Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Putting Christmas Away

We have been putting Christmas away for the last few days. Undecorated the tree, took it down, and it lies outside waiting to be hauled off. The lights and other decorations have been taken down and boxed up for next year. The Christmas CDs have been put in their box waiting til next year to be played again.

I don't know if others feel the same way, but it is sad, even depressing, to put Christmas away, to box everything up until we use it again a year from now. Why do I feel this way? Am I so attached to the decorations, to the music? I could listen to Christmas music any time of the year. The decorations could be left up all year long. But that isn't it. It isn't the boxing up of decorations and music that brings that sad feeling to me. So what is it? The gifts have been opened, and yes the same feeling comes when the last gift is opened, but it isn't about the presents either.

I have been thinking about it, and have come up with a few reasons why this sad feeling persists when putting Christmas away:

1) At Christmas, the family is all together. All is well in our world. We all get together at other times during the year, but it isn't always easy, and doesn't happen as often as I wish it did, but we can count on Christmas.

2) Most people seem happier this time of year. Strangers smile and wish you "Merry Christmas" (or the politically correct "Happy Holidays). We get cards from people who thought of us while filling out their Christmas cards. We give and get gifts from people that let us know we are loved.

3) Hope seems alive. God sent His only Son to this earth for us.....maybe around this time of year, maybe not, but this is the time we set apart to celebrate that.

4) Love and good will seem more prevalent. Not with everyone, but a lot of people.

So why can't all year be like that? Why not show people we care about them and love them all year long? Why not keep that hope and wonder alive all year long - that because God loved us so much,  He became a baby, and lay in a manger, grew up to die for us.

By putting Christmas in a box, we don't have to put all that in the box also. Loving others, doing good things for them, smiling at a stranger and offering them a kind word - those shouldn't be put in a box, to only be taken out and used one time of the year. These should be things we do daily.

And hope..... for anyone who knows "the reason for the season", that hope should live all year long. It doesn't belong in a box.

Most of all, God shouldn't be put in that box. We focus a lot on Him during Christmas. We have special services at church where we sing about Him. How sad that too many of us put God in the box with Christmas, and don't focus on Him until next Christmas, or focus on Him as much.

We may box Christmas up for the next 11 months, but let us all try to keep the parts out of the box that we CAN use all year long.

31 days of thankfulness

I have been dealing with depression for a few years now. I have been put on several different medications, some didn't help, some did for a while, and then stopped helping. I finally gave up. They were getting too expensive for me to buy. My doctor suggested a counselor, and I went once, but he and I had totally differing views on one area, and I couldn't see it working. A Christian counselor might work, but they are espensive.

So for the last several months, I have just been dealing with it. Some days are worse than others, stuff happens and make it worse, but for the most part, I keep a handle on it, and most people around me have no idea how depressed I am.

I'm not sure how I became so depressed. And I don't know how to get out of it, but I do know I have become too negative. It does seem I have more than my share of hard knocks, and have more to deal with than the average Christian, but my outlook has become too gloomy. I have become a pessimist. I focus on the bad.

That said, I decided that is one thing I need to work on, being more positive. Call it a New Year's Resolution if you want, but it is a step in the right direction.

There being 31 days in January, I am going to blog every day about something I am thankful for. The negative side of me is already wondering if I can come up with 31, but I think I can. This may be a small thing to do, just a small step of many I need to take, but it is better than sitting here wishing things would change. So tomorrow, day 1.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New blog

I have been blogging for a few years now, and my blog has turned into mainly a book review blog. I am going to try to get into actual blogging more this coming year, so I am creating a new blog. My other blog is titled "Thoughts of a Sojourner", and I would have liked to keep it for regular blogging, as I like the title, but it would be too hard to change all of my book review "stuff", so I am making this blog my "other blog". Here is to a new year and new beginnings.