The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 (English Standard Version)
The holiday season and new year is the perfect time to pause and reflect on everything for which we have to be thankful. We have the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoy time and fellowship with one another. The Lord has truly blessed us all with so much and given us the perfect gift; Jesus, who offers us a true and deep sense of peace and contentment. Peace and contentment can rise up in us through nature, or music or kind people. If we recognize these things as blessings it only takes a moment to accept his invitation to receive them and allow them to nurture us.
During this time, it can be so easy to get caught up with the busyness of traveling, buying gifts, and attending holiday gatherings; we can quickly lose sight of the true meaning of the Christmas season. When our focus is centralized on things we may not have, such as material items, a significant other, the perfect decorations or event schedules, our vision can be clouded of everything we do have. The craving and striving that cause discontent will feed feelings of disappointment and can cause us to feel abandoned and forgotten. Feeding this seed of discontentment will only create a deep and relentless hunger that can never be satisfied.
Shifting our focus to gratefulness definitely takes practice and a conscious effort. Try a personal test: one day, practice your grateful muscle by putting effort into noticing every blessing throughout the day – driving your car to work, meeting a friend for lunch, putting your coat on when you walk outside, receiving a smile from a stranger. It does take time and practice; but by being intentional, we can develop a more positive, grateful outlook. It starts with being grateful for what we do have in the present moment. All of the sudden something like “being able to breathe on your own” becomes very valuable.
Our prayer for you is that this season you will be surrounded by love and filled with joy! Blessings from our families to yours.
-The Van Zandt and Saviers families