Powered by the Holy Spirit

In my little community of friends, there are two types of moms: those whose husbands travel and those whose husbands do not travel. Praise the Lord I’m in the first group because here’s what I learned this week…

when M is out of town, I operate in serious overdrive.

Like ICAN’TSTOPMAKINGSUREEVERYTHINGISFINISHEDANDICAN’TRELAX!EVER!

Normally I’m done with life by about nine each night, but when M is out of town? I can’t slow down, I can’t sit down, and I toss and turn all night long.

Which is such a problem because I love sleep just about more than anything else in this world. Seriously. Sleep wins over the most interesting book, the best meal, and always over TV.

Except when my husband is not sleeping next to me.

Then I turn into this strange person who can’t even fall asleep after taking TWO melatonin. I turn into a person who would rather watch a Rockumentary about Pink than sleep.

In the midst of not sleeping and rechecking the doors six times to make sure they’re all locked and tiptoeing in to check the sleeping kids nine times to check they haven’t all run away from their crazy mom, this and this also happened this week.

So. All this to tell you last week was rough.

And all this to say, HATS OFF to you other moms out there whose husbands travel and you can still function like an entirely normal person. Instead of a woman who tells anyone who will listen about how she’s not sleeping because her husband is out of town.

Completely hypothetical, of course.

Really, I’ve told you all of this to get to the good part about M being out of town.

I found quiet time to rest with God.

Like I mentioned (for the past 300 words), being completely responsible for my little people weighed so heavily on me that I was desperate for rest.

So, I found myself praying constantly. I prayed for Sam and Aunt Katie and Nate and the girls. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me faith and energy and enthusiasm. I prayed for friends to help me transport my kids and I prayed for meals that would cook themselves.

I might have even prayed that my daughters would not grow up and name themselves after a color and sing songs like “Family Portrait.”

But let me tell you, last week was a close walk with God and I felt His presence every step of the way.

Because when Melatonin and Advil PM and a sound machine didn’t help me sleep, resting in God did. When I tossed and turned in bed and heard every sound and tried not to think about why our house was suddenly so noisy, God totally covered my heart with peace.

Praise the Lord.

Last week I learned I could be another type of mom: the type who finds total rest in God. The kind of mom who asks Him about everything. The kind of Mom who has time to listen to God.

The kind of mom who is powered by the Holy Spirit.

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Heavenly Peace?

On Thursday, Nate and I ran some errands at a hectic outdoor mall by our house. Even though it was ninety degrees outside, there were Christmas decorations everywhere. Right in the middle of the mall, this gorgeous Christmas tree towered above the wreaths and stoic reindeer and shiny red garland glittering in the slight breeze.

Christmas may not have been in the actual hot, sticky air, but it was in the atmosphere. I could feel it. Maybe it was Starbucks’ red cups or the rushing shoppers or that gorgeous tree, but suddenly, I was on the Christmas Timeline.

As Nate ran around the tree, I made Evernote lists about all the stuff I needed to do in the next month and a half.

1. Make complete shopping list with gift ideas.

2. Decorate the house.

3. Find a tree.

4. Do Christmas pictures and cards.

5. Ballet Recital/ Church Christmas pageant/ School Christmas Pageant

6. Make/bake gifts for neighbors/teachers/friends.

7. Pack for (and take) two trips.

And, of course, the list goes on and on.

On and on with everything else we’ll probably cram into this next month and a half. Nutcracker? Gorgeous Downtown Christmas Pageants? Another trip? Baking extravaganzas? More gifts for the kids?

I found myself sitting in front of the beautiful Christmas tree, wondering, “What else am I missing? What else do we need to make this Christmas special?”

It’s a question I’ve asked for the past eight years—ever since I became a mom and felt the tremendous pressure to give our kids Christmases they wouldn’t forget. Festive Christmases steeped in tradition. Sweet Christmases teaching them generosity. Relaxing Christmases saturated with family time and memories.

No, it’s deeper than that.

Since I’ve become a mom, I desperately want to celebrate Christmas with our kids in such a way they realize how phenomenal it is Christ was born as a tiny baby to save our sins.

Did that sound sanctimonious?

Really, I didn’t intend for it to. Truly, this post is a confession about how far I always stray from that goal. I’m talking about complicated crafts I spend a bajillion hours perfecting. Late-night shopping trips to Wal-Mart for Zhu-Zhu pets the kids lose by December 28th.  Hours I spend pouring over Christmas pictures and card design instead of snuggled by the fire reading to the kids.

Last week our Moms in Prayer group talked about peace that surpasses understanding.

An interesting Bible verse we used was Isaiah 9:6…

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Wouldn’t peace be an outstanding Christmas gift to give my family? God’s original gift to us, true, deep peace through His Son, is exactly what I would love to reflect this Christmas.

How does a peaceful Christmas look? Less gifts? Fewer activities? More naps? More Bible study? More prayer?

Prayer seems like an excellent place to start…

Lord, cover our Christmas with a peace surpassing our understanding. Amen.

How do you live peace at Christmas?