Christmas doesn’t feel much like Christmas-y this year. But what was the Christmas feeling I was expecting? In past years I have spent Thanksgiving with my family. Then for Christmas and New Years I would just carry on with my life whether it was being a chaplain or pastoring. But this year, of course I didn’t travel for Thanksgiving. And for Christmas of course staying put at home. The Christmas feeling I was expecting wasn’t really about Christmas but more about festivities and the gift giving and receiving.
I think I’m doing Christmas right this year. Last night, did dishes for an hour to wake up to a clean sink. This morning, got up, did my daily devotions, and reflecting on Christmas. I feel gratitude and lifting up thanksgiving and praises to the gift of life, in the fullness of life that God has given us in drawing us into relationship with God-self. Looking back the past ten years or so, I have been protected by God and been shown favor in pursuing passions of my heart. I became a board certified chaplain, worked as a staff chaplain, ordained as a minister, preached at different churches, pursuing my academic interests and now almost finishing up my dissertation. I have felt supported by friends and family and loved.
So this Christmas, more than any gift received or given, the most valuable feeling I cherish is not the festive holiday warm fuzzy feelings. This Christmas the Christmas feeling I cherish is a calm, reflective, and Thanksgiving heart for what I have been able to pursue and been given opportunities for in my life. The best gift of all is being seen and loved for who I am, and God sees me, loves me, and allows me to be who I am, and to become the best version of myself. Thank you God for all, but most of all, for loving me, as I have been, am now, and will become.