Sunday, December 18, 2011

Choosing Joy


Have you noticed that Christmas movies almost always have a happy ending. And so they should, for the story that began on the first Christmas Day is one of ultimate joy. However, real life situations are seldom resolved in the time it takes to read a 200 page novel, or watch a 2 hour movie. For many, Christmas is a sad time of year in which loss is marked and difficulties are augmented. The glowing joy that we are led to believe are the norm throughout this season tend to come in often short-lived bursts, or not at all.

During the years we lived in Ecuador I missed my family fiercely. The distance was felt most keenly during Christmas when I knew that family gatherings were occurring without me. I imagined them all together, eating turkey, playing games, talking - together. And us, far away, just five.



A custom I developed when the children were very small helped me to cope. After the stockings were opened in a tumbled heap on our bed, everyone headed to their rooms to dress before breakfast, the gifts, and the dinner, and I took a few moments for myself. I thought of my family far away, I indulged in a few tears, and then, I moved into my day, choosing to be joyful in the moment, with the family God had given me. 

We always had a wonderful time together. Christmas mornings we opened our stockings together in our bed, then moved on through the day, always with friends that became family. A lovely glow surrounds the memory of those Christmas celebrations. 

Life is not perfect. For anyone. Some have more to bear than others. But this Christmas, I am, once again, choosing joy in the small and large gifts that come to me every day.

30 comments:

Jojo said...

A beautiful reminder. As we think of that first Christmas and birthing in a barn without your family being there must have been frightening but she found joy and shared it. Lorrie, you are so right that in our sadness or lonliness we have the gift of choosing joy. And joy is an amazing gift!

Pondside said...

Choosing Joy - yes!! I'm choosing joy - the joy of having my husband and daughter with me and the joy of knowing that my two little grandsons are safe and happy and learning family traditions with their Mama and Daddy on Ontario. A tear or two doesn't mean choosing sadness - it's the choice made once one straightens up and faces life that matters - and I, too, choose joy.
Thanks Lorrie!

thistlewoodfarm said...

This post is beautiful! I know what it's like to have all your family in one place and miss out on family celebrations! Thank you for the reminder of the first Christmas and what Christmas really is all about!

Kaye - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

Amen! I know how you feel. I am blessed with many beloveds near me, but even more a long distance away. But as I remind my grandkids often, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks - it's God's will for us AND a true blessing for us when we obey! Have a blessed Christmas!

Carol said...

Beautiful post! Such pretty ornaments.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Beautifully said, Lorrie! It is so true that Christmas magnifies both joys and sorrows. I just returned from celebrating an early and joyous Christmas with my children and grandchildren in Colorado, and I'm already missing them so much!

Teacup-In-The-Garden said...

A wonderful mosaic!
Have a wonderful week and a wonderful Christmas!
Markus

marigold jam said...

Lovely photos. Thank you for this post I will try and remember to choose Joy at Christmas even though this will be the second Christmas since our daughter set off on her travels to the other side of the world and not here where I can give her a hug!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

A lovely thoughtful post. Merry Christmas. V

Vee said...

It's interesting to think that now you remember those Christmases with fond an happy memories. So much of how we experience life is in our attitudes. Choosing joy sounds just right.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I like that...to choose joy even when not everything in life would have us be joyful!

Brenda said...

It looks as though you are making GOOD choices. Yes, choose to be joyful. Good things happen from good choices. This time of year always brings to the attention that a lot of people are going through hard times. We can only keep them in our prayers that God will watch over them and supply their needs and have Faith that He is listening.
Thanks for visiting Down Memory La La Lane.
Merry Christmas,
Brenda

Lakeshore Cottage Living said...

Choosing joy...sometimes that is hard but you are so right in that it is a CHOICE. Thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...He brings the ultimate JOY...this post certainly hit home as I miss my Mother during the holidays who has been gone almost 11 years now. Thank you so much for sharing and for visiting me earlier today. Merry Christmas to you! Kristine

Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life said...

Beautiful thoughts... beautiful reminder!

I, too, choose joy.....

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Choosing joy...that's how I live my life! I love your precious felt ornaments. I hope I have time to make a few more this week! Happy holidays! ♥♥♥

materfamilias said...

Lovely and inspiring -- but I admit to being distracted from your words by the beautiful collection of hand-crafted ornaments you display. What a delight!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

How sweet are these!!! A very Merry Christmas to you and yours~

Tanya@takesix said...

Choosing joy...thank you so much for this inspiring post! Oh I did need this reminder today! Thank you for visiting Take Six. Wishing you a blessed CHRISTmas!

Heather said...

Hi Lorrie

You are so right - you can choose to see the Joy in life, or you can look the other way. When I was on my own after a divorce and my kids were not with me for the holidays (it wasn't MY turn) it was hard to find the joy of the holidays. But I quickly learned that Christmas doesn't have to be the 25th of December, it's can be the 28th or the 23rd - the joy will still be in being together WHENEVER it happens.

Thanks for visiting my little blog project. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas FILLED WITH JOY.

Pat said...

A beautiful post, Lorrie.

Kim, USA said...

I love ornament angels. And I think the angel on your first photo is a shell made that is very pretty. Thanks for the visit and the prayers I do appreciate it a lot! Merry Christmas!

Kim,USA

ellen b. said...

How wonderful to read your post Lorrie! Yes, it's good to choose joy and move forward after our tears. Blessings on you and yours this Christmas...

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wonderful and yes...always choose joy!!

LaPouyette said...

Lovely, reflective and touching, Lorrie.

And I certainly do love this charming, natural and simple Christmas decoration!

My best wishes to you for a joyful Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Frohe Weihnachten!
karin

Thank you very much for your lovely comment!

Maggie said...

Me too!
Joy to the World, great post.

Icy BC said...

So pretty and festive! I am able to draw out some ideas from this. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

Kit said...

This was lovely! Such a wonderful way to look at the holiday. And a great tradition. Kit

Gabriela Delworth said...

Hello Lorrie,

This is such a wonderful post!


Gabriela

A Garden of Threads said...

I love this post and agree. We have a choice everyday on how to accept it. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Sheila said...

Lorrie - you are so thoughtful and your thoughts sometimes bring my own into perspective. i will choose joy and think of you as I do. Merry /christmas to you and yours...