This week I was chatting with a friend who’s going through some stuff.  She asked how my Advent was going, and I shared some struggles too.  It’s good to have those people in your life with whom you can be your authentic self. 

I laughed as I shared, “And to top it all off, I haven’t even decorated the outside of my house!”
“I know!  Something came up each time I set aside time to decorate.  And now, I’m just not in the mood.” 
She paused, and said, “So, don’t!  You know that you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” 

What a thought that was this week!  You don’t have to if you don’t want to. 

Let’s face it, sometimes that is not an option in our lives. 
I don’t always want to do laundry, but my family needs clean clothes. 
I don’t always want to make myself food, but I do need to eat something. 
I don’t always want to pay bills, but those bills need paid in order to receive certain services.  That’s just how life goes. 

Though think about the other stuff in life, those things that are optional. 
Those things that can lift our spirits or feel like just one more thing to contend with during a busy, stressful season. 

Most of our Christmas decorations are displayed inside the house.  It’s warm and cozy and lifts my spirits to see. 
But decorations on the outside?  It’s just our Christmas wreath this year. 
Sometimes, that’s enough. 
And guess what . . . so are you. 

Sending love to you and yours in this sometimes stressful season,
Pastor Lauren 

Photo by Rev. Lauren L. Ostrout

Thursday Thoughts 12/8/22