Friday, December 14, 2012

This Christmas... I Choose Joy

In this land of "perfect" bloggy-world, I'm going to just say it like it is:  I'm not enjoying Christmas very much this year.

I *love* Christmas.  It is truly my favorite time of the year.  I *extra love* Christmas music and play it almost year-round.  Christmas music is one thing that I am really enjoying this year (thanks to Pandora and another radio station that is playing lovely Christmas music online).

The rest of Christmas?  Somehow the "Bah, humbug" bug came in a grinched away alot of my excitement.  I know what some of it is: busyness.  This past Monday at MOPS a mentor mom (who is also my "church mom" :) ) gave a devotional and in it she was talking about wanting different (to do more, to do less, to go to more, to go to less, etc.).  Afterwards I was sharing with her some of my frustrations with this Christmas, and one of them being that I do want to "do less" but I really can't!  I would love to have a much, MUCH clearer schedule, but I can't change that.  We have church on Sundays (usually 2x), this fall we're taking an 18 week parenting class every Monday evening (it is only offered in the fall), and this year our choir is involved with no less than TWO different Christmas concerts (one is our regular concert, the other a special concert with Steve Green).  So the concerts mean rehearsals... and extended rehearsals on Wednesday nights and then for several weeks rehearsals before church Sunday evenings.  With all of that, boom, I'm feeling rather scrooge-ish and just want (need?) to have some plain old me- and just us-time.  (Add in days that Daniel works 12+ hours, and yeah...)

Our tree is up!  It has lights on it. :)  Isn't it pretty with just the lights?  I think so!  Especially in the evenings when it's dark outside and just the lights on the tree are glowing in the living room.  Yeah, I want to put the other decorations on the tree.  I want to decorate the top of the piano.  I would love to hang and place other decorations around the house.  But it's not happening so far.  (Well, I do have a nativity up, and a Christmas centerpiece on the table.)

Today there's not even 2 weeks until Christmas.  In one way I think "what's the use?" in getting down the box of decorations and putting them on the tree.  Shucks, I still haven't taken down the last Thanksgiving decoration, haha!  (Maybe today Susannah and I will make some snowflakes to hang from the dining room light in place of the thanksgiving leaves!)

All this to say, my friend, Davene, posted over on her blog today, and her post spoke to me.  It's a short, simple post but it served as a reminder to me that *I* am the one who is in charge of choosing to enjoy Christmas or not.  I'm the one who can wish all I want that we didn't have as many things to attend.  I am the one who can make this Christmas be the very best that it can be (well, only within my own human limits, of course!).  That said, today is going to be a great day of having oodles of Christmas fun!

I mean, the house is never spotless to begin with, what does it matter if the floors aren't picked up for another 30 minutes while we make snowflakes?  Or put some pretty decorations on the tree?  Or find some garland to put on the piano?  Or wrap a gift or two and take time to have fun doing the wrapping?

Today I'm going to intentionally enJOY Christmas-time.

(And hey, I bet Mary had to choose joy when she found out she was gonna have to ride a donkey all those miles to Bethlehem while 9 months pregnant!)


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Hugs to you!

I know and have experienced (and do experience) ev-er-y-thing you spoke of! It's such a journey, such a learning experience, this thing called life. One of the things I am learning over and over is less is more! Even dropping out of the church choir for a season (or ladies singing group in my case) can be more. I also know the feeling of there is nothing left to trim, unless we just breathe air and drink water. So, hang in there. I need to choose joy more over here too.

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

P.S. I hope this "prove you're not a robot" thing is very beneficial for you (and other bloggers who have them). I find them a royal pain because I often cannot see or make out the characters, and if I turn on the sound, I can't tell what they are saying. If I REALLY want to leave a comment, I will try several times until I get one of them right. (And yes, my eyes are not as good as they used to be.)

Davene Grace said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so grateful that my simple post was used by God to speak to your heart. Maybe it's because I was writing from a "bah, humbug" attitude myself. It's not that I've been unhappy, but it is the kind of year in which I felt like, if we didn't have kids, I would have felt no desire to even get a tree. Not sure why... Anyway...

The tree is not the important thing, of course; but the battle (yes, sometimes it really feels like a fight!) to choose joy IS important. Thank you for encouraging ME along the way! :)

By the way, I think your tree is lovely with just the lights. :)

Georgi said... [Reply to comment]

I loved this post, and it has helped me a great deal. I am choosing JOY too.

BTW, your daughters are beautiful!

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I understand so much of what you said. Our Christmas season was spent with "Daddy" gone so, so much (the life of a musician and his family :) I'm thankful for the ability to choose joy throughout the chaos!