Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2 - Finding Joy

Well, so much for perfect blog attendence. I completely missed yesterday. I had thoughts throughout the day about joy, and the SSJE advent word "imagine." I just never got my act together enough to write those thoughts down to see if they made any sense.

I'd have to say pretty much the same thing for today. Except today my excuse is that I was making bears instead of writing. I cut myself some slack when I read Alana Sheeren's Monday Mantra and asked her if I could copy it. I readily admit that it was this picture that caught my eye. But as I read on, I agreed with everything Alana said.  Who hasn't had those moments when we wish for Martha Stewart to pop in and work her magic with the decorations and in the kitchen? And who hasn't melted into a puddle of tears when their kindergartner brings home a glue and glitter covered piece of art to go on the very un-Martha tree? Who hasn't looked at their tree years later, after the kids are gone with kids of their own, and wept over each tiny plaster of Paris hand print or cotton ball snowman? I believe there is a time every year, when everyone, young and old, sits in front of a Christmas tree to admire it's homemade ornaments for the umpteenth time and let sweet memories surround them with the quiet joy of the season.

Please take a few minutes to read Alana's post below. I'm sure she'd love for you to visit her blog and leave a comment.

Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree I have a moment. A moment where I think, Gosh wouldn’t it be nice to have a designer tree where everything was color coordinated and matchy matchy?
This year that moment lasted longer than normal. Partly because I let my daughter talk me into the multi-colored lights and partly because I was tired and opening that last box of mostly-handmade ornaments about did me in.
But as we hung the last of the glass and tin icicles I remembered who I am.
I am the little girl who made ornaments with her mom and hung them on the tree every year into my twenties, remembering only bits and pieces of those creative, happy moments as I grew older but holding their specialness in my heart.
I am the heart-on-my-sleeve woman who gets teary hanging the painted egg that came from Norway when I was an infant and the tin Scottie that reminds me of my childhood pups and the glass ball from our honeymoon in St. Lucia and the two hand-painted gifts from other baby loss moms the year Benjamin died.
I am the mama who delights in her daughter’s pride as she places her handiwork carefully on gently drooping branches and stretches on her daddy’s shoulders to add the yellow construction paper and glitter glue star on top.
This is our tree. This is our way.
Whether it’s your holiday decorating or the clothes you wear or your path to peace, or success, or joy, forget what everyone else says to do and find your way. YOUR way.
In this moment, what is right for me?
In this moment, what is my way?
In this moment, how do I want to feel?
In this moment, who am I?
Ask the questions and listen closely for the answers. Then turn your face in the direction you want to go and walk, even if it’s against the crowd.
Tree topper
P.S. Changing direction is always allowed if you’re following your heart.
P.P.S. Remember to be kind in the process. To yourself. To your loved ones. To those walking another way.
P.P.P.S. There’s a lot of talk of joy as we enter the holiday season. If you’re not feeling it, give yourself permission to be okay with that. Find your way through the holidays, even if it’s not pretty and shiny and bright.

What is your favorite ornament from years past?
Merry ME

PS. Today's SSJE word is "remember." Pretty cool how I worked it in, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

I loved this post too!

Debbie said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. Our Christmas tree topper is the angel that our daughter crayon colored many years ago. Early on I had it laminated and it's always been part of our Christmas ever since.