Peace & Joy

I remember Dani screaming and Caed whimpering. I remember asking what in the world was wrong. And I remember Caed's answer. "Dani's crying cuz her sandals fell off. And I'm crying cuz I just want PEACE!"

You and me both, Bud.
Fast forward six months. And I just want PEACE. More. Than. Ever.

The Christmas season is quite literally branded as Peace (on earth! Goodwill to men!). And as Joy (to the world! The Lord is come!).

But where is the peace as we jockey for a place to park at a mobbed shopping mall?
And where is the joy as we squeeze into line at the post office, scramble to get the exterior lights up, scribble addresses onto the holiday cards?

Yes, excuse me, I'm looking for Peace and Joy. Do you have them in stock? What about special order? Surely you at least have some samples...perhaps in the back?

I’ve seen their shadows. I’ve watched them flicker across my path like characters in a silent film. And all I want for Christmas is to catch them--to grab them by both shoulders and sit them down on the couch.

Come. Stay a while. Let’s linger together while the snow falls and the cookies bake. And if at all possible, can you figure out a way to quiet the children? They just might ruin you with all that racket.

I know I won’t find Peace and Joy at the mall or under the tree. I won’t find them at the bottom of a Napa-born bottle or at the top of a luxury hotel. I won't find them in the perfectly orchestrated Pageant, or in my desperately stroked attempt to stage a Normal Rockwell knock-off in my dining room.

Instead, I’ll find them in the sitting still, the reading of the Advent book, the holding of hands. I’ll find them in moments deliberately emptied, the white spaces on the calendar.

I’ll find Joy in the swishing of snow pants when the first of the snow-fort-worthy flakes fall.

I’ll find Peace while we listen to the unconventional rhythm of snapping flames and watch the smoke waft chimney ward.

I’ll find Joy as I consume less temporal and treasure more eternal.

I’ll find Peace as I cease striving for a picture perfect Christmas and simply blink into memory the unstaged moments before me, just the way we are.

So here’s to finding Peace amidst the bustle and demands of real life.
And here’s to finding Joy in the middle of our everyday mess.

We wish you the Peace that surpasses all understanding.
We wish you the great Joy that will be to all people.

And we wish you a merry, meaningful and memorable Christmas.

Linked up today with Just for the Joy of It hosted by Good, True & Beautiful.

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