If we are willing to ask Him, God will give us the grace to slow the pace. And He will help us remember how loved we are and how faithful He is. If we wait expectantly for Him, God will lift our eyes and draw near to us. Giglio, Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope
I only remember one other time my step mother’s number showed up on my phone. It was a call at 11 pm on a Friday night, her trembling voice telling me my daddy was in the hospital, with a “heart episode.”
So when her name lit up the screen of my phone on Wednesday morning, my tummy dropped.
“Mary Jane, what is wrong?” I answered.
And I was right. Daddy was in bed, sick. Knocked out with a bought of bronchitis. Given the severity of his “heart episode”, I’ll take bronchitis any day.
But his condition changed my Thanksgiving expectations. Leaving me one daddy shy at our Thanksgiving table.
Thursday night, once the turkey was put away and all the dishes washed, more of the unexpected came. My boys spiked fevers. One of which reached a chilling 104 F. To say the least, holiday shopping, light shows in the Smokey mountains and a Christmas trip to Dollywood were all off of the books. Our action-packed weekend turned into long days on couches, 6 liters of sprite and a box of assorted tropical popsicles.
Initially, I groveled. Plopped on my couch in pjs, pouting as I thumbed through Instagram, watching all of my friends blaze the Black Friday trails. Feeling sorry and completely left out of all the fun.
But as the weekend progressed, something in my heart switched. Maybe it was the slow sips of hot cocoa. Maybe it was the stability of a bank account not altered by the black friday frenzy. Maybe it was grace. But somewhere between fevers and Instagram I was free to embrace the peaceful pace of my home on one of the busiest weekends of the year.
For me, the past three months have been a crash course in peace. A head on collision into the side-effects of my break neck pace. Stress has ugly repercussions.
Although I was terribly disappointed that my daddy couldn’t come into town and I was beyond bummed about the pitiful state of my sweet boys, I was able to see God’s gift of grace. My life in the quiet. Feverish boys forcing me to sit in the stillness of the season. Patting heads and snuggling long.
Our Great Physician knows we require rest for wellness. For in stillness and peace, health is found. True health.
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. Proverbs 14:30
This time of year, ironically the season we celebrate the coming of our Prince of Peace is the very time of year we struggle to find peace the most.
But with great intentionality we decide the condition of our heart.
Today, we must choose peace. Peace for Thursday. Peace for Christmas. Peace for the entire holiday season.
Brady Boyd, author of Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul, says to “be mindful when God gifts us with time.” Quiet time. Thanksgiving weekend, I embraced the quiet of my home, and instead of being disappointed with the unraveling of my holiday dreams, I chose to embrace the graceful pace. And, upon Boyd’s recommendation, receive it as a gift from God.
A peaceful heart does much. Keeping our lives healthy both in mind and in spirit. This Christmas, let’s choose health. Let’s choose peace.
Are you willing to ask God to give you the grace to slow the pace?
Today, let us choose a graceful pace that allows us to drink up the simplicity of the season. The coming of Jesus Christ. Our Savior.
“Health, peace and sweet contentment be yours.” – Shakespeare