I Choose Joy

by: Zetta Johnson


I must admit my excitement for the holidays and the season change is just as giddy as when I was child. I loved walking into the stores and seeing the display of all of the harvest colors and the smell of cinnamon and Christmas music playing in the background as we shop.  This time of the year always seemed to bring out the best in people, with genuine smiles and hello’s.  And of course the preparation of  Christmas speeches and plays for the church and the pressure to make sure I memorized every line. Letting my parents know my Christmas list and making sure I stayed out of my momma’s way as she baked her Russian tea cakes and her famous caramel popcorn all from scratchy .( soooo good).

I’m really grateful for the wonderful memories of my aunts and uncles coming into town. My grandparents pulling into the driveway with the truck and watching them as they walked into the house with arms filled with packages for me and my siblings. Enjoying the sound of my sisters and brothers laughing and singing as me and my cousins ran through the house playing hide and seek. I loved seeing my dad enjoy himself as he played dominos with my uncles and playing until they all realized my dad wasn’t going to get from the table unless he was known as the top best. I miss the memories of seeing my great grandma sitting in the recliner enjoying the festivities and ask me in secret to get her desserts she wasn’t allowed to have lol.

These memories I have to hold close because I must admit, so much has changed just within the last year that should give me a pass to either be depressed or look over this season that I held so close to my heart as a child.  It has been a true effort to just wake up throughout the year with a mind to believe God was going to help me enjoy the day.  Divorce is a horrible travesty that I wish upon no one. Even as an adult my dad recent decision to divorce shook my entire world and even my family.  I have never ever experienced the feeling of abonnement before in my life this was my first. Everything I once knew had literally changed. Sunday dinners changed,  birthdays changed and of course the holiday season changed. I have to literally force myself to create new memories and create new traditions. Because my family dynamic is not the same. Wow! It’s one of those situations that take time to heal and it doesn’t happen overnight.

In spite of it all the Holy Spirit helped me to remember to give thanks in all that I was facing and still facing.  I have to remind myself my good days still outweigh my bad days and I won’t complain.  The scripture that constantly goes through my mind Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.

Holidays definitely have a way to both remind you of great memories and bring good emotions or for some it can be the worst of times and bring sadness. If you’re in the category where it does not bring the best of emotions just remember your still alive moving and breathing and it will get better. Make the best of the season push beyond the hurt, pain, or disappointment. Maybe it will help you to reach out and bless someone else that may be going through or having a tough time.  Life is so short and temporary enjoy this holiday season reminisce on good thoughts and give thanks.