A restful, peaceful home? This time of year, as we run from one celebration to another, our homes can become anything but peaceful. Buy and wrap gifts. Address envelopes. Attend the ceremony. Keep the kids alive. We need to plan meals, cook meals, and meet a thousand different expectations.
Or do we?
Thanksgiving is about what? Stuffing our faces? Gobble, gobble till we wobble?
Cough, sneeze, peek into the dictionary. Maybe Thanksgiving is about…giving thanks.
What is the meaning of Christmas? Decorating according to the current trends? Making sure your child’s wish list to Santa is fulfilled?
How about the birth of the Savior of the world?
You’re thinking: “It’s not that easy.”
The house has to be cleaned, the turkey roasted, the dishes washed, and the people seated. You can’t just get out of those obligations.
However, you CAN change your approach to them. The house doesn’t have to be spotless; if Aunt Edna wants to check your mantle for dust with her finger, you can rejoice that she’s doing your dusting for you. By hand, no less.
The turkey may need to be roasted, but you’re not trying to win awards for being the next Julia Child. (And if you are, rethink your priorities.) Ask for help from the cousins watching TV in the living room. Turn your kitchen into a gathering place of love and sharing rather than a lonely slave’s dungeon.
The dishes can be paper plates. If you’re stressing about the perfect holiday dishes and how many of them you will have to wash, your priorities could use some examination.
Don’t let our culture dictate what your holidays look like.
Time with our kids is more valuable than more stuff in our kids’ room. (If your kids are like my little man, they like the empty boxes best, anyway.) Enjoying any tasty meal with family is more important than having an 8-course buffet of difficult delicacies.
Yes, we’re told to decorate more, buy more, and look like a professional at everything we do. But that’s not what Christ asks of us. He asks us to be faithful servants, no matter what time of year it is. Keeping a peaceful home means laying our burdens at His feet. It means caring about the tasks He has given us instead of the tasks everyone else expects us to accomplish.
Don't let our culture dictate what your holidays look like. Time with our kids is more valuable than more stuff in our kids' room.Click To Tweet
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” –Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV)
What is peace?
Peace doesn’t have to be lying at a beach somewhere with no responsibilities. Peace is the rest you have in Christ. It’s knowing that the world and its expectations don’t matter. Peace is the quiet eye in the middle of the storm.
I have to close with part of this beautiful hymn:
Frances Crosby’s “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations;
Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow,
Free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials,
Only a few more tears!
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge,
Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages
Ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience,
Wait till the night is o’er;
Wait till I see the morning
Break on the golden shore.