Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life!

I love Christmas and what it represents to me. It is easy, even as an adult to feel anticipation, excitement, joy, hope and peace. For a little while the world seems brighter, better, and almost magical. Christmas always comes to an end though. Life goes on, and we go back to the daily grind of life and routines.

J.B. Phillips wrote, "Nothing can alter the fact that we live on a visited planet." He urges us as we daily tread through life on the surface of this planet, to reflect with confidence that, "My God has been here, here on this planet!" With that in mind, we can choose daily to live with joy, hope, peace and anticipation. Don't get me wrong, I have bad days. There are days I live with sickness, sadness, fear and loneliness. However, I have to choose daily to overcome this. There is truth to the fact that we choose how we want to live. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? I want my children to know that life is fun, wonderful and worth living, despite the challenges.

I have been reflecting on how short life is, and how quickly things in our lives can change. Sometimes what seems important at the time, can mean nothing in an instant. A few years ago when packing to move, it suddenly hit me how ridiculous it was that I had cabinets full of good dishes. I vowed that when I unpacked, all my fine china and crystal would never be hidden away again. Today, we daily use these things, crazy as it may seem. We choose to live differently.

What changes can you make in your house to live differently today? Maybe this Christmas season you can establish new Christmas traditions. I have found that it is our traditions that have held us together through difficult times. Even when everything else in our life was different, there were certain things that we made sure remained the same. This has been important for my children who have a hard time with change. Here are some of our family traditions:

- hot chocolate on the first snow day
- the Duluth Christmas parade
- watching Macy's Thanksgiving parade on TV
- baking Christmas cookies at Grandma's
- drinking eggnog while decorating the tree
- attending church on Christmas Eve

Yesterday my friend and I drove to Duluth for our fourth annual Christmas shopping spree. I shared with her how much our yearly trip meant to me. "It's tradition," I said. It has been like a shiny star on a dark night. It led me through my first Christmas season as a newly divorced, single mom and years of exhausting school finals, as simple as it seems.

Don't underestimate the power of tradition, and the power of how you choose to live. Life is short. I do not believe that God created me to live an ordinary life. It's time to live an abundant, extraordinary, wonderful life!

"Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open, don't hold in your anger or leaves things unspoken, wear your red dress, use your good dishes, make a big mess and make lots of wishes. Have what you want, but want what you have, and don't spend your life looking back. Turn up the music, turn it up loud, take a few chances and let it all out. 'Cause you won't regret it, looking back from where you have been. 'Cause it's not who you knew, and it's not what you did. IT'S HOW YOU LIVE!" (Point of Grace - How You Live)

Matthew 1-2 ...Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have see His star in the East and have come to worship Him."