Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Joy Lives in the Simple Things

The older I get the more I begin to understand that joy is a choice.

(For the record, how old do I sound right now? Ancient, right?)

I'm beginning to let go.
I'm starting to really hold on tight to the realization that:

"You cannot control what someone else will say or do.
You can only control your actions and reactions."

And, somehow...that's making life just a bit easier. Are you taking the Faith Barista Challenge? Bonnie doesn't know I'm writing about her. Her post today touched my heart. "Unwrapping Jesus - A Celebration of Simplicity."

As we enter the holiday season we have an opportunity to decide what our Christmas will look like. On the inside. What do I mean?

Well, we just passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, sure, I have a vintage shop and a rustic home decor shop, but that doesn't mean I'm not overwhelmed - already - by the media's talk about the 4th quarter.

Sure, we like getting gifts for the ones we love. But, when we give up time with family so we can sleep early to go out shopping for a Midnight sale...well, I guess I should stop judging.

Back on track...
We really can decide what our holiday will feel like on the inside. We can decide to be joy-filled. We can decide to do our best to stop when we are midstream in a river of judgment. No, we can't decide who will or won't accept our invitation for dinner on Christmas. And, we can't control other people's emotions. But, we can be supportive and encouraging. We can try to help meet some simple basic needs. And, if we really need to self-preserve, we can choose to step away - whether it's the next room or simply stepping away emotionally for a day or two to re-fill our joy.

We can't make people cheery.
But, we CAN choose to make make our holiday family-centric rather than gift-focused. We can do our best each day to give gifts of kindness and patience to each other. To bring goodness, and peace where we can. To maintain self-control.

I think that a verb.
It's a choice.
This Christmas season - I'm choosing joy.

In case anyone is wondering,
Nope, I'm not affiliated with DaySpring - but I sure would like to be. They have very pretty home decor, jewelery - and even Christmas cards - to fill your day with a gentle spirit. I simply appreciate them and want to share them with you today.

What makes this season different from last year for you?
What are you choosing for this season to look like?
Tell us!

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