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?

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