"For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful,
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace."
I think of single moms working two jobs and trying to raise children all on their own. Those who are in hospitals or nursing homes. Those who are widows or widowers. Those who are serving as missionaries around the world and are missing family members back in the states. Those who are serving our country overseas and have family members waiting for them back at home. Those who are “down and out” and living in homeless shelters. Those children who are living with an abusive parent or parents. Those who have gone through a divorce and must try to equally split quality time spent with the children. Those who are living with a life-altering chronic illness.
The last one which I mentioned is the category I fall under.
And I am going to be brutally honest
and tell you from first hand-hand experience
that holidays can be very difficult.
You can feel very disconnected.
Why? The reason is different for each situation which I mentioned. But in my case, when you deal with an illness which basically leaves you in your home 85 to 90% of the time, you realize just how much of the holidays you are missing. You see on facebook and other social media sites, in movies, television shows and even commercials, all the fun you are supposed to be having at this time of the year.
It can sting and can cut straight through to your heart. Which, if left unchecked, will cause a HUGE case of jealousy, which in turn, becomes a root of bitterness, which not only affects me, but ALL those around me.
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled;”
I don't like to admit that over the past thirteen years, and especially over the past few years since the symptoms have “ramped up”, how many times I have compared my holidays to someone else's who is healthy and well.
“... but they measuring themselves by themselves,
and comparing themselves among themselves,
are not wise.”
II Corinthians 10:12b
And guess what? It accomplished absolutely nothing. Well let me rephrase that.
YES, it did accomplish something!
It made me miserable, which in turn made my husband miserable and everyone else around me miserable!
Nothing like spreading the holiday cheer!
No, I cannot cook Christmas dinner like I did in the past. But what great memories I do have of hosting many Christmas dinners. Oh what fun it was to prepare the menu and do the shopping and cook the meal and set the table the night before with our best dishes (beautiful china dishes which we received as a wedding gift from my in-laws!)
And my sweet hubby will make sure I have a delicious meal to eat this year like he does every year!!
No, I cannot decorate a huge Christmas tree. But this year if I want to see our Christmas tree, all I need to do is have Brian move it from the dining room to the living room! Two years ago, when our son and his family were at our house for Christmas, our daughter-in-LOVE went to the store and bought us an artificial Christmas tree, which came decked out with strands of white and colored lights. She also bought tinsel, beautiful Christmas ornaments, an angel for the top of the tree, and even some ceramic ornaments which she, my granddaughter and myself painted! Oh what fun! So after Christmas was over that year, we decided instead of tearing it all apart, we would just move it to the dining room!
No, I cannot bake Christmas cookies but what precious memories I have of making cookies together with my son MANY years ago. In fact we had
our own business which we called
“Camp's Cookie Company”!
We would call my Mom and ask her what kind of cookies she would like to order (she would always play along!). She would say something like, "Oh yes, I'm so glad you called! I'd like one dozen of those delicious chocolate chip cookies. I'd also like two dozen of your srumptuous snickernoodles. And I'd like three dozen of those yummy sand tarts. But I would like a dozen of them in the shape of a Christmas tree with green sprinkles. One dozen in the shape of a candy cane with red sprinkles. And one dozen in the shape of a Christmas bell with red and green sprinkles. And can you please have them delivered to me hot and fresh by December 23rd , so I can have them all ready for my Christmas Eve get together? Oh what SWEET memories!
No, I cannot hit the malls and go shopping for Christmas gifts (which may really be a blessing in disguise!!) But I had a blast shopping online for our "angel girl" which Brian and I took off the Christmas tree at our church for the "Operation Making Spirits Bright" which our church does every year for the children in the community!
We are planning on attending the Christmas Eve service at our church. But, if by chance, my symptoms are in a big flare up, we can watch the service via the live stream which our church provides!
As I'm sitting here writing this out, the Lord has shown me quite clearly that it's a matter of choice.
My perspective of how I choose to view holidays,
I can either view it by comparing myself to others
and end up being discouraged
and in a HUGE pity party.
Or I can be content
with the memories that the Lord
allows me to have
of Christmases gone by
and also rejoice
in all that the Lord
still allows me to enjoy!
I think this Christmas I will definitely choose choice number two, especially since I know for a fact, that choice number one accomplishes nothing but heartache, not just for me, but for those around me, and it brings NO glory to my Saviour whatsoever.
And anyway, isn’t Christmas ALL about celebrating the birth of our Saviour?
The parties, gifts, decorations, dinners, trees, etc. are just an added “bonus”. So no matter if I can or can’t go to a Christmas party. No matter if I can or can’t cook a Christmas dinner. No matter if I can or can’t go shopping for Christmas gifts.
I CAN still worship and adore and bring honor and glory and give THANKS to the Saviour Who was born. The Saviour Who was born to ultimately die for the sins of the world on the cross at Calvary.
YES … I am definitely going with choice number two for my Christmas celebration this year!
"Father, thank You so very much for sending Your Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. Thank You that we have this time of the year to celebrate His birth. Thank You, Lord, that we know that Jesus did not remain as a baby in that manger, but He grew up and eventually died on the cross at Calvary for the sins of the entire world. Oh, Father, may many come to know Jesus as their Saviour during this time of the year. That people would see beyond the manger and see Jesus as their risen Saviour Who conquered sin and death once and for all.
In Jesus' Precious Name. Amen."
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Even Linus knows the
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