I’m not sure if what I love most about the holidays are the lights, the smells or the tastes.
sweet gingerbread fresh from the oven,
the earthy scent of pine,
serenades of Michael Buble and Bing Crosby,
warm candles glowing,
hot chocolate, peppermint, and marshmallows
It’s all a whirlwind for the senses and for the soul.
And in this whirlwind, I tend to get lost in the excess. I plunge into overload, all for the sake of savoring the experience of Christmas instead of the hope of Christmas. Because I don’t want to be reminded of how hard life is during the holidays.
The truth is we can expend so much energy in trying to forget that we miss out on the true gift of hope lying unwrapped beneath the broken layers of our heart.
a marriage hanging by a thinning thread
a bank account squeezed dry
the life of one taken long before their time
a diagnosis threatening to choke out life
Life doesn’t stop for the holidays, and it’s easy to abandon hope when the struggle is real.
It’s easy to forget hope when life bears down hard.
We forget how this hope cuts through the thickest hurt and pierces the hardest heart. We lose sight of how it soothes the deepest loss and spreads a healing balm over the pain and scars of brokenness. We miss how it promises to swallow up loneliness and pour out strength to the weariest soul.We can get lost in savoring the experience of Christmas instead of the hope of Christmas. Click To Tweet
This is a strange year for my family. We’ve lost a dear one, we continue to trudge through difficult relationship issues, and we’re not going to have the perfect family Christmas…because this is the first time our family won’t be together.
So there are some choices to be made. We can choose to focus on the disappointment, or we can choose to savor all the season has to offer in the midst of what’s missing. There’s hope around every corner, peeking through every unmet expectation and tucked within each less than perfect situation.
We just have to choose to intentionally savor…
When the rest of the world is hustling and bustling, let’s take some time to live slow. Savor that first cup of coffee, linger over a quiet conversation and meander through a book we’ve been wanting to read for far too long. Drive the long way home from work, window shop and wander through grocery store aisles for inspiration.Hope is found in the slow, steady rhythms of a well-lived life. Click To Tweet
The perfect Christmas is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s let go of our expectations and surrender our agendas with a heart open to wonder and hands open to the gifts of grace that fill the gaps. Savor the simple pleasures, create simple meals and enjoy simple, meaningful entertainment. Let’s remove the chaos created by perfection so we can see hope clearly.Hope is visible in the simple act of releasing perfection. Click To Tweet
Stillness doesn’t have to summon loneliness or boredom. Stillness doesn’t mean we’re insignificant, but it can clarify our significance.
“Life’s most precious moments are not all loud or uproarious. Silence and stillness has its own virtues.” ~Kilroy J. Oldster
Let’s trade in our doing to experience being. Sometimes the most desperate longings of our heart – to feel whole and strong and loved are found in the solitude of stillness. So let’s empty ourselves of the notion of constant motion. Practice being in the present, listening instead of talking andHope is savored in the solitude of stillness. Click To Tweet
Let’s savor the slow, the simple and the still sides of the holiday because in doing this, we not only savor hope but we also savor our Savior.
Before you leave…
I’m excited to announce this week’s Featured Fresh Find is April Knapp!
I love the intention and creativity behind April’s post in choosing to celebrate and remember the hope of Advent in a very tangible way. Often we need tangible reminders to mark the steps of God’s presence in our life, and each time we remember, we savor up hope. April encourages us to turn our face to the Author of our true hope. She challenges us to look beyond our circumstances and spend this season savoring our Savior!
Won’t you please visit Stacey’s and share some Fresh Market Friday encouragement…because we all need a little encouragement!
A few guidelines to ensure the best experience…
Share your piece of fresh goodness below…