Saturday, December 16, 2017

When the C A L M hits...

The other day, I was listening to the radio and a commercial interrupted the music.  The man was talking in a frantic, pushy, yell, trying to convince me, the listener, to come in and HURRY and BUY before things were all GONE!!  I felt the height of stress and panic in that moment even though I had no interest in what the man was selling.  It almost took my breath away and I realized that most of the calm we lose during this time of year, comes from outside sources, where someone is trying to force us to do, buy, be or give.  It's exhausting isn't it?  Then again, sometimes our lack of calm comes from our own minds, because we want things to feel a certain way and they simply don't.

After that jarring commercial, I spent time heaping my grocery cart with everything I could think of that we might need between now and Christmas, and I fought my way down packed aisles of people with crabby looks on their faces because they were all trying to do the exact same thing.  The checkout clerk didn't speak to me, probably because of her own stress level, and a woman walked down the middle of the parking lot, slowly looking for her car, totally oblivious to my desire to escape as I slowly drove behind her, waiting for her to pick a side.  Needless to say, it was a day with the opposite of peace and calm at every turn.

But then I walked in the door, carted my bags in, and slowly began to sort and unload, making sense of all the items. Once that task was completed, I had a soft moment. I know that's a strange term, but let me explain...  I was standing in the kitchen, gently tucking some sparkly ornaments around the edges of a creamy white, potted poinsettia when I realized unexpectedly, that I was enjoying myself in that very moment.  There was nothing but quiet around me, the house was clean and the Christmas lights were on.  I had a new nail polish color waiting for me to try, a magazine that had arrived in the mailbox and The Crown, season two to look forward to.  I felt peace and calm settle over me, and I felt like God whispered to me something dear and important.  I felt like He said, "Dear heart, you actually won't feel like it's Christmas this year... it simply won't "feel" the way you have felt in years past, because it's not the same anymore with your earthly daddy gone, and that's okay...but I'll give you peace and rest if you only notice the moments."  And I whispered my thanks to Him later, as I stood in the living room, pressing play on the fireplace DVD in another pocket of calm.  I promised Him I would begin to look for the moments to come...

That evening, we gathered as a family and watched Faulty Towers on Netflix.  People were on phones and doing their own thing, but they were also paying attention enough to laugh at the antics of John Cleese, so instead of being annoyed by their half-attention as I am often wont to do, I chose to soak in the peace of that calm and sweet moment.  I had a few more moments of peace through my entire day, that had a God-whisper reminder all over them... the glow of soft candles on the table, coffee with some of my dearest friends and baby snuggles, the delicious dinner we tucked in to, the coffee my husband had waiting for me this morning as I woke... so many things to focus on if I only have eyes to see them.

Sometimes you have to create your own calm and we spoke about that for the past six blog posts... and then sometimes it simply hits and you only need to see and savor it.   I'm not sure if it FEELS like Christmas to you this year or not.  Maybe it doesn't and it almost feels like you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, in desperation to change the feeling into one where you're left with joy and tingles of anticipation.  But as that seldom works, perhaps we simply don't... perhaps we let it not feel anything but what it does feel like, and we let that other stuff go, in trust that it's okay when it doesn't feel the same it's always felt.  Perhaps God has something different... or a different type of peace and calm waiting for you.  It may be in small moments that are nice, and they may even happen in between some hard moments.  But in all of our moments, let's be thankful and observant for what God has for us.  I believe if we do this, He will richly bless us with pearls of calm in which to string together in our souls.  

Here's to a Christmas filled with C A L M moments, 


  1. So thankful for this touch from your(our)heavenly Father this Christmas! Love you, Sasha!!! Merry Christmas! ~Sally

  2. You did it again... ministered to my hurting heart. Decembers are so hard with my birthday and Christmas... with my husband unable to enter in, with early onset dementia. Seeking His calm as I grieve new layers of loss... clinging to Jesus, trusting His sovereignty, His ever present help. Thank you so much Sasha.