Welcome to fall 2016!
This time of year represents the end of summer vacations, a return to cooler temperatures and, if you reside in Southern California as we do, a hope for rain! With the arrival of fall we also find ourselves at the starting gates of a series of events and holidays … back to school, falling leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and more. And this year, we have the added thrill of wading through what has to be one of the oddest presidential campaign seasons ever!
For some this time of year represents joy, happiness, family, and celebrations. Some find these months the most stressful of the year. Still others find themselves trapped between each of these experiences. What about you? What’s your perspective on this?
Whatever your perspective is, it is easy to find ourselves falling for and trapped in the midst of a marketing blitz aimed at making us strive for perfect holidays filled with perfect foods and piles of perfect presents. And in the midst of the frenzy, we see just how prevalent Keeping up with the Joneses is in our culture.
With our last post, we introduced a bit of the 103 year old history of the phrase Keeping up with the Joneses and how this term started in 1913 whena new comic strip of this name was first introduced to us. This now infamous phrase has hung with us for over a century and represents the side effects of the American Dream that urges us to do things and buy things in order to impress other people.
We fell for this … thinking we could work, buy, and spend our way into the happiness that the American Dream represents. But we learned that happiness is not found in the American dream or any variety of holiday seasons. This was when we discovered a new perspective, a fresh viewpoint that allowed us to reframe what happiness is and how to find it.
For us, this new perspective comes from the Bible. It was here we uncovered that who we are does not depend on how well we do in the world or what gifts we give or receive in December; our true identities and reason for living can only be found in Christ (Ephesians 1:11 [paraphrased]).
Prior to our discovery we were running on life’s treadmill as fast as possible and doing the best we could. We came to identify ourselves by our jobs and what we accumulated; we just thought that was how it worked. But now we know we had it backward. Our identity in Christ comes first—our role in the world, and everything else, flows from Him.
This changed everything for us and it was so significant we wrote a book about it called Who Are the Joneses Anyway? We now dedicate our lives to helping others discover who they are and why they are here so they can lead the intentional, authentic lives they were created for. Not just any old lives … but lives filled with passion, purpose, and happiness.
We have experienced a complete transformation in our lives and have seen others experience the same. If you allow it, this will transform your life too.
What would happen if you weren’t worried so much about titles, possessions, status, holidays, and Keeping up with the Joneses? How would your life change if you focused on who you are, why you’re here, and the difference you want to make with your life?
Think of the possibilities if you started living your life more intentionally, doing more of the things that matter most—and less of everything else. Could life be less hectic? What if you could live more simply, yet more fully? And how could refocusing on the things you are really passionate about make each of these coming holidays the best you’ve ever experienced?
Thank you for reading along. Now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear your thoughts, your perspective, and your story. Simply add your comments below and if you would like to share more with us, let us know and we’ll spend some time with you. Oh, and please “share” this post with others … we’ve made it easy … just click on the social media icons.
We wish you all the most wonderful start to this fall season.