Celebrating the season

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If you’re in Britain, chances are you heard something about the Great British Bake-Off Finale this week.  It was inescapable.  News reports, news feeds, talk shows and tweets were buzzing with controversy.  While most of the hype has died down as quickly as it rose up, I’m still finding myself mulling.

There was endless speculation over why Ruby, the controversial finalist, was given a place in the finale.  But I think the reason she generated such emotional response is pretty simple; Those of us looking on just couldn’t understand her.  On screen was a beautiful, clearly intelligent young woman who must have been a very talented baker- despite her lopsided cakes and runny creme patisserie.  She seemed to have everything going for her.  So why was she just plain miserable all the time?  While I’m sure the experience was very different from her side of the cameras, after weeks of viewing it became simply painful for us to watch.

This past week I’ve concluded that maybe Ruby and I have some things in common- beauty, talent, and a love for baked goods.  Just kidding.  In reality, I have a feeling I’ve been just plain painful to be around lately.  There are a lot of things about my final week here in the UK which make me sad.  I’m saying goodbye to some true friends.  I’m giving up things which are valuable to me.  And the biggest pull on my heartstrings- leaving my husband and child behind for an indefinite period of time- is bound to make anyone crumble.

These are legitimate things to be downcast about.  But there are so many things to celebrate too.  We’ve truly seen God’s grace in recent months, and we feel confident that we are on a path which He has provided for us.  We’ve enjoyed real quality time with family and friends- something we rarely had time to do in the past.  In fact, we have such an abundance of time that I get to go and spend some in my family home, introducing my newest daughter to my side of the family.  And in giving things away, we’ve been reminded of the unique joy that comes when you find yourself receiving kindness from those around who love and care about you.

These are all good things.  And when I view things from that perspective, I have no reason to have such a gloomy face.  Actually, I have everything going for me.

While the Bake-Off contestants enjoyed an on-screen garden party this week, we had our own celebration in my husband’s childhood home.  The whole family gathered to celebrate Christmas together one last time.  I realized over my traditional bacon sandwich that morning what I had a choice- I could let my feelings get the best of me and the day, or I could just get stuck in the celebration.  I chose to celebrate.  And I’ve decided to make that my aim for the final week in this chapter of my life.  Celebrate.

Are you ready?  You know I have to do it…

‘And God bless us, every one.’  Happy holidays to all.
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