An Ode to Joy

Don't worry.  I'm not going to start singing.  But I've already started including a little Christmas music in my days.  And it has gotten me thinking.  Do the words really mean anything to me?  Because that's the point right?  I mean the tunes are catchy and it's tradition to listen.  But we put words with them because listening to symphonies all day would be boring and without meaning.  I can belt out all the words to 'All I Want for Christmas' Mariah style and even the Hippopotamus song.  They're fun and catchy - but they aren't life changing.  Some of favorites have such powerful words, and I'm afraid all too often I sing from memory, and not from my heart.

While driving to the dentist this icy morning, the word's to an old hymn popped into my head and I can't seem to get it out.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love.

Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away.

Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.

How often does my heart overflow with joy and thanksgiving like these words talk about?  Not enough.  It's such a beautiful picture comparing our hearts to a new spring flower opening up to it's life source, the sun.  But how much more should we adore our Father?  As I relax today preparing for the hustle and bustle of the next few days of cooking, cleaning, and family togetherness, I can help but think about how I want to focus on and be conscious about how much there is to be thankful for.   And to actually give thanks.

On the same line of thinking as we transition our focus to Christmas at the end of the week, I've decided to read "The Greatest Gift" by Ann Voskamp this Decemeber.  There's a short devotional and scripture every day until Christmas.  Another great Advent option is "The Women of Christmas" by Liz Curtis Higgs.  You can check out their webcast Christmas at the Farm to see their hearts - it's worth a watch!  I want to be sure the wrapping and shopping doesn't overshadow the real reason we celebrate.

I pray you have an wonderful Thanksgiving full of more memories and calories than you think you can stand!