I love Valentines Day. I know, this post is actually about Christmas, but just go with me on this one.
I. LOVE. Valentines Day.
It is one of my favorite holidays. And, it is a day where most, at least in the US, are focused on romantic love. He thinks about the significant other in his life and she dreams about the outfit she’ll wear for the overly anticipated, highly pressured date. It is a day where romantic relationships are at the forefront and it is day in which, though I have only been in a romantic relationship one time on the holiday (excluding of course 1st grade where I checked the box for YES I will be your girlfriend on every manila valentine I received) I thrive.
The same quality that gives me an incredible delight in a day where Cupid is King and Hallmark sells more movies about love and the pathetically single finally finding their soul mate, is the same quality that allows me to not only survive but thrive during the Christmas season:
Perspective is key.
This is true in all circumstances. Perspective is choosing to believe that God is good in all things, that he is in Charge, that His love for me is beyond comprehension, that He knows me, and He cries with me. He endures along my side. He is for me and beside me. He will always be my rescue. He is always for my good. And, He will always be ready to bless me, even when I am in the presence of my enemy.
There are all kinds of enemies presented during the Christmas Season. Loneliness. Self-hatred. Regret. Disappointment. Despair. Worthlessness. Shame. Rejection. The emotions felt are not the enemies, but the lies told within the feelings are invitations to agreements with the enemy of truth.
When we make an agreement with the lie often whispered in our feelings, our perspective follows.
For instance, when I feel sadness because I have a desire to be married or be a mom and that sadness turns to self accusation, comparison and blame it begins to nudge me to believe, “You are alone. No one sees you. You are worthless. No one will choose you. God isn’t good, He is holding out on you!”
When I make an agreement with these phrases, my perspective shifts and I turn inward. I hide or I begin to resent others who have what I want. When I make agreements with the enemy of truth, the enemy of life, I turn away from God, self and others and risk becoming isolated and brittle.
But, what happens when I choose to feel the sadness and hear the invitation of Jesus?
When I do not allow my circumstances or feelings to dictate my belief, perspective or behavior I can engage the story I am in, holding the truth of God and His good in my life. He is not holding out on me. He is not against me. He has not abandoned me. I was made in His image and my life, right now, has incredible value. I am strengthened by the truth and I know joy.
It is when I am able to say, “God I am sad, Yet you are good!” that I am able to walk through whatever circumstance and felt emotion with joy, strength, grace and mercy. It is here that I receive the love of the Father, instead of trying to outsource it to someone or something else. And it is here, where the blessing of Jesus enfolds me and the Holy Spirit reminds me that I get to be a conduit of His blessing in the lives of others.
This is why I love Valentine’s Day and this is why I can love and thrive during the Christmas season. My perspective shifts from being focused on my own felt lack to a perspective of abundance.
God is a God of abundance, not lack.
He gives out of His abundance.
He loves me out of his abundance and he invites me to love others out of the overflow of my connection with him. (read that again)
Because I believe that God is good
and I believe that I am His
and I believe that He has given me the ability to live as a person of blessing in the world,
these days are filled with opportunity to live the Royal Life of a Son or Daughter of a really good King, and, like Jesus, bring his blessing as far as the curse is found.
This perspective has catalyzed adventure, created in me a sense of belonging and has spread the love of the Father.
Adventures like, On Valentine’s Day I have taken my niece and nephews out. We would go to the store, buy candy, write on Valentine’s Day cards and pass them out to strangers in parks, coffee shops, drop them off at friends and deliver them to neighbors. As we shared a small act of love, I knew joy.
It is simple. When my perspective is based on God’s goodness and my belonging to him, I treat others as I would like to be treated. I do for others, what I would want done for me.
During the Christmas season I do the same. I take my lack and I ask God to bless it and I step with him to live in His abundance.
This year it looks like this:
- I would love to have tea parties with my own children. A little cheesy, yes, but I am cheesy. So, I am hosting a Christmas tea this Saturday for many of my friends’ children. I think there will be close to 30 of us. Shepherds are going to come and tell the story of how they met baby Jesus, we will do a craft and have a snow ball fight with newspaper.
- I want to host Christmas parities with someone and fill tables with people. So, a friend and I rented a mansion and are having a dinner for nearly 80 people, to remember, break bread, and reflect on the One who invites us to be Still. We will all get fancied up and I do not have to do it alone. We invited people who might also want the same thing. I think many of those on staff at my favorite coffee shop might join us.
- I want to be remembered. So every time I think of someone during this season I do something about it. I write, call, text, comment, tweet, or simply stop by.
- I want to feel seen and a sense of belonging to someone. So, I bake for my neighbors, write them each a card and let them know that they are seen and they belong.
- I want to go get a Christmas tree with my person. And, I actually get to go cut down a tree with my people. I’m not afraid to be a part of my married friend’s lives and traditions. I participate instead of opt out. (If you want to have a tradition! Create it! If you don’t want to do it alone. Ask someone.)
- I love to create experiences for people, because I love to experience things with people. A friend is coming into town and will be doing a home Christmas Concert at another friends home.
- I don’t like wrapping presents alone, so I ask others to come and wrap with me.
- I am not always a fan of decorating alone and I’ve asked a friend to decorate my tree with me.
- I have Christmas card parities, friends over to bake, people over to watch the cheesy Christmas movies and I give myself permission to create the traditions I need, even if my whole biological family isn’t involved.
- I go to a midnight carol service, usually alone.
- I drive around and look at lights and put on music often alone.
- I sit in my favorite leather chair and feel all the feelings, listen to the music, cry the tears the need to be cried and receive the abundance of the Father’s love for me, who so lovingly gave his son to meet us with blessing.
The lie and the curse want to be the reality of my, of your, story and perspective. When I choose to receive the love of the Father for me, when I receive Jesus, my lack becomes an overflow of His abundance and his blessing comes to me and through me as far as the curse is found.
Joy To The World
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing
Joy to the world! the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy
No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make
His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found
Read more: Christmas Carols – Joy To The World Lyrics | MetroLyrics