Todays post comes from Brave Writer, Karen Asbra.
For me, I feel I am an expert on how to loose your peace instead of how to keep it.
Yet, I feel the need to encourage you with what I have been going through and how I have determined to keep my peace this Christmas.
My decision to write on this subject came after I was having a decorating pity party.
We have had to move so many times that my Christmas decoration supply had diminished to the point that I only had enough to decorate our tree with a few nick knacks left to put around the house.
I was not a happy camper!
I wish I could say that my pity party ended there but it didn’t. The pity road is an easy and smooth road to go down. It is very deceptive in nature.
Pity road led me down the side street of ‘I can’t afford the gifts my heart would like to buy’. Then it took me down the road of ‘wanting to provide more for everyone as a host of Christmas Eve’ (my mom has to help provide food that I can’t afford), and then the pity road took me down ‘the materialistic road’. It displayed for me the new car I don’t have, the house I can’t buy, and the vacation I can’t take.
By the end of this journey I was far, far away from Christmas peace. So this is how I have decided to get my peace back.
First, my husband has been unemployed since March so all aspects of Christmas are difficult. From the decorations, to the food, to the presents, it is all challenging. I was recently blessed to find a full time job back in October. However, there is not enough money for us to bless our children or our family and friends the way we would like to. Our hearts are much bigger than our bank account. After my pity journey I decided to give up. Not that we won’t get our kids a gift but I decided that in the scope of things it just isn’t as important. Paying our bills, putting food on the table, having our health, and enjoying each other is more important. Also, I decided to be thankful for the decorations that I do have instead of focusing on what I don’t have.
Second, each year we take turns with who will have Christmas Eve. This brings the added pressure in regards to finances. My mom has stepped in to help with providing food, plates, cups, forks, and table cloths, which is very humbling. But I have had to let that go. It is not about me or my pride. It is about the family getting together and enjoying each other and I’ve had to learn to be thankful I have a mother that is willing and able to help.
Third, family is not joyous for everyone. The thought of seeing that “one” family member brings more of a cringe in your gut than joy in your heart. I get that. But I was recently reminded of how precious life is. A family at one of our local elementary schools just lost their daughter. She was on her way home from school when she was hit by a truck and killed. I can’t help but wonder what price would they pay to have her back for one more Christmas?
Last, we, as a society, have placed too much importance on material things. Don’t get me wrong, I like material things. But we put so much emphasis on them that we go into debt, become the scrooge, get stressed over trying to attain them, and miss the joys of the season. Are those material things worth stealing your peace? They no longer have that pull on me. Oh, they tempt me no doubt. But if I never get the materialistic things I desire I will be just fine. It takes more effort to choose to be a Grinch than it does to choose joy.
This season, my Christmas Peace comes from within. It starts with me choosing to be thankful for the people in my life, and to be thankful for the things that I have in my life. I hope you choose peace as well.
May you have a peace filled Christmas!
Karen Asbra is happily married to Lance Asbra and has 3 amazing children. She is a writer, song writer, and worship leader and enjoys bringing people into the presence and intimacy of God. You can visit Karen at her blog http://lanceandkarenasbra.com