There are MANY --MANY in our midst that this is NOT the most glorious time of the year---not this year for sure.  These days from pre-Thanksgiving until after the New Year -can be difficult--hard--gut wrenching for maybe your neighbor, maybe your friend, maybe someone you work with--perhaps even you.  I have a great feeling of empathy for you--which is many degrees removed from sympathy.  I truly feel your pain.

A loved one has left their side, they are battling illness,  their finances/careers are in the pits, they are lost--suffering--alone--and the reasons go on and on.  Life has dealt a hard blow--life is not fair--things are not only not good--they are horrendous.  Life stinks---and it is stinking up the holidays.

The question is "What to do?"  How do we live through this trying holiday season or how do we help our loved ones survive?  When things get stinky--how do we smell the roses over the stink?

What I have learned the past two years--embrace the change and try to  make the most of where you are.  There will be moments of sadness--but there can be many good times even in the midst of the changes in your life  For those who are in the midst of a difficult holiday season, there are no rules--if there ever were---break them and leave the norm.  Take charge of your life and look for bright spots in where you are.  I invited friends over to celebrate with me---had dinner parties---did things out of the ordinary - with some old friends and some new.  Ask your friends--they are looking for ways to help you.  Help them to help you.

Your life is great--no changes--no pain---SURELY you know someone who is not in the same place you are.  Invite them out--invite them over--go to a movie with them---keep them in mind when you have a spare moment.  Climbing out of the pit of grief and pain can be treacherous and a hand up is a life saver.

SO--life may stink--God understands---He created our sense of smell for us--we are created in His image---SO HE KNOWS STINKY--read His book! This I have learned--the stink does not last forever--with time--the stench will dissipate and the smell of the rose will still linger--the stench will be redeemed by the sweet perfume of grace.  Hold on to Him--hold on to those He has placed in your life to help you---do not hesitate to ask for help. HOLD ON--the sweet smell of His blessings will come to the surface--with time--and you will remember the lingering fragrance of the showers of His blessings.

" I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."
John 14:18

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