You might be one of those people who are READY for Christmas at the end of October. You are the type of person that has your lists, your decorations up and ready to go, and this whole time of year is YOUR thing.

On the other end of the spectrum, you might be looking at Christmas coming up and saying “Lord Jesus, have mercy!” All you see are the endless list of things that have yet to get done, the cooking you might have to do, and the figuring out of which family member is coming when.  Can you guess which one I am? 

On a more serious note, I also know that for others, this season is a reminder of what has changed. Maybe things are different this year and you are still grieving what has been lost. Seasons change and holidays may serve as a reminder of who or what used to be part. Trust me, I get it. 

So here’s the question is. How can we keep our hearts joyful during what is supposed to be the happiest season of the year no matter what season of life we are in? 

If joy is lacking in your life overall, chances are there is a real reason why this is the case.  It’s important to get real with yourself and God in order to find the root of your sadness, anger, grief, or low mood. Sometimes we don’t know what the thing is until we talk about it. Some of us are really good at pushing through the pain to do what we have to do, but we aren’t attentive to the signs that tell us we are not ok.

Find a quiet moment in the day to have an honest conversation with God. Feel all the feels — cry, be angry, pray, write, and allow yourself to sit with your current emotions. Honor the experiences of your soul.

But then don’t stay there.

Although it’s good to allow yourself to feel what you feel, it’s important that you don’t allow what you feel to determine what you actually do. 

Sitting in your unhappiness is an investment in your inner self that doesn’t pay dividends over time. Focusing on you every now and again is okay. Focusing on how wrong these are and ruminating on the negative isn’t helpful at all

Once you have honored your emotions and experiences, turn your energies to some outward purpose. Channel your efforts at positive change for yourself or for someone else. We all have a purpose to fulfill, and being stuck in an unhappy place will stop you from fulfilling your purpose. 

Don’t let your funk win.

And if you don’t know your purpose, the current season we find ourselves in provides a perfect opportunity. This is the best time of year to focus on spreading holiday joy throughout your home, neighborhood, workplace, church, and among your friends.

Don’t stress out about the stuff that isn’t important.  Focus on gathering those that you under one roof and providing a time of togetherness along with good food if you can.

Will it be messy? Yes.

Will things probably go wrong? Yup.

But, will it be worth it? Absolutely

At the end of the day, I love my people. And 30 years from now, I want to know that I’ve been intentional about creating a bunch of memories of my people gathered together. That’s what keeps me going in the crazy times. They are my why.

This is bigger than me, friends. 

And your purpose, your why, is bigger than you.

After all this talk about crying, feeling, and purpose; I’m sure you are wondering how to maintain joy in your day-to-day lives. I have some practical tips:

  • Go outside. Ok, yes it might be freezing where you are, but at least open up the blinds in your house and enjoy the natural light!
  • Take a nap. Sleep fixes a lot of things.
  • Sing ANYWHERE. It’s Christmas time, there are so many opportunities to break out in song. If you can’t sing, turn up the music and pretend you can!
  • Gather around your people. We need each other! 

Use the season as an excuse to see your friends more. And that doesn’t always mean fancy dinner parties or a super-planned girl’s night out. It could mean ordering pizza for the kids and having them make Christmas cookies while you and your friends have girl time. It can be simple and low maintenance.

Laugh. Save some of your favorite clean Instagram or Youtube videos and spend a few minutes cracking up. You will feel so much better.

And at the end of the day, when you buy that gift for your family or friends. Buy two. One for them and one for you. Listen, I can love you, Jesus, AND me at the same time. In fact, when I love myself, I can love you better. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. 

At the end of it all, true happiness and joy flow from a place that’s never-ending —  true, life-giving fountain of joy: God Himself.

When you believe in Jesus you have something to look forward to every single day.  You know that your sins are forgiven along with the beautiful fact that you have an opportunity to have a relationship with Him. 

It can’t get any better than that. 

This is the ultimate reason we can have joy; because we are His joy. 

“For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:3

This source of neverending joy is truth to fight our battles with. 

Regardless of what you feel today, remember that you are ok. And even if you don’t always feel the joy, you can find it.


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