This week's questions are, "How do you display the joy and peace that Christ has filled you with? How do you use the gifts that He has entrusted to you to heap joy on those around you?"
I read this morning's post and took the time to read a couple of responses (you can link up your own response by clicking on the graphic above). Jennifer Cote blogged that she took some extra time to decorate this year, especially in her shop, as a way to say, "I am excited. Jesus is coming." That spoke to me--loudly.
You see, we are in the process of getting our decorations up, and I would not say that I am joyful about it. Decorating is not my "thing." I don't have a passion for it and I don't have much talent for it. So, in the craziness of life, if something is going to go, then decorating it will be. Last year, I didn't even want to put up a tree at all! I couldn't deal with getting all those boxes out, just to have to put them back in a few weeks. Sad, huh? Well, this year, we went to get our tree on Saturday. It was a nice day, and we had fun picking it out and Terry cut it down himself and dragged it out to our car in a very manly way. We got the lights on that night and were going to decorate on Sunday after church. Amanda definitely had the joy. She had been invited on a playdate Saturday afternoon, and cautioned us, "Do not decorate the tree without me."
Sunday was a big boxful of joyous memories as she pulled each ornament out of the boxes, and said, "Oh, I remember when I made this one at preschool!" or "Ooooh, this one is pretty. Where did we get this?" That really did bring me joy (and a little shame at being such a reluctant merry-maker).
Later, I had a reminder that Christian joy shines in spite of our circumstances. Was it all a holly, jolly Christmas once the halls were decked? No, not at all. In fact, within two hours of getting the tree decorated, it fell over! ARGH! Three years ago, our tree plagued us with falling over several times. Yes, that was a joy-stealer. So, the carefully placed ornaments are now awry and some are even broken, but I'm going to take Jennifer's lead and finish up my decorating in anticipation and celebration of Christ's glorious birth. I won't just do it so that it's done, I'll do as a joyful reminder of the glorious season.