Wednesday, November 6, 2013

'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

I love that.

It can go either way - positive or negative.

The Ho Hums

The kids have another "I'm Thankful For" project. For the love of posters, markers, scissors, construction paper, paint, tape, feathers, rubber cement, glue sticks, and glitter. 'Tis the Season

The school wants you to sell yet another roll of wrapping paper for a fundraiser. Or can of nuts. Or set of magazines. 'Tis the Season

The entire family needs matching outfits for portraits, the oldest needs a white turtleneck to paint for a school craft, the middle needs a black shirt to wear in her play, and the youngest needs new tennis shoes, because kids grow faster than the pesky weeds overtaking the front flowerbed. 'Tis the Season

We've been invited to our fourteenth Thanksgiving dinner, and they need deviled eggs. Just like the first thirteen. 'Tis the Season

The Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-las'

The department store threw in an unexpected discount. 'Tis the Season

My son came home with a Thanksgiving art project, complete with a turkey painted hand print - with each feather finger labeled - Mommy, Daddy, Harley Dog, Mommy, Daddy. No matter how big it grows, it still fits perfectly in mine. I am two times thankful for you too, my sweet baby boy. - 'Tis the Season

It's time for pumpkin pies, and sweet potato casseroles with lightly toasted, ooey gooey marshmallows, and turkey and dressing. And while we're at it, pants with an elastic waistband. - 'Tis the Season

Leaves crunching, fire crackling, hot chocolate steaming, scarf wearing. 'Tis the Season

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Ornaments were gently unpacked, each one telling a story of a vacation, or proclaiming the arrival of a bundle of joy, or celebration of a new home. - 'Tis the Season

'Tis the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

Maybe, just maybe, if I hum that tune from now until December 25, I will remember that.

Because, truthfully, 'tis the season to be jolly. But 'tis also the season to be Scrooge, to be grumpy, to be impatient, to be envious, to be stressed.

In true teacher fashion, I looked up the word.

  • in good spirits; gay; gay; merry
  • cheerfully festive or convivial
  • joyous; happy
  • delightful; charming
The Bible also has plenty to say about this.

  • "For the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
  • "And all their sorrow was turned to joy." Esther 9:22
  • "Shout with joy to God, all the earth!" Psalms 66:1
  • "Gladness and joy will overtake them." Isaiah 51:11
  • "Be joyful always." 1 Thessalonians 5:16
  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." Galatians 5:22
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are faced with trials of many kinds." James 1:2
I couldn't find the escape clause. You know, the one that says if things did not go my way, or if my child was up half the night and Mama loves her sleep, or if the grocery store was ransacked like the Great Blizzard of 2014 had descended upon the very southern city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or this excuse or petty justification for an attitude other than jolly.

There are trials. There are stresses. There are worries. There are days with little patience. There are days of bitterness.

But, more so, there are days of joy. There are days with answered prayers. There are days where faith is made sight. There are days when a stranger sends a smile. There are days when the car in front of you pays for your tab in the drive through. There are days when a friend's shoulder is dry, eager to catch a falling tear. There are days when a child needs a hug - and only a mama's will do. There are days when a devotional encourages. There are days when chocolate abounds. There are days when love notes are left on car seats.

'Tis the season to be jolly. 'Tis the season to spread joy.

While I don't want to go all Tim Allen version of Santa Claus and gain 200 pounds, grow a white beard, and dress in red and white with a bowl full of jelly, I want to be jolly. I want to point people to Jesus. I want Baker to grow up surrounded by joy. I want him to be an imitator of joy. I want this attitude to permeate my home, my street, my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country, my world. It starts with me.

'Tis the season to be jolly.


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