Chaplain’s thoughts … December 18, 2015

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“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

~ Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney poignantly describes what many families experience each year. He highlights what parents understand all too well – the reality that childhood is fleeting, that the distance between diapers and driver’s licenses is incredibly short, and the time between a child in the cradle to a child in college is just a moment.

Our Christmas/holiday celebrations can be a bit messy. Truth is, life is messy, especially in homes with young children. Yet learning to enjoy these glorious messes can bring great contentment into our lives. Toys that come with a thousand parts, Charlie Brown trees imperfectly decorated by small hands, gifts that reflect affection more than affluence … all these and more are the messy stuff of joyous holiday celebrations. Not to mention the mental calculus of coordinating meals, travel, guests, religious observances and gift-giving decisions. It can become just a bit hectic.

As you celebrate, remember to slow down just enough to enjoy your family. Breathe … and enjoy the blessings that surround you, even if they are a bit messy.

Finally, if this season finds your life marked by overwhelming sadness, grief or depression, please use the resources available to you. Don’t hesitate to reach out. If you need a mental health professional, or  pastoral support from a chaplain, please don’t hesitate to seek help.

Also don’t discount the value of sharing your burdens with a trusted friend. Sometimes, just sharing your pain with another lessens its impact. Please don’t suffer alone. If you are uncertain of where to turn, speak with your shirt or supervisor; they can help you find the support you might need.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.