Every year as I wrap Christmas presents I am reminded of how awful I am at tying bows. Which immediately makes me think of my Papaw. See, I learned how to tie my shoes in a very odd way. Anyone that sees me tie does a double take. My dad was taught that way by my Papaw and then I was taught the same. There's a whole story that goes with it - a rabbit, a tree... I've tried to learn the "right" way, but it just never stuck. Anyway, as I was sitting in the floor alone wrapping presents this afternoon while the babies napped I began to cry. I thought of the bow, then my Papaw, then my Grandaddy, then Papa, etc.
It seems like Christmas always brings up deep emotions in people. Whether it's loved ones you miss a little bit more this time of the year, what you've been through in the past at this time of the year, or what you are presently going through and what's unsure of to come in the new year. Last weekend while our new pastors, Morgan & Carrie were in town it seemed to be a theme in both of their messages and something I had been dwelling on these weeks leading up to Christmas. Choosing Joy. It's so easy to get bogged down and burdened by that :life: stuff. How to do everything, be everything, pay everything. Morgan said, "Joy is a holy habit." It reminded me of a David Crowder book I read, "Praise Habit," He talks about how the habit a nun wears is something she gets up each morning and chooses to put on. We choose to put on our JOY in this season. We choose to remember the real reason we each celebrate. We choose to enjoy this season with those in our lives. This is the only year, that Ryder will be 20 months and Paisley will be 3 months at Christmas time and I don't want to let it slip by and not take it all in. If you'd asked me a year ago what Christmas would be like this year I'd have had no idea this is what it would be. But I am so blessed and I so want to enjoy every second. So as I cried this afternoon it was not just in remembering the bows and my Papaw, but it was in the reflecting that made me see what an amazing gift each day of this season is. That's why I let Ryder eat a sugar cookie as big as his head and drink chocolate milk at 11am this morning with friends. That's why we stayed out till 10pm with both kids on Saturday night to shop and see fireworks when we had to get up at 6:30 yesterday. That's why I let him carry around ornaments during the day and why I let him stand in a chair at the island last night and make a huge mess helping me cook. And it's why I'm gonna enjoy my day of preparation tomorrow as we do laundry and clean and pack for the fun and exciting few days to come.
I pray that you all have a joy filled week with the family and loved ones around you. May you feel his Joy in the midst of whatever it is you are going through.