Schools are closed, malls and beaches are packed with locals and holiday makers, Christmassy music and decor has taken over the shops. It’s only apparent that it’s the end of the year, it’s holiday time, it’s time to unwind, rest, recharge, spend time with loved ones, and celebrate the festivities of the season!
Without sounding cheesy, it truly is…
THEE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.
Despite the chaos, fall outs, through to disappointments, or the deep missing of family members who are no longer here with us. There is always a sense; of gathering, celebrating, forgiving, and loving others despite it all.
It’s almost as if we all get a fresh revelation to; cherish, forgive, and to choose to love regardless of what has happened.
Life is short, and unpredictable, holding onto un-forgiveness and resentment seems so small in the greater scheme of things. There is so much to be grateful for, things could be worse, in fact for some it is actually worse.
Yet, it’s only human nature to get caught up in our troubles, that we forget that we are actually all very blessed with what we do have.
Please don’t think I am trying to down play what others are feeling or are currently experiencing within their lives. Instead I am trying to encourage us, to look at things with a bigger perspective and life-lense.
Having gratitude, allows us to experience and to entertain more joy within our lives. We start to appreciate what we do have in our lives, and we are more open to celebrating it, instead of resenting it.
I choose to celebrate the fact that I am blessed because I have a beautiful-happy-and healthy little family, I have a family that loves me and they know I love them, I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, I actually have way more than I need.
I am loved, therefore, I am blessed.
THE MAN IN THE CAR AND LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM HIS STORY
My mom was telling me a story about someone she knew who was close to her age, who ended up living in their car, with no job, and a family that wanted nothing to do with him. I was shocked to know that no one in his family, tried to take him – or did they not know of his troubles? He ended up dying in his car, due to poor health, which is very heartbreaking – he died alone.
This conversation with my mom, sat with me for awhile. I just couldn’t fathom, how family did not fight (regardless of whatever happened in the past) to allow him to feel a bit human, to have a bit of dignity, to die in dignity, knowing he was loved, and worth the time of being rescued and forgiven by his family.
Did he die knowing that he was loved, that he was worthy of love? Or I am over thinking it all ? It’s not like I knew the guy, but still, there is SO much we can learn from this heartbreaking story.
THE BEST GIFT TO BLESS OTHERS WITH THIS SEASON
After wrestling with this story, I asked myself: “Cass, what can you take from this? What can you learn from this?”
The following thoughts came to mind, and it has really encouraged me to keep perspective, especially during this season – that will ultimately lead and pour on over into the New Year.
CHOOSE TO FORGIVE
The more we choose to forgive, and practice forgiving – the easier it becomes. Some situations are different, and it may require patience, and time in order to seek emotional healing and forgiveness.
Many years ago I was in a very unhealthy, emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. It took me many years to receive full emotional and mental healing, and the forgiveness process of letting go of all the hurt that came with it took time.
However, I made a choice to forgive, until I felt ; the bitterness, the pain, the betrayal, and resentment leave me completely.
Forgiveness frees us, and sets us free from the bond of pain. It may not excuse the injustice or poor treatment, but it seeks healing and a new way forward.
CHOOSE TO LOVE
Loving difficult people (friends or family members) who are a bit tricky to love all of the time aint easy! Let’s be honest. Or hey, even just loving your Mr Right can be challenging at times. Ha,can I get an AMEN!!
Choosing to love others despite their faults and weird quirks, and different character traits makes others feel like they belong and are loved, and cherished regardless. It creates a safe haven for others to mess up, to learn from their mistakes, and to trust that they can grow from it – because there are others who believe in them too.
CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE OTHERS
I LOVE being everybody’s personal cheerleader! It’s something that God naturally crafted and wired into my DNA. I LOVE seeing people come alive when they feel like they have purpose. I LOVE seeing people grow in confidence as they step out and pursue their dreams.
Encouragement and the celebration of others makes people come alive! I feel like the world does not have enough cheerleaders – we have so many people bashing, hating, critiquing and failing others – that we need to be more conscious of encouraging and cheering one another on!
CHOOSE TO SEE THE GOOD IN OTHERS AND IN OUR SITUATIONS
People make mistakes. We will make mistakes despite our best intentions at times (it happens).
Our circumstances may seem overwhelming dark and intense – yet, there is always a light to be found in and amongst it all.
When “tricky” people get under my skin, and rub me the wrong way, I almost immediately want to shut them out of my life – as a default “protective” reaction. But then I am reminded that God loves them despite their flaws and faults, and He loves me despite my flaws and faults. And God wants me to love them despite the flaws and faults.
EASY? NO, hell NO!
If you struggle to see any hope or light in your situations ask God to give you the courage to see it, despite how grave it may feel at times. If you struggle to see the good in others, ask God to reveal it to you – and then ask God to show you how you can speak into those areas in that other person.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Press pause, and take a moment to really reflect on your life and to consciously be thankful and appreciative of the things you do have, and the people who are currently in your life.
- If you have good health – BE THANKFUL .
- If you have a family that you love and that loves you – be THANKFUL.
- If you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, food to eat, a job – BE THANKFUL!
You are probably more blessed than you will ever know or realize.
Count those blessings, celebrate life and love with the people you love.