This year I turned 32, got my domain for celebratewithpaint.com, built our first garden, painted the patio ceiling sky blue (clouds to follow!), had lots of painting parties, block parties, successful yard sale, flea marketing, and vacation! This month Travis and I will have been married 11 years!
December marks the end of another circle around the sun one more time. And doesn’t our planet spin so fast!? I know that Christmas can feel at times stressful or busy, but it can be a great time to try to break up the monotony of life and appreciate family. I love hosting Christmas and I love that we get time off work and a chance to get family & friends together.
When we decorate & bake for Christmas, let’s build that nostalgia into it! Remember when you were a small child and the innocent wonder & excitement you had for Christmas? It wasn’t just gifts; it was a magical time of year.
gIFTS & gIVING
This Christmas I think of memories, gifts, family, and the special calling we hear around this time, “Peace on Earth and good will towards men.”
What good ‘spiritual’ gifts or talents has God given you, i.e.: creativity? hospitality? encouragement? wisdom? love? What’s the point of love if it’s kept to itself? When you give away your special talents & gifts to others, they become what they were always meant to be—received as gifts. (Because your gifts are meant to be given.) *But you do receive back when you give. You gain spiritually a sense of purpose & meaning for yourself & others, and the world around you changes into a better version little by little. Will we overcome our depravity and enlighten and find peace on Earth as we say at Christmas? Or will our depravity be our ruin and lead us to our “zombie apocalypse”? Consuming others with no soul.
*added thoughts from original document
the gIft of family
When I think on the meaning of Christmas, I think of the gift of Family. Family always gets together for Christmas, & The manger scene is a symbol for many of the brand-new family representing hope, peace & goodness in the world.
But who is your family & neighbor? Family is tribe—whoever you claim to be your “brother’s keeper.” Who are we to belong to but to each other? I think all humans on Earth should be family to each other. I believe that if everyone on Earth became Family to each other, & loved one another, we could heal our planet from many things. We must not forget what the message of Christmas shows us about how we make this possible…
The greatest gift to heal the world
is the greatest gift of love.
My heart can’t help but wonder…what if everyone on the planet actually believed in those words, “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.” (And for all year—not just Christmas.) Are we humans still collectively too barbaric, divided, corrupted, violent & hateful to achieve this hoped-for peace we dream of now?
The Maji, who were known for their wisdom, brought forth gifts in response to this promise of peace they had heard of. But it’s spiritual riches we must give to get back the dream we hope for.
If you believe that the greatest of all gifts is LOVE, then baby Jesus was the greatest gift, because he was Love born into the world. Only the greatest gift has the power to heal the world’s curse.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his son for us…”
Matthew 3:17 “This is my son, whom I love…”
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man [give] his life for his friends.”
The greatest gift of love is life.
Life’s sacrifice in the name of love is the cure.
Jesus, called the ‘Prince of Peace’ demonstrated his life as a peace offering to show us the true way to find Peace on Earth—and for OUR benefit. Yet to love instead money/sin, the world trades in that possibility of hope for pain & suffering.
If gifts were meant to be given, then it is our love that we must give to share in the true life we were meant to have. How do we do this? By giving our lives to one another—being Family for one another—being our “brother’s keeper.” If we do this, maybe we can experience that ever-so-near kingdom of heaven (FAMILY) that’s revealed in the message of Christmas.
What we give is what we receive, so if we receive baby Jesus as our gift of peace & give up our lives for one another we will find life overflowing in family, healing, love, peace on Earth & good will toward men.
A years-full of memories…
2019 PAINTING PARTIES