Peace Joy Love

Christmas Eve 2021

I’ve been dreaming of the day I’d get to my early morning shift at UPS and hear these words— “Would you like to go home?” Today I received one of the best gifts this season. I appreciate the stillness in our home in the wee hours of the morning. It’s hard to break away from the gentle sway of my rocker. A warm cup of strong coffee, indescribable peace, and the quiet… oh, the void of any sound. It’s a delightful way to begin the day! What a precious gift to be back in my rocker to simply be present in the moment on Christmas Eve.

My husband was so kind to hang our stockings on the mantle at the beginning of December. Slowly our home transformed with symbols of the season, each year more simple than years past. As life progresses, I am content in simplicity. Feeling more connected to the origin of this season of love. Christ’s humble birth amid improbable circumstances sinks deeper in my soul each year. The reality of this beautiful story enables me to let go of the glitz and glitter to focus on the motive— unconditional love.

Each day at UPS starts with the opportunity to see consumerism pass through my hands. Extravagant packages, essential parcels, and an occasional gift wrapped in love from Nana. I’m grateful for this perspective to see the details of a bigger picture. Most days my mind is blown to consider the details that orchestrate our world. So many lives interconnect and affect one another yet, increasingly to our societal detriment, many feel unnoticed. The beat of our heart, each breath we take— how easy it is to take for granted the details that allow us the privilege to be alive. How easy, in our population, to miss the relevance of individuals. Each soul created for a reason and to be in relationship.

Believing life is an amazing, purposeful plan rather than happen-chance is essential to feeling the overwhelming love that brought each of us into being. Each day we have the opportunity to remind one another we are known and appreciated. We have the opportunity to see and acknowledge complete strangers simply by making eye contact and smiling. How different our world could be if we could reverse the cycle that has us bustling here and there, focused on here and now, grasping tangibles rather than the immeasurable worth of life itself. Each Christmas my mind struggles with the many traditions that overshadow and distract from the organic reason we celebrate. More than ever, I’m grateful our Creator came to us humbly so we can let go of the obligations that draw life out of us to focus on simply feeling the joy, peace, and love that was part of His plan all along.

I pray these words haven’t brought a dismal countenance upon you. Rather, I hope you feel freedom to let go of anything that’s weighing on you knowing the gift of Christmas is in fact an opportunity to hold fast to an authentic hope that circumstances cannot take from you. I pray that each person reading these words can open their hearts to feel this unconditional love to carry out the plan and purpose for your life.

Merry Christmas, dear one! Know that you know you are known. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, delight in the rhythm of your heart, and exhale the temporal things to be present in His presence.

Emmanuel.

God with us.

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