As Christmas draws closer, most of us are busy, busy sending Christmas cards and buying those special gifts. Some of the cards we receive are from some people from our past and it is our annual way to get caught up on what is happening in their lives. Rick and I have moved around several times in our lives so our list of “old” friends seems to get longer as many of them have also relocated. I grew up in a home that was decorated in every room with Christmas so it is natural for me to do the same. For several years, we have collected numerous items that say “JOY” and they can be found all over the house. There are even a few big ones outside. Our house is easily the easiest one to recognize in Winterset. If you are ever in our area, feel welcome to knock on the door and get the tour. The collection, of course, started as a result of my retreats and writing my book The Joy of Forgiveness.
The letters J O Y have a much deeper meaning: “J” is for Jesus, “O” is for others, and “Y” is for yourself. With all the hype going on about the holiday and the material side, it is important for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas. The season of Advent can help us prepare our minds to accept that God’s Son came to us. The difficulties of life can make us bitter or better. What a huge difference that one little vowel can make on how we approach life and choose to live. As we celebrate the Advent season this year, let us prepare our hearts to accept God’s forgiveness, and to change our ways. We can choose to receive God’s healing grace and bring JOY to our lives. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Have a JOYFUL holiday!