Friday, December 21, 2007

Selective Memories?


The day seemed to be like any other...there was a school outing to attend, a bit of last minute shopping...trying to finalize Christmas plans, running children to their outings....yet I felt "Off".
I noticed it when I didn't have the patience for the nattering and bickering that was taking place after school. Then when there was delayed obedience over requests to help set the table, I was harsh..fair, I think...just no extra grace, (some kiddies have been pushing the limits lately). 
Even still, I could feel the frustration within.
Tonight, as I was winding down for the night, some other things from the day...and even recent weeks came back to my memory. A news report that disgusted me, yet hit close to the heart, a lonely family member...(who intentionally or not, left me feeling guilty), others who have chosen to remain separated....
Things that began to flood my memory bank with the "other" Christmas memories.
I am sure many of us have them, the ones we'd rather forget. Maybe a family blow up, maybe some great disappointment, maybe an absent family member....maybe worse, maybe one that was present, but abusive.
As I began to process my "off day", I began to understand some things.
First of all, why I felt the way I did today...not depressed or angry, just not really me either.
I also began to realize that although I make daily choices to focus on the good in my life presently and to choose consciously to remember all that was wonderful and amazing about Christmases past...I have been selective in my memories. It's not that the "others" don't come to mind, it's that I choose not to give place to the enemy, by allowing myself to spend any time on them.
I choose to be thankful for all of the good, I choose to make better memories for my own children.
I choose to cherish friends and family...and the good in each one. 
I choose to learn from other' mistakes (and my own), not to repeat them.
Yet, somehow, in the midst of the cherishing of pleasant memories....there is an unwelcome intrusion...the "unselected" memories.
I know that there are many who find Christmas extremely difficult for the same reasons...the unwanted memories. Many who struggle, dislike, or even become depressed or suicidal for these very reasons.
Yet, even as I process my own feelings, and quite honestly, struggle to push aside the intruding memories...I make a choice, again, for this night and this Christmas, to set my eyes on HIM, and to line my focus up with the following scripture:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things"
So forgive me blogger friends, if I come across a little on the "Pollyanna" side of Christmas in most of my posts...that too is a reflection of my choices, my "selective memories".
My "whatsoever things are lovely memories".
However Christmas makes you feel this year, I pray a blessing of peace and true JOY on each one of you. May this truly be a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

4 comments:

Amy said...

Jen---
I almost blogged about something similar last night---WOW!
I, too, LOVE Christmas, but have been really "grumpy" as of late b/c of some personal/family Christmas issues... Thank you for posting. I often feel as though I am the only one with these feelings!!!
Merry Christmas-may it be one of only good memories!!!

Holly said...

Merry Christmas to you my sweet friend!

Jen said...

Amy,
God is so cool. You have no idea how many times I almost deleted this post...even once I published it...it was not cheery enough;but I kept thinking, "there are others out there who feel this way...it's real"

Bless you as you celebrate as well with happy memories as well!

Rhonda said...

Yes, it is real. Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year for some. Family obligations can be challenging. We certainly do have to make choices to focus on what is good! Bless you and Merry Christmas!