It's nearly New Year's Eve, and preparations have ensued for a night of celebration! A new calendar always inspires me to come up with new plans, new goals, and new enterprises for the new year, and with a house full of creative people, the wheels are certainly turning in all directions as we discuss all our thoughts for what's to come.
Celebrations of holidays are nothing new, of course ...
Throughout the Old Testament, God instituted feasts for the Jews. They were to stop work and celebrate His faithfulness in their lives. Great preparation was made for them to feast together, sing songs, gather with family, and celebrate.
How does this apply to me as a mother as I seek to please God?
I need to remember that I am to lead my children in being a person who celebrates the joy of life.I am to model what it looks like to enjoy God and His creation. Often, in the midst of the duties of life, moms can easily become focused on the right things to do, correcting the immaturity of children, and inadvertently portraying God as a strict moral judge just waiting for them to fall short.
It is vital we realize we are a model of God to our children and we must take care that we present His light, beauty, humor, love, and joy. I love this verse in Proverbs: "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22).
Though this probably applies to an individual, I have seen how it applies to our family as a whole. Every day of my life as a mom is filled with chores, duties, problems, issues, and responsibilities. If I allow my soul to become overwhelmed by these things all the time, my spirit becomes dry and depressed, and I pass on my disparaging attitude to everyone in my house like a virus of darkness. Each day I must learn I have a choice to make. I can focus on all that is unjust in my life, on all the ways my children fall short, on all the demands each day makes of me, and end up with a complaining, griping spirit.
But a broken spirit dries up the bones!
One day, during some heavy, depleting, scary financial issues in our family's life, I decided to get up before everyone else. I made homemade pecan-apple pancakes, lit candles, put on soothing instrumental music, and had a lovely table set when the kids and Clay arose. We all enjoyed the breakfast surprise together. After we finished, Sarah was sitting next to me on the couch. She kissed my cheek and said, "You know, Mom, when you act happy and bring joy to our life, I feel secure and that all is well. But when you are upset and down, I feel guilty, like we have done something wrong and it makes me feel like brooding. Thanks for making the effort. I feel happy this morning:'
I realized that one of the roles God wants me to play in my children's lives is a conductor of joy, happiness, and celebration. After all, God designed our need for these things into our very hearts. We were made to enjoy life and our Creator, and we were meant to choose to live in His beauty and provision.
I pray you'll enjoy your own New Year's celebrations! And while you're making those resolutions or filling in your calendars, think about some ways you could add celebration to your family's normal days, too. Here's to a wonderful 2016!
This story was originally published in The Mom Walk. Grab your copy here on Amazon!