Finding Joy in the Memories

On December 1st and 2nd I unpacked our Christmas trunks.  As I unpacked I found a host of memories that reminded me of the many opportunities I have to choose joy.

Stockings made for our first dog and cat in Cameroon by either Beth or Keith back when they were in elementary school.

One of the difficult parts of our life here, is that there are so many people who come and go.  I can choose to focus on the memories and use this energy to propel me into new opportunities to be involved in the lives of those around me. Or I can allow those memories to let me sink into mourning for the days that were, and will not be again.

Christmas coffee mugs and nativities remind me to embrace the joy to be found in this day.

I need to conciously choose to invest in those around me and in their lives.  I must focus on the joy of special moments shared and not on the pain of coming seperation.  And sometimes in the beauty of God’s grace we find the unexpected opportunity to share life again with those we did not expect to have nearby.

Christmas Eve dinner a number of years ago in our previous house. We again are neighbors with Paul and Sheryl for a short season.

So as I gaze at the unbreakable ornaments and stuffed beanie babies adorning our “kid friendly” tree during a year when those kids are far away, I choose to make some cookies to share with neighbors and hope for the return of the children next year.

The young lady is no longer this age but her joy is so apparent and this memory makes me smile.

Will you choose joy this year, even if all that you wish for is not within reach?  I pray you do and that you will share the joy you find with those around you.

My newest nativity from Brugge which reminds me that God is faithful even through the hard times.

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