Well, it’s that time of year again. What first comes to mind when you hear that phrase? Personally, I could respond to it in a variety of ways.
For me, the holiday season brings on a lot of different thoughts and emotions, housed in more “rooms” in the recesses of my mind than I can imagine even being there.
You see, our minds are filled with “rooms” of memories. Some rooms we love to visit often, some we’d rather never visit again. And unfortunately, the holidays can sling doors open to those rooms in our minds that we don’t want to walk into.
Rooms filled with memories of grief, heartbreak, and loss. Rooms filled with seasons gone by and days we wish we could get back or have a do-over. Rooms filled with memories of past holidays which looked much different than the ones we know we’ll experience this year. Rooms filled with unfulfilled desires, unmet expectations, heartbreak or loneliness.
I get it, because my holidays look much different than they used to years ago, and I’m sure yours do too. Time flies and life keeps moving forward and changing for us all.
If I allow it, there are so many memories that although I cherish, are also ones that hold the power to steal my joy …. rooms full of memories of fun annual family outings to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree … memories of holiday decorating and baking nights as a family … holiday shopping with my daughters … attending the annual Southern Christmas Show together … matching PJ’s, laughter and watching holiday movies together on Christmas eve after attending a candlelight service … having all three of my children under the same roof on Christmas morning to open presents … the voices of precious family members and loved ones who have been lost through death or divorce.
This year specifically, six months ago, I moved from the house my children and I lived in for 26 years into a smaller home. It’s been seven years since my divorce, and it was time, but oh my goodness it was hard on my heart. It has certainly been an adjustment to leave our family behind and be in a new house for the first time in my adult life, especially during the holiday season.
But the good news is, we always have a choice which rooms we allow ourselves to mentally walk into. And we can also always choose which ones we decide to camp out in. I choose to pick the rooms that bring me joy!
Rooms where those fond memories of years ago when my children were younger are sprinkled with the joy of all the new memories we will create in the years to come – making new family traditions … enjoying my two amazing new “children” I get to call daughter-in-law and son-in-law … new friendships and loves … a beautiful new home which only happened because of a sovereign God … new opportunities … new passions and pursuits … precious family members … and blessings in abundance.
These are the rooms where I open the door for God to remind of the beauty He has allowed me to enjoy in each season, and which help me shift my focus from what is no longer, to all the blessings that are currently in the present.
The Bible talks so much about how powerful our thoughts are. Living a life dedicated to focusing on our blessings instead of our burdens, and looking at the good things in our current life instead of mourning the things of the past, takes commitment and intentionality, but it’s so worth it. Not only at Christmas, but all year long.
Proverbs 17:22 says, _”A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.” (MSG)_. Who wants to purposely be filled with gloom and doom? Who wants to be bone tired from the inside out? Who longs to feel sad and depressed and stuck in the past all the time? Who wants to mourn over what we can’t have anymore instead of embrace and enjoy what we do have?
Certainly not me! 🙂 And I feel confident you don’t either. Choosing positive thoughts will always steer us towards those rooms in our mind which bring us joy.
So, what room will your mind choose to be in this holiday season? What are the wonderful things filling the beautiful rooms in your mind this year? What rooms are filled with the most blessings that make you smile? Those are the rooms where your mind needs to park.
Despite our circumstances, changes in seasons of life, age, children’s ages, health, financial situation, marital status, holidays that look different from how they once did – the room we decide to spend the most time is what will determine our joy and happiness – especially during Christmas.
This is the season of joy, my friend. Slam shut the doors to all those rooms that threaten to steal your joy and refuse to let your thoughts seep into them. Ask God to capture each thought that tries to pull you back into sadness and run headfirst into your room full of joyful and happy thoughts.
In doing so, this holiday season might just turn out to be one of your favorites after all, and your heart and mind will be free to focus on the birth of our Savior above all else.
Leave a comment on this post below to share your thoughts! I’d love to hear the rooms you are choosing to park in this holiday season so you can intentionally focus on the Reason for the season!
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