Julie Lyles Carr: Sunday Selah

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Selah

All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 15:15

I want my holidays events to go well. I do.

I plan. Wrap. Bake. Shop. Cook. Clean. Greet. Arrive. Clean up again.

Months of planning and preparing all come down to the next few days and the celebrations we are a part of.

And I desperately want it to go Good Housekeeping well. As in piping hot, show ready, make Martha Stewart proud.

But Martha Stewart's daughter wrote a memoir this year. And it was a little, ah, harsh. And revealing. Her daughter wrote that many events were unhappy and sharp-tongued. Because as it turns out, all that House Beautiful magazine spread holiday magic wasn't built on an important foundation. A foundation of choosing cheerfulness, deciding that the holidays will be bright even if the ham gets overdone and the tree gets knocked over and the company arrives late.

Cheer.

True Christmas Cheer.

Which is not a side effect of all that shopping and planning and baking. But is an intentional item that has to be decided on and planned for way ahead of all the other stuff. Who cares if my meal goes off without a hitch if I snarl and grinch through the preparation? Who cares if I found and wrapped the perfect gift if Mike and I have a knock-down drag-out trying to get out the door~~not that we ever do (ahem)...? So what if the house looks perfect and my schedule rolls without a hitch if I alienate the very people I'm trying to serve?

Christmas Cheer. It's what's on my menu this year. I'm going to be serving up a big, decisive, intentional platter of patient, most important, kind, gentle Christmas Cheer.

Selah.
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