of Christmas. Allow yourself to truly experience the simple joys of the season. Let this list remind you to be open to RECEIVE:
- A touch from a friend
- The sun breaking through the clouds
- A favorite song – hear the words, feel the music inside you
- A brightly wrapped gift – look at it, listen to the crinkle of the paper, imagine what’s inside
- God’s words that He is indeed with you; that hope is being born in you today; that He cares about your life eternally
- An unexpected blessing – a smile, a parking spot up front, a warm day, a card, a new recipe, an invitation
Open yourself to receive and also to experience the moments. Let your barrier come down so you can:
- Taste, really allow yourself to taste, a Christmas cookie
- Hear the sounds around you – a crackling fire, bells, a piano, and even paper being cut, folded and taped.
- Watch a beloved movie like White Christmas, or Little Women and take in the scenes with wonder
- Enjoy a child’s excitement
- Sense a friend’s smile delivering love to you
- Look, really look, at the decorations in stores, restaurants, on houses. Receive the delight they convey.
And open yourself to RECEIVE the joy of giving. Give to a friend who is grieving. Give to people who are in need. Give a hug to a dear one. Give a word of hope to someone else. And when you do, instead of crossing it off your to-do list, RECEIVE the joy of blessing someone else.
The iBloom Team cares and desires to help every woman on the planet experience life to the fullest. We pray for a blessed holiday season for you no matter what stage of life you are in. We pray you will choose to receive the joys that God lays before you.
We have written a book out of our own experiences of joy, grief, hardships, blessings, struggles, triumphs, and love. iChoose2 Love My Life helps people make life-giving choices in everyday life to move forward rather than be paralyzed by fear, looking back, or wishful thinking. There are 52 examples of choosing life and coaching steps to help this concept of choosing to be part of your everyday life. What a difference we have found this simple tool to make in the quality of our lives. We are convinced it will help you too! Bless yourself and/or someone else with this brand new book!!
Click here if you’d like more info or to order iChoose2 Love my Life by the iBloom Team.