This post was first published on December 8, 2008. It has a good message though and I thought it could use repeating. ~Nicki
Some of you may not know that my dad is a minister. He pastors the church I attend so I am exposed to some high quality preaching (I love you dad!). Today he preached a sermon on Peace. He said that world-wide, December is the most stressful month of the year. Isn’t that sad? It’s exactly the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve. That really got me thinking. It’s no huge shock with tragic stories like the Walmart employee that was trampled to death by eager shoppers and the two men that shot each other in Toys R Us.
These are terribly sad stories, ones I wouldn’t usually emphasize, except to ask what has your stressful December gained you? Is your December stressful because you want to make your family happy? Is it because you can’t afford what you believe your children want? Are you stressed because you just don’t have the time for everything you want to do? I urge you, I beg of you, take a step back. If you find that your chest is tightened with anxiety and you just can’t get your thoughts in order I ask you to abandon the chaos and try out a peaceful December. Here are some thoughts to consider:
What have you chosen to invest in this holiday season? If your chosen investments are gifts and activities, then by all means, continue running around. But if you’ve chosen to invest in things that are lasting like family traditions, togetherness and a simpler, more meaningful holiday, you’ll begin accomplishing all of it by slowing down and creating a peaceful home.
What have you chosen to emphasize this holiday season? What are you going to make a big deal out of? Is it the number of gifts under the tree or the number of ways you can help others? Is it building up expectations so high that you can’t possibly meet them or teaching the value of giving? What are you modeling this season? Frenzied perfection or peaceful contentment?
Do you find each year you’ve so rushed through the holiday season that it’s almost like you missed it? Having a peaceful attitude and creating a peaceful home helps you think clearer and spend your time and energy on the things that are really important to you. If your December schedule is so full that you don’t have even a moment of down-time you’ll miss out on the spontaneity of the season, like building a snowman and drinking hot chocolate or driving around looking at Christmas lights, or going Christmas caroling, watching your kids catch snowflakes on their tongues or make their first snow angel, how about a family snowball fight? These are the things you’ll remember, but they don’t fit very well into a stressful December schedule.
My dad made a good point this morning. The presence of peace is not from the lackof unfortunate circumstances. Peace comes from within and has nothing to do with the events in your life. My peace comes from the Lord. I feel it’s my responsibility as the wife/mom/lady-extraordinaire to create a peaceful environment in my home, and if I don’t have ahold of that peace myself it’s tough to conjur up. Right now, I’m drinking a mug of white peach tea, my cat is sleeping on my lap and my daughter is taking a nap. My house is so quiet that the ticking clock in the kitchen and my tapping keyboard are the lone duet. I just glanced out the window to see a light snow dancing its way around outside where it never seems to land. It feels so nice to be still, to be quiet. I’m going to use the second half of my daughter’s naptime to pick up the house, but I’ll feel so much better doing it after taking a few peaceful minutes for myself.
What have you done to have a more peaceful December?
Why I do what I do ~ a few nights ago while my hubby and I were sitting at the table, my daughter walked up to David, and looking at his feet, said “hmmm …” while tapping her chin. We thought it was cute and she walked away. In a couple minutes she came back to the table with his slippers and said, “here’ya go daddy,” while she slipped them on his feet. David is nervous you’ll all think we’ve also taught her to retrieve the paper. I assure you she fetches slippers out of love and of her own free will.Have you liked Domestic Cents on Facebook yet?