For me, sending a Christmas card, of our new blended family, tops the charts for challenging.
This has me wondering: do you have beautiful, but unusual or tender circumstances you struggle to celebrate?
Sharing good news in our lives can be so much harder than expected. Because what’s possible on the other side of that good news?
Utter and total failure. Maybe humiliation. Broken heart. Devastation. Not to put too fine a point on it.
Perhaps this is only me, speaking from my own personal experience. I’ve learned, over great years, good years, mediocre years, and a run of kicked-in-the-teeth years, sharing the holly-jolly in life is almost as difficult as sharing the challenging.
Because: what if it all goes wrong?
This is the hissy voice whispering in my ear, reminding me of past struggles and failure.
It’s essentially the don’t-get-too-big-for-your-britches hum of Satan.
As someone who’s been through a couple main character changes, some plot twists, and one or two double-crosses, it can be hard for me to trust the new chapter I’m writing.
At the same time, it’s only our first Christmas as a new family once. We only get to celebrate this particular moment one time.
If you need encouragement, here was how I took this hard, yet important step.
I asked Dorothy if she wanted to do it.
Yep, I outsourced it to my kiddo, someone who has never turned down a creative project in her life.
After she organized a family photo shoot, with about a 10 minutes heads-up, and a timer on the phone for that “this is not a selfie” angle, she took charge of the design.
When she finished, here was my check list.
Check all spellings.
Check the cost, bring the price down a reasonable amount, type my credit card number into shutterbugfishfly whatever.com and hit done.
Ta-dah! I just acknowledged our sweet and unusual family to the whole world! Or at least to the 23 or so people we know and like well enough to send a holiday card.
Maybe for you, it’s not a Christmas card. Maybe it’s celebrating your amazing coworkers, at the weird job you love, with an Instragram of the holiday lunch you had.
Maybe it’s a Facebook post about the “fixer-upper” home you adore, that makes your parents want to call 9-1-1 every time they come to visit.
Maybe its the text you send to your bestie, holding hands with this new fella you like, and captioned: “This is a thing”
However you celebrate, taking time to acknowledge some joyful, yet new or vulnerable aspect in your life right now can be life-giving.
One of the first Advent stories I remember hearing was this snippet of Joseph, Mary’s husband-to-be, and Jesus’ stepdad-to-be, and his story. On learning the lady he’s marrying is pregnant, Joseph plans to, in a gentlemanly fashion, back the heck out of this deal, with an end-goal to not embarrass Mary.
Because here’s Joseph, the “he” down here and what followed.
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”Matthew 1:20, Christian Standard Bible
Don’t be afraid! Your wife-to-be bears a holy child! THE holy child. Stay put. God’s got this.
Were I Joseph, this would still give me pause. Good to know Mary’s a faithful woman, but hard to hear the son of God is literally in her womb.
Joseph isn’t a man of many words. I don’t believe he’s a man of any words in fact. He doesn’t have to be.
He’s a man of action.
When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her.Matthew 1: 24, CSB
I think that’s one of the loveliest lines I’ve read in the bible to date. He did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her.
There are so many ways God calls us to be bigger, deeper, stronger than we actually are. He called Joseph to this new, quirky family, and this crazy-scary assignment, and Joseph did as he was commanded.
I hope you might find that Joseph-courage this Christmas, to embrace the beautiful, new, and offbeat situations and people in your life, and celebrate them.
There’s my joyful news, world! Don’t be afraid! What’s coming is holy! And, in lesser stories, I sent a Christmas card with our new, sweet, blended family!
So now I wonder, what holds you back from sharing special moments with others? I’d love to hear in the comments below.