December 11, 2015

#OneWordAdvent PEACE

Today, I'm linking up with Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista. She is doing a #OneWordAdvent link up: "OneWordAdvent is my invitation this month to do a Thursday weekly one word writing prompt challenge for you for Advent using the words hope, peace, joy love."

This week, the word to reflect on is peace.

http://www.faithbarista.com/

Peace: freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, or an obsession.

It is tranquility, harmony, and serenity.

At certain times in my life, peace is hard to come by. I'm sure it's the same with you, right? Everyone gets busy, gets overwhelmed, gets frustrated at various points throughout their days. And just like that, like a thief in the night, peace is stolen and seems impossible to regain.

It is at times like those when I have to force myself to be still, to breathe, and to let go. I have to coerce myself into canceling engagements and removing things from my to do list. I have to lower my unrealistic expectations and remind myself that it's okay to just be in this day the Lord hath made. When I lose sight of the fact that the day is God's and He is in control, Peace is easily lost.

Thankfully, Mary and Joseph provide an excellent example of how to attain peace in a seemingly unpeaceful time.

There they were in Bethlehem, searching for a room and not able to find one. They had come to take part in the census, as was required. And now, Mary was in labor. The baby was coming.

As they journeyed through the busy city, the couple must have felt so overwhelmed. When they realized there were no rooms to be found for lodging, they must have been terribly frustrated.

But Mary and Joseph did not let their circumstances steal their peace.

The only place available for them to stay was in a stable. And the only place to lay their newborn son was in a manger. And even after unknown shepherds seemingly interrupted their limited space with an impromptu visit, Mary did not have a nervous breakdown or go off on anyone.  She, instead, "treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). 

In that scenario, Mary exhibits peace amidst chaos.  She remained calm; she released all her expectations and allowed herself to live in that moment - a moment orchestrated by the Almighty Himself.

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them" (Luke 2:6-7).

And then she released herself to treasure up the moments at hand.

That's where we find peace - in the release.

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:11-13).

We can do this. We can find the peace Mary had that turbulent night our Savior was born. We just have to release our appointments, our expectations, ourselves. Let's live in the moments afforded us - and treasure them. Treasure Him.

Wishing you a peace filled Christmas season!

Today's forget-me-not: Treasure up this season's moments in your heart!

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