I never wanted to be a monk, until I became a mother. Early on in motherhood, I figured out the secret magic of early mornings. Tip-toeing into a completely quiet living room I grab a blanket, my Bible and a cup of coffee that I actually get to drink while it’s warm. It’s glorious. I read and I pray and I sit and I think while the world outside is still cold and shadowy. It’s one of my favorite habits.
And a few short minutes later, the day hits me like a Mack truck.
Just the Two of Us
I exaggerate, of course. Not every day is so abrupt, sometimes the wild creeps in like one of those sneaky rip tides – the undertow that will drag you down before you even notice it is there.
Little people with empty tummies tumble into my space. Sometimes they are joyful and snuggly, other times they wake prickly, demanding food and continually bumping into one another.
That is precisely when I wish I was a monk because man, I was rocking this day when I was alone and my world was quiet. I was so good then.
It was so much easier when it was just you and me, God.
I love the four unique kids God has given me, but man, some days I love them best when they are all asleep. Maybe you feel that too – with co-workers or friends or family? What a bizarre truth, right?
Learn to Love the Tension
Learning to navigate these mornings with more grace has looked something like learning to love the tension. I can savor those quiet minutes, however few or many they might be, but also know that this is the filling that is meant to overflow into the very real life He has given me.
The same strategy could be grace for us in this “most wonderful time of the year” as well.
Tucked into the book of Micah, just after it is prophesied that the Messiah will be born in the humble town of Bethlehem, comes a beautiful verse that gets a little less airtime. Micah 5:5 says:
“And He will be the source of peace.” (NLT)
Why do we so easily forget this? We look to trim our schedule, strangle the calendar, all in hopes of weaving in something just a little quieter, but do we forget the real source of peace?
We let our eyes drift to the what ifs and the if only believing that elusive rest will come when all the proper pieces are in place.
Peace is a Person
Peace is not perfection; it’s not a pattern or even a plan. Peace is a person.
As we step (or are pushed) forward into the Christmas season, whether we enter it loud and wild, or sly like a rip tide, may we fight to remember this truth – there is peace and rest here, because He is here.
There is a quiet our souls long for and that hunger should point us precisely toward what we are celebrating – God with us. Peace with us.
While baking and cooking, while shopping and packing, while attending awkward Christmas parties and wrapping gifts. God with us. Peace with us.
While going to another recital and welcoming guests. While sending out cards and trying to manage your budget. God with us. Peace with us.
He is near friend. We can reach for Him in the noise. He hears our breath prayers and He is our peace.
The din and fervor do not have to consume us. And we don’t have to run and hide from it either. He will not leave us or forsake us. And by his grace we can do this season, both the quiet and the loud, well. He is our peace.
Katie, I Choose Brave
Katie Westenberg is a wife, mother and writer who is passionate about living life bravely for the glory of our Creator and encouraging others to do the same. She enjoys country living in a small town, time spent with friends and family, and saying YES to adventure. She writes at ichoosebrave.com.