Last year, for example, was such a challenge. It was the first year that we weren't with family for Christmas Eve. It was also the first year that Zach had to work on Christmas Eve. I really struggled with finding balance for our family with all the obligations we had. I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to do as a family, activities and memory makers for our children. I was so consumed with making Christmas as memorable as possible for our family, I was sucking the joy out of the entire season. I broke one day, when all my well thought out plans went awry. I was so focused on my ideas of what Christmas could and should be, that I forgot to even consider what my family wanted and needed out of this time of advent.
This year I vowed to not allow that to happen again. However, now I find myself, two weeks from Christmas, and not at all in the holiday spirit. Something is missing and I haven't quite been able to put my finger on what it is.
I smile to myself just now, reflecting on the ways God speaks to us.
Many of my friends and family know that my husband, the incorrigible Zach Bechtold, has a podcast with his good friend, Matt Franks, known as the Bearded Theologians. Again, in true transparency, I admit that I am not a faithful listener to this podcast. (Sorry guys) It's not because of anything other than I live with Zach and I listen to him all the time. I mean, I have to hear his sermon twice on Sundays. I love the guy and think he has thought provoking things to say, usually, but putting on their podcast isn't usually at the top of my to do list. Today, however, in the midst of dealing with finishing Christmas shopping and tending to two sick and pitiful children, I pulled up a couple of podcasts and gave them a listen.
God finds ways to speak to us, even using our husbands.
The podcast I listened to came from last week and was about peace. Finding peace. Finding peace within our self and through the gift of Jesus Christ. There is no amount of decorating, baking, caroling, gifting, or cups of hot chocolate that can bring peace to this time of chaos and busyness. Peace comes from one place, God, and we are responsible for allowing that peace to work in our own lives. When we welcome peace into our own lives, that peace will be poured out into everything we do. The chores of Christmas will become joyful, and that joy will seep into all that we do.
Welcome the peace. Encourage others to find peace. Take joy in the quiet times, realizing that we need those moments to hear what God is calling us to be, in that moment, and in the days to come. Listen to who God is calling you to bring joy, happiness, and peace during the season of highs and lows. Take the time to remember what is truly important, during this Christmas holiday and throughout the new year.
May peace be with you.
Take a listen to the Bearded Theologians podcast on peace below or at the Bearded Theologian website, where you can catch all their content: https://beardedtheologians.com
and give them a follow on facebook here: