Monday, December 2, 2013

Peace; my Christmas Story

 
Today has been a bit busy.
OK, the last year has been a bit busy! Changes in work, school, and kids involved in more activities has left my usual reasonable schedule seemingly turned upside down. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years upon me, and then multiple international business trips following, it certainly isn't something I see changing anytime soon. 
Not all is work or task related. Much of my schedule is family related, of which I am thankful. I continue to have plenty of time at home (I keep my hours quite reasonable, and can work if needed in the evenings from home), and make sure I'm around the home to be a husband to my wife, and a father to my children. I still enjoy being able to cook, hang out with my kids, and do other activities as well. I enjoy being able to get away to hunt, go on trips, and even have found more time with my wife to get some time alone out of the house. 
My alone time though, something I love, has been challenged lately. It may be running, quiet time in the Word, or with another book, or even a movie. Personally, I've struggled with my weight as well. I lost 45 plus pounds, felt great, but since have put back on 20 in the last year. If I want to be a good husband, father, and good to myself, I need to make sure I'm balancing my health and wellness too.
I just need some quiet time; some peace, you know? 
So that's when it hit me, sitting on the couch, staring at my Christmas tree. I don't need to find peace, I just need to accept it; it's a gift. The Christmas story echos much of my emotions. The Prince of Peace did not come while Mary was huddled next to her fireplace just waiting for that special moment of His birth. The Prince of Peace did not come when Joseph was finished with all his tasks and was just waiting and prepared to help his wife birth God Himself. This Prince of Peace did not come with family, friends, and the village around to help, welcome, and support this birth. The Prince of Peace came during a likely painful, stressful, and chaotic time in Mary and Joseph's life. Do you think God Himself could not arrange things differently? Then why didn't He? 
If Jesus was born in a palace, people would have said 'look what royalty can do'. If Jesus was born into a prominent family, people would have said 'look what fame can do'. If Jesus was born into a wealthy family, people would have said 'look what money can do'. Yet He was born through a teenage girl, likely rejected by so many, and during such a stressful journey with seemingly nothing going easy. People can look and say 'look what God can do'. - Kyle Idleman
It's not the quiet meditation that relaxes me, it's Jesus. It's not deep breathing exercises, it's resting in His arms. It's not calm planning details of my week, it's fully submitting and trusting Him. It's not me at all ... it's Him.
One day, one step, one choice at a time. To God be the glory. I am so thankful for the way this Christmas story played out. I'm so thankful that He proves that peace is not situational. I don't need to find peace, I already have it in Him. I can and will continue to seek time alone when I can, but when I can't, I still have Him.
Lord, I pray you carry me through yet another day. May I stop, reflect, and share your goodness and love as I experience the blessings I so often don't take time to see. Guide me one day, one step, one choice at a time, and may I have the courage to follow your leading ...
His,
~Matthew
PS, this lovely Christmas Tree above is not from this year, but last. This years' tree is still only half decorated; something else to do! However as I finish the tree this year with the kids, it's now a reminder to me, not a task. I love Christmas.

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