We CAN Embrace It Let's Start Today

Is December 2015 different for you from holiday seasons now past? Does your path feel unfamiliar compared to this time last year?  If so, can you and I intentionally embrace the changes that are happening right in our midst? IMG_6313

As my next door neighbor, Michelle and I were chatting this morning, we talked about that very thing…aging parents with illnesses that may prevent them from traveling, children that are now married with homes of their own.

Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” Pearl S. Buck 

Illnesses and surgeries that come into play during the holidays make for changes, too.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.” Charles M. Schulz~Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom 

I am not referring to your first Christmas after a precious loved one has gone ahead of you…

…that kind of change is in a league of its own, and that is not what this is about, and if you know someone in these life circumstances, read this recent post about bereavement.

If things are not as they usually are…can we choose to embrace it, enjoying the moments, building new traditions, instead of allowing ourselves to get down?

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

That is exactly what my friend, Michelle told me they were doing as they noticed some changes in what they usually expect during the weeks leading into Christmas. Their family is making an intentional choice to embrace these changes. They are seizing the changes in this season as an opportunity to spend more time with their family of four with a festive New Year’s getaway. Good for them!

Later in the day, I traveled to Atlanta to visit my friend, Mary who is making a recovery from knee surgery. As I turned onto Piedmont off of North Avenue, just before making a right onto Ponce de Leon, I noticed some blue lights in front of a church, to my left. As most would be, I was curiously looking in that direction to see what was happening. Right away, it was clear that the policewoman was just doing her job, by shooing away a homeless man who had been sleeping on the front porch of the church. While she didn’t arrest him, she simply watched him walking away slowly…what his next destination would be was anyone’s guess. I know there will always be poor among us, even still, my heart was saddened by this scene on Piedmont.

As I continued the drive to Mary’s, a glance to my right brought me a smile as I passed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts with the “HOT” sign on. You see, Mary remained in our much-loved hometown of Decatur, along with her husband, raising their two boys in the same schools where our five-decade long friendship had its start. Krispy Kreme was a place we visited often! Coming to Mary’s home is such a treat.

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller

It is truly like traveling down Memory Lane every time. Knowing each other since first grade at Fernbank Elementary, our visits are always so special.

Yes, life might be a bit different this Christmas…but as we consider the reality of life for this homeless gentleman in the above story,  I think it will do us all a ton of good if we recognize the good in our 2015 Season and make an intentional choice to EMBRACE IT!

christmas still life

May your holidays be bright!

2 thoughts on “We CAN Embrace It”

  1. As I ride the Marta train home, I am thinking long and hard about your story. I pass by Inman Park, Candler Park, Litle Five points. Years ago, you could’ve never gotten me to ride a Marta train. I’ve come to really enjoy it. I enjoy listening to the conductor, observing the people. I’ll never forget boarding the train this time last year. I saw my usual seat had been taken over by a female with her 3 children all spread out in the last 2 rows . They were all completely exhausted, and you could tell they had been up all night long. I have often wondered if she had been evicted, or been a victim of some type of abuse. As I rode the train to my connection point at 5 points, I was moved to give her some money. I shook her aggressively, she finally aroused and I slipped her $20 – I wish I could’ve given her $100; but, I digress. This year, there weren’t any Marta patrons that moved me to tears, but a couple (and their family) who boarded my flight early this morning. His wife was seated in 3D. As he was boarding, I could see his eyes were completely blood shot from crying. I introduced myself and he said his name was Larry. He went onto say they had received some very deveststing news. He was overcome with grief — It was all around him, and his wife too. They were in that place where; if you have ever exoerienced such grieving it’s like being in another world…

    As they deplaned I wished them a Merry Christmas , but it seemed so hollow, their Christmas season would be different from now on.

    That’s why I am going to embrace the small joys, and make this a holiday to celebrate living. There is so much life to live.

  2. HI Sam and thanks so very much for taking a few minutes to share here…Your story about the woman and her children on the train from last year is moving…Each One Reach One…a great example of that! And your passengers…Oh how grief can overtake us…”It was all around him and his wife, too.” I am glad you have decided to be even more intentional about embracing the small joys while recognizing that we have so much LIFE to LIVE! If more people would do just that, our world would be such a sweeter place to live in. Merry Christmas, Sam!

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