My annual leave starts this week. I look forward to disconnect (as much as I can!) from the day-to-day hecticness, and reconnect with who and what matters the most to me.
“LOVE makes our friends a little dearer,
JOY makes our hearts a little lighter,
FAITH makes our path a little clearer,
HOPE makes our lives a little brighter,
PEACE brings us all a little nearer.”
JOY: While passing through US airport immigration last week, I flashed a smile to the duty officer, relieved to be done with my 15+ hour flight. I was taken aback when he aggressively challenged me “Why did I smile? Was I not taking him seriously? I can decide to let you in this country, or not!” How do we remain joyful in a world filled with suspicion, superficiality and self-centredness? B may be little, but he is one of my biggest sources of joy as he reminds me to keep a cheerful disposition, and don’t let negative moments or thoughts ruin your day. Christmas is a time to make spirits bright, to laugh and sing, just like this song says!
PEACE: As I spend more time than ever with my parents in their golden years, I’ve been reflecting on the peace of mind that only family and community can offer, and also the inner peace that comes when you care for and center yourself. It could be as simple as sneaking in some self-reflection, reading a devotional like this or this, expressing gratitude and praying each day. For busy bees like myself, Christmas is a time to place the important ahead of the urgent for a change. Let’s look in, up and outwards – and gain perspective and a measure of peace as we do that.
HOPE: Harsh words, unexpected news, broken promises, lack of trust from others or self-confidence are difficult issues to deal with. In those moments, I’m encouraged by how my siblings stand by each other through life’s ups and downs. Two weeks back, I placed a tearful call to my sis after a particularly rough day, and she gave me exactly what I needed – a listening ear and affirmation. We pay her a visit when things come up, and don’t let her be overwhelmed alone. I also look forward to catch up with my brother and his family everytime I’m in the US for work. For me, Christmas is a time to cultivate those relationships and build a faith that give us assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen.
LOVE: I’ve been tugged in many directions by my various commitments this year, and often felt that I’m running on empty with no reserves left to give. As we prepare our hearts and our homes for Christmas, I’m thankful for the man who walks beside me in this journey of love. It’s not been easy, as we are both so imperfect. I appreciate his support to let me refuel on me-time and the things I’m passionate about – causes, family, good friends and new discoveries.
Wherever you are this season, here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas filled with joy, peace, hope and love. Do share with us how you’re celebrating this season and holidays too as we continue this blog train on:
Next up is Valerie:
At Mums In Faith, she shares her passion for books with other mums through a convenient book-lending service and reviews on good Christian resources. She also writes articles giving an encouraging Christian perspective on issues pertinent to modern-day mums. Together with her co-founder Danessa, she hopes to build a vibrant community of Christian mums who will love and pray for each other, providing the support we all need as fellow warriors in faith.