Sunday, November 26, 2017

Early Christmas Spirit


I've been listening to Christmas music for over a week. This is unusual for me. Most years I prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to usher in the Christmas season.

But this year has been different. I've been searching for, and buying, new Christmas music. I started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, and finished up the final touches while watching the Thanksgiving Day parade.

It's not that I was in a hurry to rush through Thanksgiving; I just feel this joy for the holiday season that I haven't felt in a long time.

I have no specific reason for the change of heart, so I know it has to be God's work. And that's all the explanation I need.

Like so many other people, it's been a year of highs and lows. Disappointment and difficulties take their toll, and yet I feel incredibly thankful.

God has walked with me and taught me to depend on Him even more than I thought I was already relying on Him.

He's helped me up when I've been knocked down, and eased the pain when I've been forced to let go of things I didn't want to let go of. (I still don't, but I'm working on it.)

And He's given me what I need to support others when I had absolutely nothing left to give.

Day by day. Just like He provided manna in the desert for the Israelites, this is how He provides strength and courage to get through each day. {Tweet this}

I don't anticipate that next year will be easier, but I hope it won't be as raw or leave me feeling as vulnerable.

It will be different, and I don't know what to expect with different. But I'm praying that different moves us forward, whatever that looks like.

I struggle when He tells me to wait while He works. It's part of letting go of what I want to see happen, and choosing to trust Him when I feel myself starting to worry.

Perhaps this was all part of my early desire to celebrate with Christmas music...I'm still standing, despite the enemy's work, and all thanks to God.

I don't know what you've had to deal with this year, but if there's a way I can be praying for you, please let me know by leaving a comment.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


15 comments:

  1. Thanks, Laura, for this open-hearted post. I'm happy to be celebrating Advent while still "under the influence" of Thanksgiving. It's a nice season to be in!

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  2. God at work, the only explanation I need. Always, He works in our bruised hearts, bringing healing.

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  3. Hi Laura, I too have been listening to Christmas music earlier than normal, particularly the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack. I enjoy the instrumental music while I'm writing. New to me this year: Brandon Heath's Christmas album. It's going to be one of my favorite holiday CDs!

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  4. Yes, God at work is indeed the only explanation we need! Amen! Your post has been greatly encouraging - if you only knew.....But He does! I am printing it out so I can re-read it many times. Thank you for your heartfelt post that so blessed me! Keep standing my dear Sister! The defeated one is just that: defeated!

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  5. I am going to be intentional about the holy pauses this season!

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  6. I appreciate your vulnerability, Laura. I pray that this year will be easier for you. I've had a relatively calm year so I am grateful for that. We never know what is around the corner. But thankfully God will be there in it, whatever it is.

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  7. What a blessing that the Lord is changing your heart and joy in celebrating longer this year!

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  8. Laura, your post brought a smile to my heart because I put up my tree earlier than usual too. (For me that was before December 1st.) May the Lord continue to heal.

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  9. Sorry it's been a rough year for you, Laura. So glad the Spirit of Christmas is giving you a lighter heart right now. Hope your season is beautiful. ((Hug))

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  10. It's so awesome that you have so much joy and anticipation of this season. Please pray for me. I'm struggling emotionally and just don't know when the spiral will end.

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    1. Absolutely, I'm praying for you Barbie!

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  11. I struggle to wait while He works also Laura, and I've been in waiting for 8 years. It's so easy to grow weary, and I appreciate this encouragent. Merry Christmas!

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  12. Thanks for honestly sharing about the how you are approaching Christmas in the midst of a very hard year. Music ministers to my heart as well. I've been out of touch with the blogging community while working on a book, but it is nice to have time to read, pray, comment, and encourage. Blessings!

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  13. You are feeling how most people, including myself, would like to feel. The joy of Christmas. Often, we are so consumed with our everyday life, its hard to take time to really experience the true joy of Christmas. There is so much hope to be had at this time of year when we focus on who God is and what He has done for us.

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  14. Laura,

    Your faith is a perfect reminder of Ephesians 6 to me. Having done all... stand steadfast. And I wonder if we purposely choose the steadfast joy of the Lord in spite of the crazy that life can be if we would go deeper in the knowledge of the strength that joy provides and the power to overcome each and every obstacle with praise.
    Such a great reminder today to see the good things. Thank you for sharing this at the #GraceMoments Link Up!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!