I love Autumn, and it's actually my most wonderful time of the year, because I get to say "Hallelujah for Halloween!" There's just something about back to school season with school buses, bustling kids and fall foliage that just makes me feel renewed and refreshed. I love the changing of the leaves, the crispness of the air, football season, and knowing the holidays are just around the bend. It's a time for love and the family. And, much to the dismay of many religious scholars who I'm sure know much more about God's plan for eternity than I do, I am proud to say, I even love Halloween!
I know, I know. It's a pagan holiday that should not be celebrated by Christians and whoever else doesn't celebrate it. I'm no zealot so I can't even begin to tell you who believes in what or why, but I do know who believes in me and loves me unconditionally. Somehow in all the hoopla of who's doing what right or wrong, this most significant fact is constantly overlooked. But not by me.
I know I am loved. And I know to whom I must give an account for my actions.
It's because of these reasons that I don't sweat the small stuff. Allowing my children to dress up in costumes and have fun is not the work of the devil, nor is it going to send us to hell, any more than paying for an overpriced meal on Mother's, Father's, Valentine's, Sweetest, St. Patrick's, or any other day Hallmark or the powers that be come up with. It's when we draw a line in the sand that this is "right" and this is "wrong" that a world of confusion and judgment abounds because what works for me may not work for you, but in either case, we should be able to love and respect each other's differences.I'm always amazed by the lessons we teach children that somehow become mere illusions and falsehoods for adults. We teach children to play nicely, share, be kind, friendly, courageous, bold, loving, caring, and kind, and then as adults, we expect conformity and uniformity. Well, not for me and mine. We are free to love, worship, and celebrate holidays and events that work for US. Sure, you may believe differently, and to that I say, "Well, God bless you" and I mean it. I sincerely pray God bless you for your beliefs just as surely as I pray He bless me for mine.
As a person who exercises regularly and as a fitness instructor, I wear, and encourage others to wear, a heart rate monitor to make certain I'm training, and others are exercising in their training zone. Just as an example, my husband and I both wear our watches and chest straps when we exercise and we actually can't be directly next to one another on cardio machines because the machines may confuse our heart rates. (There's a lesson in giving each other enough space.) We select the program. Select the timer, and off we go. If I'm not in achieving my target heart rate zone, the machine may amp up my incline to give me a greater challenge while his may stay flat and level. The point? We obviously both have hearts. We're both wearing watches. We both have the same goal. But how we get there may be different. My route may be with hills and inclines while his remains flat. Is one better than the other? Is one "right" while the other person's is "wrong"? No. We just had individualized, customized approaches. And so it is with life. Problems always come when others try impose their exact hills and climbs on another. We can learn a lot from the treadmills of life.
I love the Lord, the holidays, pumpkins, decorations, Christmas trees, and costumes, and I even say "Hallelujah for Halloween!" I actually think we need more family-friendly days wear we focus on fun, festivities, and creative fashions that bring us together to enjoy one another's company.
And yes, I know there are idiots who throw eggs, poison candy, and all other strange stuff people do, but correct me if I'm wrong. Aren't these crazy people doing these things every day?
Part of practicing a healthy lifestyle is to have a positive mental attitude and outlook and to be able to think for oneself. And that's why, I'm going to take the good sense the Lord gave me to rear my children in love and kindness, continue to teach them to be respectful to their elders and themselves, and to dream big and boldly.
Yes, we are carving pumpkins, getting us some costumes and having fun on October 31st. And you already know what we are going to be saying: "Hallelujah for Halloween!"
I know this is a touchy subject for many people, but I do welcome your thoughts below. However, the box for comments below is no place to proselytize me or others. If you really believe you have an inside scoop on the right practices for religion, then you should know better than anyone else that the best place to really create change and convert another is through prayer. I welcome your heartfelt uplifted thoughts to the Lord if that is your belief. This space is for rational, friendly discussion. It's interesting to think that a statement would have to be made that any comments made in hatred will be deleted, because those would be coming from the religious scholars no less, and would again support, that a costume on a particular day is less grievous than a malicious, haughty heart. I mean, I'm just sayin...