Heart, Mind, & Body

Peace On Earth Despite Runny Noses

We are on our way to Tennessee for Christmas! My poor husband and the kids have icky colds. Somehow that always seems to happen on the holidays, doesn’t it?!

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“Merry Kidmas”

The stockings are hung on the doorknobs with care.

The dog is humping her Lover Bear.

Santa’s not coming because he isn’t real.

The lights are mismatched, but it’s not a big deal.

I’m in my sweatpants, kind of looking like crap,

Since I just woke up from a peaceful nap.

Just kidding, that hasn’t happened in years.

Hold on- let me wipe my toddler’s tears.

Okay, as I was saying,

Karen Carpenter’s playing

And the xylophone too!

I know, it’s a zoo…

But as they say- leave and cleave,

Then domestic bliss on Christmas Eve!

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Oh well, that’s real life with kids! It can be messy, but you know what? Today the sun is shining, and the sky is blue. All is merry and bright!

I’ve had a hard time lately with my depression, really just this past week. I’ve been extremely low and struggling to find peace during a season where Peace on Earth is mentioned often.

I liked a quote from our pastor a few days ago:

We need continual not conditional peace.

Colossians 3:15-16 says:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Perhaps some of my lowness of spirits could be contributed to depression, but I think part of it is that my joy in Christ was stripped away by the circumstances. I’ve been living with conditional peace.

It’s easy to be at peace and feel thankful when everything is going your way. It’s easy to praise the Lord when everything is literally “merry and bright.”

My daughter watched a Barbie Christmas movie the other day. In the opening song they sing “this will be my perfect Christmas!” The sisters were banking on this perfect dream come true Christmas in New York City, but their plane got diverted to Minnesota. They were so bummed at first but eventually learned to find joy at Christmas just being with their loved ones, even though their grand plans got canceled. This is a secular version of finding peace at Christmas.

Honestly, they still had it really good. They were warm and healthy, having fun in a new winter wonderland with family.

But what about when times are tough?

What if you don’t feel like you can sing

“It is well with my soul” ?

Christmas can be particularly hard for those who have lost a loved one. I lost my own dad to cancer in 2009, and I did NOT want to celebrate any holidays without him. I wrote my poem Christmas After Death about the feelings I had that first Christmas after he died. I was definitely not at peace.

This week I searched for a Bible verse to write on our kitchen chalkboard. I wanted to be able to look at it often for encouragement.

I was seeking peace in the right place.

I chose Numbers 6:24-26.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

The words that I underlined were keep, gracious, and peace.

Keep because he holds my life in his hands and knows even my trivial troubles.

Gracious because I definitely need him to handle my frustration with grace and patience.

Peace because, well, I need peace!

So we’re in the car right now dealing with cranky, sick kids, and my husband asked me what my post is about.

I gushed PEACE DESPITE THE CIRCUMSTANCES over the noise of the kids. He laughed and said “that’s a good one!”

Alright, we’re almost there, thank goodness!

I hope your heart is at peace this Christmas. I encourage you to look to the Lord for his perfect peace and the joy that comes from him.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

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