Monday, February 14, 2011

We Celebrate Anyway

The last several weeks have been really trying for our family and extended family. We’ve suffered through illness, untimely death, and other stressful situations. Over this past weekend, I felt as if I were at my breaking point, but I found that keeping up with my thankfulness journal really helped me keep perspective on everything.

Today on Valentine’s Day, I’m reminded of the most important things to celebrate – love, family, and the decision to celebrate.

We celebrate by giving each other cards, candy, hearts, flowers, and small gifts. But it is not the gifts that matter – it’s the people giving those gifts that we hold near to our hearts. If I chose to look at the circumstances around me, there would be no reason to celebrate – I could easily be depressed or exhausted, or just look for the simplest way to get through the day. But instead we celebrate anyway – in the midst of the pain, fear, illness, waiting, and sorrow. We choose to take a different path – to choose joy in the simple act of giving paper hearts, homemade cards, and cookies.

I wear a cross around my neck occasionally. It took me a long time to decide if I wanted to wear one because I didn’t want to dishonor what it stood for or disrespect Jesus’ sacrifice by my bad behavior while wearing it. The cross – the symbol of ultimate suffering during Jesus’ time becomes a symbol of our salvation – a treasured and honored reminder of new life from horrible suffering and death. We choose to make this awful thing represent eternal life.

Ultimately I believe we have made it through these last several weeks by choosing to believe and have hope that this is not the way it should be, has to be or will be forever. We don’t always get it right, but I believe that God if faithful. He has shown his face to us during this trying time.

We choose to celebrate anyway and welcome the joy of this love He has given us.

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