I wrote this post earlier in the week, before the shooting in Connecticut. What’s happened adds unwanted weight to my words here about fighting sadness around the holidays, though the overwhelming grief so many are feeling today is so much more than holiday blues. As our nation mourns, I am praying for everyone touched by this tragedy.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Is it? Really? REALLY?
Because in my world, I’ve got a child with a stomach bug; a stack of unstamped, unlabeled and certainly unmailed Christmas cards; and the typical end-of-year financial stress. And did I mention no more Hallmark Channel?
Those are obviously small problems. Even the stomach bug is [reportedly] a 24-hour one. But to be honest, the holidays are hard sometimes. I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that I find myself fighting the pull of darkness not long after the holiday season comes to a close. And this year, that pull started earlier than ever.
About halfway through last weekend, I sat in my car, alone and wondering what was wrong with me. I should have been inside, with everyone else. It was a time for celebration, for connection. All I wanted was isolation. And a nap. Over the next two days I barely touched my computer and felt so tired I could have slept for a solid 12 hours. I skipped our Tuesday night Facebook chat and had to push myself into the shower Wednesday morning, reminding myself that I really do love my job the whole time.
Thankfully, a good night’s sleep and a glimpse in the mirror snapped me out of it. NO, I don’t mean seeing myself without mascara for the third day in a row was the wake-up call. I mean seeing my earrings – and remembering why I chose them – was the catalyst for remembering that no matter what our circumstances, we can always choose joy.
“Choose Joy.” That was my friend Sara’s mantra. And if ever someone had difficult circumstances to face, it was her. Yet Sara still chose to find joy in her life and her Lord – and then share it with so many others.
Most days I can find the positive or at least the potential for the positive in my situation. But when the dark rolls in, it’s not quite as easy. That’s when I need something to ground me and bring me back.
Lisa has designed several beautiful, meaningful pieces exclusively for DaySpring, each with a message of hope or encouragement. And today she’s giving away a pair of these Joy Earrings to a lucky Giving Up on Perfect reader!
To enter the giveaway: Leave a comment telling us how you choose joy in the midst of pain. For additional entries, like Giving Up on Perfect or Lisa Leonard Designs on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment telling me about it (for each one). Giveaway will close at midnight on Wednesday, December 19.
This post includes affiliate links. I received my Joy Earrings to review, but all opinions are my own.