It’s that time of year. No, not the one where we stress ourselves by chasing our tail to parties and shopping for gifts. Vacation time!
This year, my husband and I are heading to the South to visit family…and experience the joys of the holiday season in Branson, Missouri. Maybe while I’m gone, some angels will drop by my house and wrap all the gifts and spruce up the decorations.
I know I’ve been pretty quiet the past month, and it’s probably that December will be another “one post per week” time her at Sharon Lee Hughson, Author’s blog. I’ll try to jump online while I’m away (for ten days) and give you a sample of my trip to “Nashville of the Ozarks.” But I’m not making any promises.
To whet your appetite for the trip, here’s a brief itinerary:
- Today: Fly to OKC
- Tomorrow: Spend the day with my Aunt Betty
- Sunday: Travel to Branson and see THIS
- Monday: Vacate…yes, that’s the verb for what you do on vacation. I know you think it means something else, but right here and right now, it means I’m vacationing.
- Tuesday: Watch the Miracle of Christmas
- Wednesday & Thursday: Cruise the town, see some sights, sample some goodies, more vacating
- Friday: Check out the Dixie Stampede
- Saturday: Squeeze in any last minute “must see” action
- Sunday: Return to OKC and fly home
No, that’s not all we’re going to do. But if you’ve read any of my other posts on vacation (like this one or this one), then you know I’m NOT a fan of booking every day with activities.
In short, that’s a key to stress for me…and I vacate to relax. (Notice what I did there? Using my new definition in a sentence. Oh, yeah. Oxford will be adding that definition to their dictionary soon.)
Christmas is first about Christ and second about the twinkling lights. While we’re in Branson, we also plan to check out the glory of the lights. Lights in the square and in one (two or even all three) of the drive through light shows they have in Nashville of the Ozarks.
Have you been to Branson? What would you suggest is a “must see”?
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Today’s challenge is to answer the question “what brings you joy?” It’s quite an undertaking since I have heard entire sermons on the subject. I spent one three-month term teaching my Sunday school class all about it from the Book of Philippians.
You don’t have to be an aeronautical engineer to conclude explaining what brings me joy could fill a book. No one has time for that today. Let’s see if I can do it in under 500 words.
Joy tends to be an ambiguous term. Some people use it interchangeably with happiness (but not me). Even Merriam-Webster has four separate definitions.
For the purpose of this post, I will use this definition from the aforementioned dictionary guru: “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.”
I still find this to be a shallow interpretation for something Jesus promised to make full within us. Joy for me is the knowledge that I am in the right place doing exactly what God wants me to do at that moment. Further, I’m basking in His glory rather than my own.
My joy comes from:
- Holding my husband’s hand
- Finishing my writing goals for the day
- An early morning sunrise
- Watching the ocean swallow the sun
- Hearing my sons give a devotional or sing a special in church
- Positive comments about anyone in my family
- Hot coffee in the morning
- Walking in the fresh air and basking in sunshine
- Discovering something new in a Bible verse I’ve known for years
- Completing any project
- My cat purring against my back or chest – just so I can feel the vibrations while hearing the warmth of that motor
- Watching snow fall
It should be apparent that my joy has less to do with me and more to do with others. Not surprising really. Remember the Sunday school acronym we learned: “Joy is putting Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. JOY.”
What has brought joy into your life today?