Every year the Christmas season brings a lot of emotions... at least for me. It is not only the most wonderful time of the year but it also brings a reflection over the happenings of the year. The restaurant is closed for 3 days every year at Christmas time. The 24th, 25th, & 26th. After what we call the "gauntlet" of December, it is a much needed break for everyone.
So, during the 3 days of heavenly peace a lot of contemplation occurs since I actually have time to contemplate... and wow, what a year. To say that we have been blessed is an understatement. In fact it is so far away from the actual feeling in my bones that I cannot begin to type all the things that I am grateful for this year.... a grouchy old bully, a spunky new puppy, a home that simplifies every facet of life, a restaurant in constant motion, a job.i.love., an awaiting adventure in Indianapolis, a new life, a pilot's license, reliable renters, a husband.i.LOVE, a community that cares, friends that care, family that cares.... And I haven't even scratched the surface.
Each day that I feel frustrated or stressed or like I cannot take one.more.complaint. it is important to focus on the big picture... the one that really matters... and to praise the Lord for the blessings that He has shared this 2011.
And in the midst of my contemplation, it is overwhelming to think where this next year will go. What will I be saying at this point next year?! I cannot imagine...
So to fill in the words that I cannot express, I turn to an old Christmas memory. A memory of family gathered around a dinner table singing God's praise for the blessings of the year.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.