Freedom To Enjoy Holidays
Whatever holidays are special to you and your family, in America there is freedom to enjoy holidays. This includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving, to name a few. I LOVE that about America! We are blessed! In the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment states,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
This means to me that the holidays are free to be enjoyed. I take this as an opportunity to do just like Paul says in Philippans 4:4-7;
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Our mindset is the most important ingredient in joyful living. Freedom to enjoy the holidays of our belief sets and families is precious, and worth protecting. It is so special to me to hear "Merry Christmas." I love saying it too! Jesus does guard my heart. He died for me and I am filled with joy as a result. You and I can en-joy this and be gentle with this to others as well. You and I have the opportunity to be known to all we meet by our gentleness.
Do you smile at people you pass by and interact with each day? Usually this comes natural to me, but slowly I have found myself being self-absorbed and not even looking at people so I could smile at them. Today, I realized why, and it is reason to make some changes in my daily schedule. I have felt this pressure to get more and more done every day to accomplish this big passion inside of me. Moving across the country to take up a whole new life and business has been scary at times, but also one big grand adventure. Joshua 1:9 is my theme song, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Starting this blog, and sharing with you all, is definitely a passion of mine. God has blessed me and brought me through so many tough times. He has given me understanding of what it means to be free, really free, in Jesus. These are all good things, but when I take on the load to get it all done all on my own, and run ahead of God leading me, my fire gets put out a bit. Smiling and giving of even a smile becomes harder. It is in trusting more, not working at a fevered pace, that the job will get done. In His time. In His way.
I stopped to pray and give this burden to the Lord in writing this blog, and I feel so much better now. My freedom is in knowing He is beside me, to guide me and to comfort me, and to give me peace. Joy is a product of all that. The holiday of Christmas is the celebration of this being the reality for me. The joy of knowing that God sent His Son, to take upon Himself all the things that I have done, thought and felt that are sin. He came to free me before I was ever born and to give me the opportunity for a better, everlasting, never-ending life of freedom. The joy in my heart overflows!
As we draw closer to Christmas, remembering these freedoms we have been given is important. Appreciate the joyful celebrations, end take the time to participate with loved ones. The frantic pace of the world around us doesn't need to be the pace within our own hearts. I will guard my freedom, peace and joy, and I pray that you find the freedom to guard yours as well. Let's show our light to the world, not just on Christmas eve and Christmas day, but all the days between now and then! Exercise your right of freedom to enjoy holidays, and let it begin with Christmas!
Have a great day!