Encouragement · Faith · Hope

Merry Christmas 2022

For anyone who feels lost or lonely today, I see you.

I can also relate.

While I always loved the idea of Christmas, the execution of it seemed to fall short of the picture I had in my mind.

It was an inarticulate sorrow that came in waves every other year; it was one that I had known my entire life–not just when I began sharing custody of my children.

Establishing tradition was desired and difficult with a foundation of every other year. I felt the sting of jealousy when others talked about what they did every year.

Always is not in the repertoire of those who have shared or are sharing children. Try substituting always with every other year. It just doesn’t work the same.

So–every year, because who has the bandwidth to remember two years ago, we would began anew. Maybe it’s fair to say I mourned the ability to establish tradition. In the tension between desire and actuality, I had to make a firm decision.

Instead of focusing on the loss, I had to focus on the gift. I learned to cherish the “one time” opportunities rather than focus on the lack of year after year occurrences.

The one time we served together as a family at Thanksgiving. The invitation to eat with another family the first year I was alone. The one time I flew home, on Christmas day, with my momma by my side. The Christmas Eve service and hot chocolate on odd numbered years. The time my then boyfriend proposed to me on Christmas Eve.

The one time…

This perspective helped me appreciate provision. Let’s face it, it is far easier to remember what we’ve missed than what we have received.

A lot has changed in my life. There will always be times when the children and their spouses have other plans, but I have learned to cherish the time we do have. Because when I store the good in my heart, it nourishes my soul even when it’s a little too quiet in the house.

A thankful heart, one filled with an abundance of joy and sweet memories, is available to each of us. Don’t let traditions, or a lack there of, set you off course. Run forward. Be the joy to someone battling loneliness this season.

Be the one time for someone today. It might be the only goodness that person or family is able to count this year.

This is the spirit of Christmas. This is Emmanuel–God with US!

Merry Christmas!

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