I had zero holiday spirit. None. I did everything I could to conjure the warm feelings the Christmas season usually brings. I went to Christmas parties. I decorated the house. I participated in gift exchanges. I read and meditated on scriptures about the birth of Christ. I even bought an ugly sweater (really, a hoodie). Nothing worked.
I was deep in a hole of exhaustion, confusion, stress, grief, and it was far too taxing to exact from myself anything other than that strange mix of feelings.
Until last night. As I was scrolling through Instagram posts, I ran across a one by Brene’ Brown in which she talks about spending Christmas in her mom’s hospital room. She begins that post:
The purest form of joy comes to us in ordinary moments, and those moments can happen any place where gratitude is alive. —Brené Brown
“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments.”
It’s amazing how a single statement can prompt a shift.
I paused and asked God to help me to recognize and seize moments of joy, despite those contrary but legitimate emotions.
So today I opened my heart and with gratitude welcomed joy in all the ordinary moments and in all the ways in which it presented itself–watching my guys open gifts; chatting with my mom; preparing a dish for the family dinner while watching funny YouTube videos with the guys; texting Christmas greetings to friends and loved ones; enjoying Christmas dinner with my aunts, cousin, and her kids; listening to my aunt’s hearty laughter, knowing this first Christmas without my uncle is so difficult for her; eating way too many sweets; spending this moment with my blog before grabbing my fuzzy blanket and cuddling up with the guys to watch more Christmas movies.
Ordinary moments imbued with gratitude. Pure joy.
May you walk with gratitude and joy during the holiday season and through the coming year.