Solace in the Sparkle of Christmas

I’ve always been a little sentimental, and this time of year has always held a bit of sparkle or magic, no matter what my life is like at the time.  Maybe it’s the way everything seems to glisten, or the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to have jingling music about my Savior playing everywhere 24/7; or perhaps it’s the feeling I get when I lay under the tree and stare up through all of the little twinkling lights.  Whatever it is, every year I am filled with renewed wonder.  Just a certain Christmas song, a special ornament, or the bleary glow of lights seeping through squinted eyes can bring a flood of memories.  And with those memories, I am instantly returned to a time in my life that was a whole lot less complicated, where I took things at face value and lived life as it came.

Just like the moments before sunset where the earth holds its breath and the skies whisper soothing words to my soul, Christmastime is a season where time stands still and all is well, even if only for the time. There is peace in the familiar and rest in the constant.  There is also something about knowing that you are not alone in such blissful moments. That your joy transcends the moment, your location, and your life. That somewhere, at the same time, someone else is experiencing the same pleasures; someone else is listening to ‘What Child is This’ by their Christmas tree or basking in the watercolor sky at dusk.

I never want to take these moments or seasons for granted. God created us to seek refuge in Him and seek rest in our hectic lives, and I believe He offers us little respites like sunsets and glittering Christmas lights to slow the whirling in our hearts and refocus our scattered minds onto the familiar and the beautiful.

This season, no matter what pain you face, stress you are under, or anxiety you battle, enjoy the solace of the small things and seek shelter in God.

A Busy Heart and Soul…

Well, once I again, I find myself sitting down to write and realizing that it has been wayyy too long.  Again.  And, once again, I find myself apologizing and making hopeful promises (which hopefully I will keep more faithfully this time) to write more often.

What’s my excuse for this complete negligence of my teensy piece of internet real estate?  Oh, the usual… I’ve been super busy, and life’s been crazy, it’s the Christmas season… blah, blah, blah…  Now don’t get me wrong, all of that is true, and not even bad excuses, but, in the midst of a hectic schedule and similarly clouded brain, I’ve been realizing that I have more control over my scatteredness than I realize, or perhaps even want to realize…

I was reading a book called ‘The Praying Life’ by David Paulison a little while ago (AMAZING book by the way!  Seriously, one of the best I’ve ever read besides the Bible… I very much recommend it!) and I came across a quote that has stuck with me ever since.

‘It’s okay to have a busy life.  It’s crazy to have a busy soul.’

When I read it, I was definitely convicted, because I have the tendency to let the state of my soul match my circumstances… which, quite often, tends to make it… busy.  Which, if I think about it, makes NO sense!  I mean, the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns ever, declare beautifully that ‘…whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.’  And as long as I’m letting my circumstances toss me around like a kite in a stormy sky, then I’m not embracing the promise my Savior has given me of a peaceful heart.  Because of His love and sacrifice for me, the peace of my soul is completely independent of my circumstances.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27.

The state of my soul may be independent of my life, but the state of my life is dependent on the state of my soul, which is directly dependent on my relationship to my heavenly Father, and daily surrender to Him!

My encouragement and challenge and prayer to and for all of you is that you would come before God and pray that the state of your soul would not match your circumstances.  Pray that He would be the Master in your heart, mind, soul, and life so that you can honestly say, ‘it is well with MY soul…’

A very Merry (and peaceful!) Christmas to you all!  = )