Friday, December 19, 2008

Where I find my Christmas joy

This week's Heart of the Matter Online Meme is on the topic of: Where I Find My Christmas Joy.

"Eggnog, Christmas music, decorating cookies, going to church… each of these things bring me joy for one reason–they all include my family. Each moment is imprinted as a permanent part of our family Christmas legacy. Where do you find your Christmas joy?"

During the Christmas season, I find much delight in having a good excuse to give gifts to those closest to me-- be it a toy, game, baked goodies, making things together (like crafts or cookies, especially with kids)... The best part is that they (hopefully) will not give me anything in return other than the joy and satisfaction I gained in the giving. It really is more blessed to give than to receive!

Besides gift giving, I am also quite fond of eggnog (not a la southern comfort or whatever some people put in it to make it icky!), singing Christmas hymns, beautiful lights on the trees and houses, and gathering with friends and family... especially family. It takes exceptional people to know me so well and yet still choose to be around me! Right, Coco? ;-)

Christmas 2007 at our house.

JOY, however... wow, that's in a category that is leaps and bounds over "enjoy" or "delighting in".

Like the old acronym goes, you can have JOY by putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. It's a mighty fine recipe!

Jesus- Can you imagine life if Jesus had never been born? It literally makes me shudder. It is through His sinless life and sacrifice on the cross that I have hope in this life and assurance of eternal life! Without Jesus, funerals would be very different, wouldn't they? It would be ashes to ashes, dust to dust... no hope, no rejoicing, no peace... No assurance of seeing Christian again-- what a miserable existence that would be!

Others- God has been gracious to give me many wonderful friends-- true, trustworthy, fun, caring, devoted friends... not only in my family(!!!), at church and around town, but in other parts of the country as well as in the cyber world. :-)

Yourself- I am my most miserable (read: joyless) when I think too much about myself:

    • I* am tired.
    • That's not how *I* wanted things to turn out.
    • *I* want the house to be spotless.
    • *I* want things done right this second.
    • *I* would never throw dirty clothes right next to
      the laundry basket (instead of in it!).

Me, me, me! Waaaaah! Poor pitiful me. The *I*'s usually become more prominent during times of stress or busyness (ahem, like Christmas and any other major holiday or time that I overscheduled or don't learn to say "no" enough). What a big baby I can be sometimes! I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have learned over the years that I most definitely cannot change other people. Or control everything around me. But I can choose to change my attitude, my outlook, my response!

Will you choose JOY in your house, in your mind, in your heart?

As a mom, you will set the tone and mood for your entire family. The choice is not always easy, but with God's help, you can do it!

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