Christmas in July

Loveys, the Hallmark Channel has been running Christmas movie marathons for days. Seriously. You may roll your eyes at this.

I, on the other hand, feel an even deeper connection to Hallmark than I did before.

If you know me, you know I love the holidays. Really, they're wonderful. I love decorations. I love holiday parties. I love movies like Christmas in Connecticut and Miracle on 34th Street. I love being with family. I love seeing my children open presents. (I love opening presents too.) I love Christmas music and candlelight services and celebrating Jesus and putting ornaments on our tree and baking cookies and reading Christmas books.

Love it.

Having a few Christmas movies on lately (when I can squeeze them in amid Curious George and Octonauts) has been super fun. And has made me have Christmas on the brain. I start thinking about the joy and happiness that comes with that season. Those things come with every season, of course, but not quite in the same way. It makes my heart happy to know that Christmas is coming eventually. That I'll be with my family and enjoy lights and delicious foods and presents.

It sounds beautiful to me.

So I'm okay with a little Christmas in July (thank you, Hallmark!). We need the joy, don't you think? The peace that's encouraged at Christmas. The goodwill toward men and all that. We need it.

Do you ever feel like you've wasted time not choosing joy? It takes work sometimes, to choose to be joyful. To choose to shake off the pettiness, the worry, the tendency to hold tight rather than be open.

At the end of the day, I look at those things I just mentioned, pettiness and such, and I know that's not who I want to be.

How do you want to be remembered, lovey? What will people say about you once you're gone? What will your legacy and memory be filled with?

When I think of Christmas, I think of good things. I hope I live with a little more Christmas in me every day. More love for my family. More forgiveness. More peace. More gentleness. More tolerance. More giving things over to God and trusting Him. More kisses for my husband. More snuggles with my kids. More heartfelt prayers that change my whole life.

We're still becoming who we're meant to be. Are we going in the right direction? Or do we need to stop and change our path? Loveys, do you need a little Christmas in July?

This summer has been a good one so far for our family. Lots of family time. Building relationships with friends. Eating watermelon and all that fun stuff. But things can change in an instant. I've been thinking about some friends of mine. My friend's parents were out here visiting and her father suddenly passed away a few days ago.

Loveys, doesn't that hurt your heart? It hurts mine. I find myself stopping to pray for the family over and over.

We need peace and hope and love more than ever. Those things need to be who we are. The magic of the holiday season is God with us. But that's true every day. Even days when it seems like everything shatters. Even when it's hard to believe it (and believe me, I've had those days). God with us.

Living out love.

Living out trust.

Living out peace.

Living out hope.

Seeing the blessings and gifts in all the moments and seasons of our lives. And choosing to live with joy.

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