I finally made time to sit down and watch some classic Christmas movies with the family this week. On the top of my list: It’s a Wonderful Life.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been a merry little elf this holiday season. For people who don’t understand holiday depression or female hormones in general, I’m sure it seems like I’ve just been a lousy person. But I do understand that these things, along with the many stresses and changes of the last year, darkened my mood recently. There is nothing more aggravating than for someone to tell you that you SHOULDN’T be feeling a certain way. Well, we can’t always control how we feel. You think the Psalmists could just “find a happy thought” and go on with their day? Because there’s some dark thinking patterns going on there. But they did cry out to the Lord. And that’s one of the things that I love about my Heavenly Father. He created me. Knows my every weakness. And He can handle my darkest of days without judgement. Unlike people. Because we are all so judgemental.

I will say though, that turning my thoughts to others is exactly what I needed to bring me out of my George Baileyness this year. I haven’t done nearly as much as I wish I could have, but I have been at my most joyful when I have been delivering holiday gift baskets, wrapping gifts for others that I know they will love, cleaning my sister’s house when my BIL was in the hospital, and donating my resources to people who needed them. THAT is what makes a wonderful life and a wonderful holiday. Service. Pure and simple.

We get so caught up in ourselves sometimes and forget that we’re not here on this earth for us. We’re here to “point to the Light” and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year.

I have been trying very hard to be more intentional in my relationships. Like anyone else, I get lazy, take people for granted. But starting with those closest to me, I’m trying to be more purposeful in the way I treat my husband and daughter, my family, and my friends. Somehow, when I think of Jesus, I think He must never have walked away from anyone close to him without them feeling like they had His full attention, His complete trust and understanding. That’s what I want to be and what I want to give those closest to me.

If I were to look at the world without me in it, I want, like George Bailey, to see that it mattered. That my actions and intentions left so much good and rippled across so many lives. Because that’s why we’re here. To be imperfectly ourselves in an imperfect world, but to point to the one Who perfectly understands, forgives, and loves all of His creatures.

Merry Christmas, my friends. May you have the peace of God this holiday season and may you live out your life intentionally in the coming year. God bless you.