I love everything about Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season! I love reading the story of Jesus’ birth. I love setting up the tree and pulling out the decorations, each of which remind me of friends and family and places Rick and I have seen together. I love decorating the house, planning the meal for the gathering clan members. I love driving around town and seeing the lights. I love the scent of pine and glowing candles.
After the joy and bounty of December and Christmas – the shopping, the eating, the celebration – January rolls around. People line up in the stores to return merchandise they didn’t want or couldn’t afford. Seasonal workers are laid off. A thundering herd joins health clubs to jog on treadmills, spin on cycles, swim laps and pump iron in order to work off the extra pounds they put on. Television and newspapers show a plethora of ads for centers that treat alcoholism, drug abuse and depression.
January makes me reflect on all the ways I want and can celebrate Jesus throughout the year. I can celebrate by counting all the blessings He gives me on a daily basis, from pink hazy lavender sunrises to hot orange and purple sunsets. I thank God for the breeze stirring the wind chimes, the snap of ice in the air, blue skies and plenty of work to be done.
January is also a time for me to refocus on what I would like to accomplish in the coming year, God willing. It’s a time to clear out what we don’t need, fix what needs fixing, establish new goals and still dream dreams.
January is a time to reboot, to start fresh and get ready for all the surprises God has in store for us. Whatever happens, we know God is in control and whatever challenges we face, He will use to develop and deepen our faith and draw us even closer to Him.