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Here’s another repost from a few years ago.  I love looking back at Christmas posts from the past few years.  To see how much things in my life have changed, and yet how much is still the same.  Even though I’m not up in the night feeding a baby, I am restless for other reasons.  And today, I accept the reminder to cling to the Prince of Peace.  I pray you do too.

“And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Some of the best “thinking time” during my 24 hour allotments of life happen around 2am when I am up feeding my baby girl.  Last night, unfortunately, my “thinking time” was clouded by a sense of anxiety that forced my pounding heart up into my throat.

“Silent night, holy night,

Holding my precious angel in the dark of the night, my heart began to beat faster and faster with the feeling that there is a coming deadline and I am not ready.  I started googling on my phone “best toys for 2 year olds” and that’s when it hit me.  I don’t even have a “list” created and Christmas is in 3 weeks!!

 all is calm, all is bright.

Anxiety came as I started thinking about all the things I needed to do, should do, can’t do, won’t finish but I expect myself to finish…the list seems endless…the details overwhelming.  Especially for an administratively challenged person like me.

Round yon virgin, mother and Child

I felt my heart drawn up in stress…the same heart that God created to be drawn into Peace.  I began following the all too familiar nagging voice of the “shoulds”…I should get going, should get shopping, should get organizing, should get addressing, should get cooking, should get something, everything done, so that I can be ready for Christmas.

Christmas.  What is it all about again?  I am learning…how I celebrate is directly linked to Who I celebrate.

Holy Infant, so tender and mild.

How I celebrate matters.  How I choose to celebrate His birth can either bring me closer to Him, or draw me further away from Him.  I am resisting the impulse to believe that celebrating Christmas means running into the arms of consumerism.  I am resisting the pressure of my own expectations, both real and imagined…expectations to do, to be, to satisfy, to accommodate, to please.  I am resisting my own holiday tradition of “rush, hurry and just get it done” and instead am intentionally trying to slow down, to celebrate with meaning, and to dwell on the Joy of Christmas, the Joy of Christ.

Sleep in heavenly peace,

I realize more and more that what I want is spiritual rest and meaningful living, meaningful giving, especially during the holiday rush.  I want to keep Peace at the center of my celebration, despite the temptation to allow stress, shopping and striving to take the center stage.  I want to set the pace of my life to the rhythm of grace that allows me to enjoy Him and His presence, even if it means not getting everything done.  I simply want to revel in the Wonder of it all, and to share this Wonder with the people I love.

…My heart beat begins to slow down…

I speak to my soul.  Find rest, little heart, in God alone.  Slow down.  Some things won’t get done.  Most people will never know.  What they will know, however, is the Peace that I carry into the season, the Peace that is at the center of my heart, at the center of my home.

 Sleep in heavenly PEACE.”

On a lighter note, my load was lifted this morning when I stumbled across this site that reviews the TOP 5 toys for kids.  Take a deep breath, slow down your heart and savor His peace.