It's Monday and so I've managed to drag myself out of bed after a very busy Sunday of ministry at my church. I'm feeling a bit scattered so I'm doing a quick checklist of the necessary tools to complete the task of talking with you:
Coffee- check. Pink mini laptop- check. Favorite booth at the diner- check, almost. I got here late and someone is sitting in MY booth. I'm sure the one I'm in will still work so after a few gulps of coffee.... here goes.
You'll never guess what happened this week! I was finishing up the last of my shopping- now there's a funny statement. I have decided that there is no point to getting the shopping done "early" because I will continue to think of more things to pick up right up to Christmas eve. So I should really just wait until the last week to get it done. Perhaps then I would spend less. Well, perhaps. Anyways, I was at the checkout counter and the clerk was ringing up my order when she looked up at me and chuckled. It wasn't until I saw her response that I realized that I was singing along with the Christmas music being played in the store ---- OUTLOUD. It was WinterWonderland and I was singing the harmony part and kind of swaying with the music. I stopped.She stopped. Then I laughed and said to the clerk, "Come on you can sing along too, 'walking in a winter wonderland'." She didnt sing but she did at least smile. She also seemed to pick up the pace at the register. So if you're in a hurry today I would recommend you sing- outloud.
The reason this is so amazing, at least to me, is that up until that moment I had been unable to truly enter into the "ho,ho,ho" of Christmas. Grief seemed to still be casting a shadow on the festivities. So when I realized that I was actually singing along and smiling I was quite pleased. I whispered a "thankyou Lord" under my breath and rejoiced that the "grey" was lifting just in time. The kids are coming home this week and I'm in charge of "ho,ho,ho" for the whole family. It's hard to be responsible for something your heart's not in it so I have been rejoicing that God is surely helping me to "get it together" for Christmas.
Isnt that just like Him! God seemed to know just what I needed for Christmas. That makes Him better than Santa. Besides God is always on the job and Santa is a merely a seasonal employee.
The next song played in the store was "I'll have a blue Christmas Without You" so I fled for the car before it did any damage to my newfound jolly. Grief has this way of sneaking up on you. You're fine one minute and the next some sound or smell will jog a memory and you're in tears. At least that's how it is for me. Three years after David's death and I still have those moments. Not as often as at first but it's still an "iffy" thing, especially during the holidays.
So, let's just say I've found my "ho,ho,ho" - well perhaps just "ho,ho". But I've decided to give myself a break. Two out of three 'hos' aint bad. It's two more than I had expected. So today, with God's help, I am wishing everyone I meet a Merry Christmas and singing along whenever I can. I've changed the radio station in the car to the "all Christmas all the time" channel and I'm getting with the 'program'.
How about you? I know it's hard so give yourself a break. Perhaps this year only one "ho" is all you can do. It's OK. God will help us through this season of Christmas and through this season of grief. He's on the job! year round! I remind myself that Christ said that He came to "heal the brokenhearted" and "trade their mourning for joy". I am so glad He came. I would hate to think how hard this would be without Him here to help me. I am celebrating His coming this Christmas. He came... for such a time as this. He came ... for me. (and for you!)
See you next Monday. We'll do the "post Christmas" review and look ahead to better days. Merry Christmas and Ho,Ho,HO! (Look at that! I do believe I may have found that third 'ho'- at least for today. YEAH!)