I Blog For Books

20 January 2009

A Sense of Peace

Enter almost any retail establishment this time of year and you find notes or calendars reminding you that there are only 12 more shopping days (as of today) until Christmas. While I appreciate the reminder that I need to get it in gear and think about gift giving, it also saddens me. Is that what Christmas has become? An over-commercialized excuse for excess? When did we lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas? (written 12 Dec 07)

As a child, Christmas was family time. We celebrated by having a huge REAL Christmas tree (no holiday trees in our house!) where lots of old glass ornaments mingled with the ones my brother, my sister and I made in school. Christmas Eve was grandmother and granddaddy's anniversary, so we celebrated with dinner at our house. Everybody brought a dish, mama cooked, and we almost always had a cake. Uncle Jimmy usually brought fireworks, and it was a nerve-racking day just waiting for everyone to arrive! There was no going out during the holiday season to eat, someone would have a meal cooked. Christmas mornings were spent at home, then in the afternoon (or later in the morning - depending on how early the three of us got up) we all piled in the car and headed to grandmother and granddaddy's for more food and presents. While I can't really remember the focus being on giving, neither do I remember it being as commercialized as it seems to be today.

In the craziness that the holiday season can bring, I find myself reflecting more and more as I grow older, searching for that sense of peace and love that the holidays always brought as a child. What makes me sad this year is knowing that my oldest daughter is once more away from home at Christmas. There is a special melancholy, I believe, for parents separated from their children at the holidays. The good thing about her being away from home is that she will not be alone - she will experience the parental joy of her daughter's first Christmas. I wish that she and Sami would be able to be home so we could all share in that joy, but I am happy that she will experience that for herself. My love and prayers will be with them both, and with Creighton as he spends Christmas in New York with his dad. Danielle is coming home for Christmas this year, she flies in next Friday and I am anxiously awaiting her visit! I haven't seen her since June!

I find my peace in prayer, in communicating with God. He washes my soul with a sense of peace that I have not found through any other means. He alone has the power to make all things right. If you are troubled at this time of year, take heart in knowing that you are not alone. God is with you always, if you but ask Him. If you feel the need for a human voice, call me at any time. We can pray together, or I will just listen if that is what you need. If you don't have my number and you want it, just email me. For my family and close friends, you know who you are, thank you for the blessings that you have given me through the year. Thank you for being there, for listening, for caring, and for loving me just as I am.

Most of all, I give thanks to God for the joy He has brought into my life. By welcoming me back home with open arms, He has opened me to the inner peace I have so long sought. New doors have opened, new pathways are winding before me. May I be a blessing for someone who needs an extra shoulder, God please work through me to help others find you.

"For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say 'Peace be within you.'"~Psalm 122:8 NIV

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