Merry & Bright: Enjoying Christmas in all Seasons of Life

Christmas…it’s hard to not love a holiday that encompasses such warmth. It enables opportunities for acts of kindness that may normally be ignored. It’s a season where love transcends distance and barriers. It brings people together and most importantly glorifies our majestic and mighty Savior, Jesus Christ: the King of Kings.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I remember sneaking out of bed after everyone was long asleep to sit under the colorful lights of our Christmas tree. We have always had a real tree and each year nearly every branch is filled with precious memories. It’s so beautiful. I’m looking forward to having one of my own someday.

kirbyornamentBeing in Florida this winter, snow is something I’ve really missed about this time of year. A fresh snowfall soothes my heart. I can remember my face pressed against the cold window watching huge, fluffy snowflakes silently cover the ground. I had to constantly wipe a small viewing circle with my fist as my breath kept fogging it up. I would pray for snow days filled with wonder…and hot chocolate for when I could no longer feel my face.

snowflakesIt was this time of year that I would often find myself daydreaming of my future boyfriend. I could see him joining in on every cherished family tradition from decorating cookies to our last-minute Stamy shopping dash through the mall, days before Christmas. I would imagine being snuggled up to him in my evening sits under the Christmas tree or watching a sappy, feel-good Hallmark movie (which I LOVEEEE and highly recommend btw). It’s such a magical time of year!

cookiemakingIt was easy to visualize those future moments. Seeing them in my heart made me feel warm inside knowing that God had that for me someday. There were moments though that wanting that vision so badly made my heart hurt. I knew it wasn’t right to compare to others, but what was so wrong with wanting someone to share these special moments with?

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” – Proverbs 13:12

If you relate to this, then I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with you. You are 100 percent normal wanting those things! In light of the season, I want to share a bit about the things God has taught me about dating and love. These are the things that allowed my dreams to become a reality with the love of my life.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know bits of my love story. If you’re new to Thoughts from the Dock, check out the video on my “about” page. It’s been a journey guys, and one that is far from over. Love is not a feeling, but a lifelong decision to choose your husband/wife over and over and over for the rest of your life.

Say no to living life too quickly. In the world we live in, life is a rush. Stores are setting out Christmas decor in September (come on, that’s a little over the top don’t you think?), we are in a rush to finish school, for summertime, to date, to get married…to have a kid…have another kid…to buy a home…to get a dog…get the kids to graduation…then to college…get them married…have grand-kids…retire. It’s this pressure to hurry up and live life otherwise you’ll get behind. If you get nothing else from this, please hear this; say no to living your life too quickly. You are not late in life. You are not behind. It doesn’t matter your grade or your age or your economic status. You are on a path no other person ever will be able to be on (no matter how much they may want to be). God has time for every good and perfect gift that He wants to bring into your life. You haven’t missed it!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:17

James 1:17 says that every good or perfect gift that comes into your life is from God. (And I love a good gift haha). This is good news for you, because in Genesis 2:18, God says that it’s not good for man to be alone. If you think God doesn’t understand, He does…He knows your desire because He created you for companionship. God calls wives a good thing in Proverbs 18:22. It says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” If God says that finding a wife is a good thing, then He won’t withhold the treasure He has in store for you.

Talking about life in general for a second, let’s stop trying to force or build our lives too quickly. There are no shortcuts in life, only temptations, and opportunities to put ourselves in a place of heartache that God never intended for us. There is a right season and timing for everything. I was an agriculture major in college, so it’s easy for me to think of things in terms of seeds. There is a time that’s best to plant a particular seed, and then there is a season of growing and nurturing, and finally a harvest. Rest in knowing that God WILL bring his good gifts to a harvest for you if you trust Him.

Say no to shallow relationships and mediocrity. If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you are a supernatural being. Normal is not enough for you. You are called to a supernatural life and a supernatural marriage someday…one that lives in the outliers of our world’s expectations. God doesn’t want you to settle. When thinking about dating and finding “the one” I was always terrified that I was going to miss my person; thus, I was always on the lookout. Dating wasn’t something I particularly liked either. It’s awkward firstly, and secondly, I knew pretty quickly if someone was right without having to go on a date with them.

When I learned how God brings couples together, my perspective was radically changed. It’s this that brought me to Kirby. God showed me that He prepares the man and the woman individually. When the timing is right He brings the woman to the man while He is in his field (in the middle of what God created him to do). If you want to see a few examples of this in the Bible, read the book of Ruth and the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24. In both, God knew their needs. He had prepared for their divine appointment. In the same way, God knows the deep desires of your heart. He has a divine appointment in store for you.

To the men out there reading, he won’t bring you a woman you won’t be able to fully provide for or love how He intends for you to love prematurely. Ladies, you don’t have to constantly be looking. God will bring you to the man He has for you and will make it so obvious…trust me, you won’t be able to miss it. It took time for God to prepare my heart. I began praying for my future husband in the fall of 2010. It was 2013 (three years later) before I met Kirby. It takes patience, but it’s so, so worth letting God lead in this area of your life. [Sidebar Wisdom: Make sure you give yourself time to see someone in all seasons of life before pursuing marriage]

Don’t be intimidated by what you can’t see right now or what seems impossible. Sometimes it can be hard to get this because you see no one “right” around you, but with God, there is nothing impossible. He is not limited in how He can provide for you (this is true not only in relationships!). So while you are in your planting or growing season of life, what can you do to stay hopeful, but not have a sad heart? Pray. Pray for your future husband/wife. Pray that God would protect them, help them make good decisions, and to have a good day…filled with blessings and joy and goodness. Pray that you will know that you know that you know…that it will be obvious to you. Don’t let the calendar or the everyday grind intimidate you. God is working behind the scenes on your behalf.

Love the process and embrace all that God has for you TODAY. God didn’t create you just for something “down the road”. You have a purpose and you have faith for today. I was under the impression that life would automatically be better with a boyfriend and that I just couldn’t enjoy life’s moments without it. That was wrong. Life IS amazing when you find your person, but life is equally amazing in this time of your life. You’ll never get this time back. Enjoy it!! This is time for you to figure things out, to learn, to grow, to develop your relationship with God, to enjoy your family time and time with your friends, and to prepare for the love of your life. You have a lot of love to give. How can you bless others with that love in this Christmas season?

jersey

Stay focused on God and pursuing His calling on your life. Say no to living your life too quickly, say no to mediocrity and shallow relationships, don’t be intimidated by what you can’t see, and embrace all God has for you today! Stay encouraged and stay hopeful. Most importantly, soak in God’s love for you this Christmas season. Know that you are tremendously loved and precious in His sight. You are a gift. Please don’t miss out on enjoying what you DO have in the name of wishing for something you do not yet have.

Much love to you all! I pray that you have a very, very Merry Christmas! XOXO – Sydney

 

 

 

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