It’s Christmas season — that beautiful, joyful time of year full of anticipation and wonder. I love the natural refreshment that this season holds — restful evenings with books or a classic Christmas movie, Christmas tunes all day long, afternoons in the kitchen creating Christmas foodie delight. It’s such a reflective time of year, if we choose to make it so, and I’ve been thinking much about that as the weeks have led up to it. I am seeking to emphasis gratitude in my heart this Christmas season, and in our home. To recognize the many and tremendous ways we’ve seen the Lord work in our hearts and lives and to treasure the gifts that He gives, that come in such various forms, whether hard, beautiful, edible, decorative, exciting, sanctifying, or snow-covered and pine-scented.
This last week, when we were in TX for Thanksgiving, we had quite the opportunity to practice gratitude. Thanksgiving morning dawned with my little one, my younger sister, and myself all hit with a stomach bug. There’s a great battle to fight for gratitude when your losing half your body weight into a trash can instead of getting to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family, particularly when you are all together only a few times a year. There were many tears shed that day and honest prayers struggling with “why?”, but God is good all the time, friends, and we all had to choose to find and focus on the many ways we had to be grateful! We made many precious memories together that week and we were able to have a last whole family evening together the next night and in our wearied, ab-aching, recovering sickness state, we chose to laugh about it, be grateful for the time we had, and be hopeful for more time together very soon.
My mom is probably the greatest example I know of someone who chooses gratitude in whatever situation she is facing. Even with tears streaming down her cheeks on Thanksgiving Day she continually listed off the reasons she was grateful in the midst of disappointing circumstances. J and I were talking last night about her example and how it pushed us both that day to find joy. We talked about how mom’s joy in the Lord and the way that she daily seeks to be content and grateful for whatever He has allowed in her life endears her to people and makes her a beautiful testimony of what delight can be found in every day when we choose gratitude over bitterness. That example is a gift and one that I pray I emulate to my family and friends.
Gratitude has become my word this year and I am…well, grateful….for the countless ways the Lord has taught me about it these past weeks and months. In light of all of this, I thought I’d end the year with a little gratitude project. I am always, always encouraged and inspired when I see others share their gratitude and the ways the Lord is working in their hearts to grow a more profound sense of gratitude. So, I thought it would be neat for us to continue to share these things with one another — all the bits and pieces of what we are grateful for this Christmas season. Whether you share daily or however often, I’d love to see us point one another to the Giver of all grace and good gifts and cherish this season of refreshment even more. Just hashtag your photos with:
I’m grateful for each one of you, my friends, and hope that you are having a beautiful start to your Christmas season! I can’t wait to see what each one of you share!