As I approach the weekbetween Christmas and New Years I often take time to reflect on the last year, where I have been, what I have done, things I have done well, things I have not done well and generally how this year has been. I am looking to see not only what has happened to me but also how have I reacted and responded to the year.

For some reason, I work backwards in this exercise. I start at the end of the year the current season and work back towards the beginning. I would not say it is the most logical way to do it but it has always worked for me and my quirky personality. When I look at the end of this year I have a bit of a rubric of things I think I should probably be outputting. I should be outputting things like hope, joy, and love. This is a season of Christ. The season of preparation. 


I am to be prepared for to be these things. I am to be ready to be hope to people. I am to be prepared to live out joy. I am to be available to share love with other people. I need to be prepared to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. 

I would not say It has been a good year. Generally, these have been two long years. In my short life, these last two years are in the top five hardest years I have had. I do not think I have some sort of right to claim this year as harder than anyone else’s; I would say with out a doubt there are people who have had significantly harder years than I have had. 

These messages are bigger than we are though. I would say for all of us, we can bring these messages of love, hope, and joy to the people around us despite the years we have had. We are to prepare ourselves to bring these things to people around us. The Christ child came and brought these things to his parents when they needed it. 

For me, it all revolves around preparation. Am I preparing myself to bring love to the people around me? Am I preparing myself to bring joy to the people around me? Am I preparing myself to bring hope to the people around me?

Not because I have an abundance of these things, but because I am preparing myself. Focusing myself. When I wake up, do I decide to bring love to others, despite knowing I am going to sit in more traffic than I would want. When I wake up, am I preparing to bring joy to the cashier at Starbucks despite the child behind me throwing a tantrum. Am I prepared to bring hope to the employee at the department store, despite her inability to get off her phone? 

Am I walking into the situation prepared to better someone else’s day despite my perception of what they should or should not be doing? Am I preparing myself to be to others what I need and want in this season? 

Are you prepared to be love, joy, and hope? Are you preparing yourself?