‘Tis the season to be jolly…Fa la la, humbug!
God is the God of celebration. He gives His children a sense of belonging through rich traditions established in the feasts. For centuries, the nation of Israel has celebrated ordained feasts: eating certain foods, saying specific words, reenacting certain events. As they do this, they remember they belong to a story much bigger than one person’s. God wants His children free to CELEBRATE. In Exodus 5:1, He gave celebration as the reason for freeing Israel from captivity:
“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”
He wants the same for us today…that we may come out of our ‘Egypt’ and truly celebrate HIM.
As a young married mother, I purposefully built family celebrations that would endure the test of time. However, in 1998, I found that those celebratory events did not endure the test of a breaking marriage. An ominous cloud lurked over every holiday that year, with the storm letting its fury loose on December 26, when I received divorce papers. My once Normal Rockwell family now lay in shambles; I did not think I would ever recover. Yet my children and I learned to celebrate once again.
In our journeys to determine who we are as a family, the holidays are a perfect opportunity to help define “this is who we are,” a perfect time to begin to rebuild with the Lord as the head of our home.
Single Parents, begin your journey by stepping out of the humbug into the Hallelujah!
Here are some ideas:
1. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT: It is a BIG step to choose to do something different. Changing the way it has been done will have a lasting impact on your children. Create a memory…and who knows, it might lead into a tradition.
2. ASK FOR HELP: Jesus told us, “All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you” (Mk. 11:24). Although this is one of the most difficult things to do, God wants us to learn to ask HIM and even others. Whether for emotional support, finances, childcare for the kids, there is help available.
3. READ: STOP and read to your children. Borrow some Christmas or winter stories from the library. Enjoy time each night of the holiday season cuddling together. When my grown children come home for the holidays, we still enjoy this tradition.
4. DON’T OVERSPEND: The ache of lack is never more evident than in the holiday season. Grab a friend and hold each other accountable. JUST SAY NO. Choose to make a memory, not more debt.
It took some years to allow God to rebuild the shards of our lives. He also restored the art and passion of celebration in our hearts and our home.
What is one step forward you can take this holiday season to partner with the Lord in restoring LIFE in your family?
Founder and Executive Director of The Single Mom KC. A single mother of four, her greatest life work has been loving and leading her family well.