Five-Minute-Friday.1Joining the Five Minute Friday community of bloggers today with a one word prompt. With a one word prompt we write for five minutes, unedited.

Holidays can be landmines, or they can be joyful.

If your memories of a holiday are painful or sad, you may want to avoid all the trappings. I avoided Christmas for several years because my grief just overwhelmed me.Babypic

Every memory of Jennifer at Christmas can be difficult, so reflection on the state of my heart and mind are essential. If I don’t consider the impact of memories, I am a target for an ambush of grief.

I try to do a heart-check during this season of the year. Will Jennifer’s paper plate angel bring on waves of sadness? Will ornaments we bought just for her be painful reminders of our loss?


Her Daddy wore red suspenders when he did Souder and Friends segments for TV.

trainSanta Reflection can be tricky. Too much dwelling on sad memories will not be helpful for me. Finding a balance is essential. I expect some sadness during the holidays, but I also know that grief may show up after the holidays as well. (See my post on “An Uninvited Guest”.)

Finding a “one-size-fits all” answer to navigate painful memories is impossible. Staying busy might be the best for some people, while others find giving, serving, and helping keep the focus away from self.

I’ve learned I do best if I’m not stressed about deadlines or feel pressured to attend every program, party, or event.

The best reflections any time of the year are those that lead me to a quiet space of communion with the Father where I reflect on the greatest gift He gave me, His Son.

May your season of remembering be filled with joy.

Today I am thankful for the season in which we reflect on

  •  the coming of an infant who saved the world
  • an infant’s birth in the humble stable
  • a birth promised through the ages: years of slavery and wanderings, decades of kings and prophets, hundreds of years of conquering and exile 
  • the day when God became man and lived among us







2 thoughts on “REFLECT

  1. leah

    Dear Joy,
    Thank you so much for this post.
    Your honesty about your loss.
    I read your about page, and so appreciate your honesty.
    The world and the Church is aching for something that is finally, real.
    I have recently become a substitute teacher and have spent lots of time with special ed. kids as a result. I instantly fell in love with them, and praying about how The Lord would direct me, as I want to go back to school when my four daughters get a little bit older.
    Blessings on you this advent and Christmas season.

    1. JoyMartell Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. I loved teaching my special kids until I didn’t. We need more teachers with a heart to love and the skills to give them what they need.


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