In light of Mom's passing in June, it would have been very easy to shut down for the Holidays... to wallow in sadness and quite honestly, if you asked us in July "what are you doing for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year...?" We may have just burst into tears. Going through those final weeks, we questioned how we would survive especially during this special time of year...and yet, as we are now in 2018 we find such Joy amid the small moments of sadness and find, that the blessings and lessons learned during this past holiday season and year have been truly boundless.
Lesson 1 - Always BE THANKFUL.
We kicked off the season with Thanksgiving, so fitting in many ways! While, this year it was a smaller group than usual with just family, God knew exactly what we needed! Such amazing memories were made! Fond Mom moments were shared, a few tears shed and every second relished. Our goal this year and every year is to live with gratitude no matter the circumstance and while Thanksgiving is everyday it is very nice to pause and truly acknowledge all the many things we have to be grateful for.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG)
" Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live."
Lesson 2 - Stop and enjoy all the small moments (and the big ones too.)
As Winston Churchill said, "Christmas is a time for reflection and rejoicing."
While our "blogging/social media goals may not have been met, no cookies were baked (don't worry, we are already plotting our cookie recipes to add to the blog in 2018... Mom's Gingerbread Cookies and our Rosemary Scotch Oaties are on the list.) No cards were sent and not all gifts got out on time (ehhh but nothing new on that one:-).....Taking the time to truly embrace spending time with people, family and friends, to savor all the special invaluable moments of the holidays made this Christmas extra special. From the festive parties, the trip to Canada with family, seeing our "nieces" faces as they watched the Nutcracker for the first time, the special December Birthdays, Sunday Night Live (SNL) at Hillsong NYC, each message spoken and the testimonies shared were spot on to what we needed to hear. The dusting of snow, magic of all the glittering lights and as always, most importantly the true Reason for the Season - Jesus. Christmas 2017 was one for the books!
Lesson 3 - Know that in the best of times and in the worst of times God's Love for You remains constant.
We always have the tradition of everyone coming to us for New Year's Eve...2017 was no different with the exception that this was our largest sleep over yet! Combining friends old and new, family and our menagerie of pets (and their friends too) it made for a very full house with a lot of love, laughter and hearts filled to overflowing!
2017 was a year where Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities opening line, came into full understanding. " It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
Lesson 4 - Keep Perspective Positive.
While some could look at our lives this past year and only see tragedy...we see so much more! While yes loss occurred, we understand it wasn't a permanent nor final loss. We will get to spend eternity not only with Jesus...but with Mama! We have been so richly blessed by God's love always, but especially this year! The people in our lives the blessing of having richness of family and friends. Our businesses, this blog! We may not be able to change the circumstances of last year, yet through any moment of hardship, we CAN change our perspective, our outlook. We can choose to see the silver lining and small victories and encourage you to use the pain and trials you face to propel you to greatness rather than hold you back in defeat. Remembering and carrying on the legacy of your loved one, embracing each moment of life. Words of wisdom from our Mama " You can choose to let circumstances make you bitter or better." We choose BETTER!
So thrilled to see what God has for us and YOU this year! Thank you for all of your continued support on this journey!
We can truly say the Best is yet to come...Ready for you 2018!!!!
Happy New Year!
X ~ The Sibs
Janna, Jared, Jenneka