# 55 A Sweet Christmas

Photo courtesy of openclipart.com
Photo courtesy of openclipart.com

#55  A Sweet Christmas!

Dear family and friends:

Watching the news make me anxious. I start to feel fretful. I don’t want to feel that way. I try to minimize watching the news but it’s everywhere nonetheless. It’s on the sides of the my computer and it piques my curiosity so I click on these stories which lead me to other interesting stories, and before you know it, I am caught up on all the latest. Does it matter?

I want to say no but is does matter. I’m part of this world and the things that are happening affect me and my loves ones. I need to be aware. I need to be able to make conscientious decisions when called upon to do so, therefore, being informed has it’s merits. The ugly side of this is that fear has crept into my mind. I feel just a little less safe as I leave the house. I worry about identity theft as I hand my credit card to a cashier. I drive less relaxed for fear of someone texting and not seeing me. I get on a plan and wearily assess the other passengers who are certainly hiding a secret, if not a bomb, its probably a virus. Be cautious, be award. This is what my mind tells me. This is also what keeps me from reaching out wholeheartedly to others around me.

This fear keeps me from empathizing with others who are driving fast and may have a real urgency. The fear keeps me from embracing so many good things that life has to offer. It takes a great deal of energy to put that fear aside and really live, stepping out of our comfort zones and experiencing all of life’s amazing joys. The people around us have so many interesting stories and histories and we will not know them. The nature all around us goes unexplored for fear of falling, floods, lightening and kidnappers and losing our way.

There is nothing that compares to the glory of the birds, the trees, the water and the mountains. When I venture around the desert, I find a quiet peace comes over me. I feel relaxes and not quite so fearful about life and it’s potential dangers. The water, the seashells, the animals, the are are so spectacular in the quiet yet powerful presence. I am in awe of their splendor. This is the power that I want to affect me. This is the presence and beauty I want to enjoy and appreciate. I want the contentment that comes from being in nature. After an experience outdoors I feel God’s presence even greater, I feel his love and mercy with greater appreciation. It helps me put the fear aside and step out into the great big world and meet the people in it, see the beauty in it and love as much as I can.

Fear is powerful. A healthy amount of fear keeps you safe, but too much fear keeps you from living. I want to live with less fear because I know that I cannot control the things around me. Life has good with bad things in it. I want to focus on the good things, the I encourage each of us to not allow the fear to keep us from living with joy and gratitude for the beauty and wonder around us. This life is short and to live it with the peace and joy that God can give us, makes it all so worthwhile.

Wishing you all peace and love and true wonder in 2016.

The Wagner Family