Not Even One Christmas Card

It’s funny

and I little bit creepy, when, out of now where, I can hear Diana Ross singing in my head:

“Do You Know

Where you’re going to?

Do you like the things?

That life is showing you

Where are you going to?

Do you know?”

(Diana Ross – 1975)

Normally, I do not ever think about Diana Ross, yet as I sat down to write this New Year letter and pondered what I might say, this song played strong in my mind – a throw-back to radio pop music when I was just thirteen.  Thirty-eight years later, this portion of her melody resonates in my mind; Scary what the mind retains!

I must also confess that this is probably the first year of my life that I could not muster up the usual Christmas spirit.  Almost none of the usual build-up-to-the-season by way of children-pleasing traditions were played out – partially due to the fact that most my children are not young anymore and not around to embark on the usual preparations – and partially due to the fact that my home had been in such a turmoil of disruption for the previous 5 months that climaxed with a great flurry of workers as last minute details fell into place just thirteen days before the time of celebration: Christmas.

Nonetheless, the tree was put up, decorations set out, gifts shopped for, and food preparation done. We ate, we gave and received gifts, we delighted in the visual pretties.  I admit though, not even one Christmas card was sent by me.

Feeling a bit like George Bailey, I sat alone and watched, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this past Saturday night. Part of my pondering included a slump.

Five days later, everything is put away except the manger scene figures that sit on my kitchen window sill.  Life is a whirlwind here at my house.

All I wanted for Christmas was Peace. My kids asked me, and so that is what I posted on my refrigerator on a sticky note: “I want Peace for Christmas – Mom.”

My son, Samuel, in all his charm and wit gave me a pillow with the letters  P-E-A-C-E  stitched across it.  So, in a sense, I got what asked for.

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Coincidentally or divinely arranged, our pastor preached on peace this Christmas Eve; fitting, as it was what I had been pondering all the season since Thanksgiving.  Peace.  Not the kind of peace in the quiet moment.  Not the kind of peace that comes with calm scenery or well loved music.  I am talking about the peace that fills the soul with total satisfaction and a knowing that all is well.

I believe in my heart there is no peace found on this earth….and there never will be.

You see,  no “things” or people bring me peace.

Truly, I say to you my dear friends and family, peace only comes when we abide in Him and with Him.

Loving Jesus brings me peace.  And it seems only when I keep my focus on Him, do I have peace in my heart.

And still, Diana Ross’ lyrics repeat in my mind.

Do I know where I am going to?

Do I like the things that life is showing me?

Where am I going to?

These are all great questions to ponder as a New Year approaches.

Put another way, I might re-word the inquisitions:

What are my goals?

What is life showing me?

Where am I headed?

There will be no New Year resolutions for me tomorrow evening; no temporary intentions to fix myself.   But I will be pondering and striving with resolves all the year through; decisions and answers to hold close.

Resolve #1:

My goals are to serve my King – the One who was born in the stable and laid in the manger.

Resolve #2:

Life is showing me that there is no peace or comfort found in it.  Only struggles and challenges and hard things that need seeing and hard things that need doing.   Life also shows me that with a right set of eyes, there is beauty and joy in the seeing and doing.

Resolve #3:

I am headed toward a Kingdom – where the whole of my salvation sits at the right hand of His father.

Herein lays my Christmas spirit.

It is an ongoing everyday way of being. I just may keep those manger scene figures out on my new window sill all year long…

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It is my prayer that each one of you may be able to answer those impertinent yet important questions that Ms. Ross sang so many years ago: what are your goals, what is life showing you, where are you headed?  I hope you can answer in a way that brings you true peace this New Year of 2015.

I hope you each had a merry Christmas with your loved ones, as I did.   ‘Tis the season for remembering what is important – family and special people are near the top of my list.  At the very top, is the One most important.

Do you know Him?

 

12 thoughts on “Not Even One Christmas Card

  1. These are my exact same thoughts of a couple of years ago. I too asked for peace for Christmas and got a peace necklace which I am wearing this moment and a peace tree ornament! You are absolutely right and I came to the same conclusion that peace is not found anywhere except in our hearts when we have Jesus in us. Well said!

  2. Yes! Jesus is Peace. Peace with the Father. Peace in my heart. He wants to be my Peace, my Hope. He will come again and will be Peace on Earth. Zechariah 14! Thanks for sharing you heart, Sheryl! I very much appreciate the time and effort you put into writing. You are shining your light into the darkness. You invite your readers to experience the Peace that only Jesus can give. Keep writing.

  3. https://www.castingcrowns.com/music/lyrics/i-heard-bells-christmas-day

    I heard the bells on Christmas day
    Their old familiar carols play
    And mild and sweet their songs repeat
    Of peace on earth good will to men

    And the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
    Like a choir they’re singing (Peace on Earth)
    In my heart I hear them
    Peace on earth, good will to men

    And in despair I bowed my head
    There is no peace on earth I said
    For hate is strong and mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men

    But the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
    Like a choir singing (Peace on Earth)
    Does anybody hear them?
    Peace on earth, good will to men

    Then rang the bells more loud and deep
    God is not dead, nor doth He sleep (Peace on Earth, peace on Earth)
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
    With peace on earth, good will to men

    Then ringing singing on its way

    The world revolved from night to day
    A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good will to men

    And the bells they’re ringing (Peace on Earth)
    Like a choir they’re singing (Peace on Earth)
    And with our hearts we’ll hear them
    Peace on earth, good will to men

    Do you hear the bells they’re ringing? (Peace on Earth)
    The life the angels singing (Peace on Earth)
    Open up your heart and hear them (Peace on Earth)
    Peace on earth, good will to men

    Peace on earth, Peace on earth
    Peace on earth, Good will to men

  4. You always make me see things clearly even though my mind may be cluttered, you show me that I already have Peace, Peace in knowing Jesus…

  5. This my first Christmas without my Mom, and 2nd w/out my Dad, it was hard putting out many of the ornaments and decorations which she’d given or were now mine. Although we hadn’t spent the holidays together for many years, the phone calls and packages and mail were/are missed. But the one decoration that I definitely put up was a small angel amidst the letters P E A C E! It too will remain on my windowsill awhile longer in 2015.:) As my father in law’s dementia worsens and we enter our 5th year of live in care-giving (I call it care-living), peace is needed more than ever at this juncture. And humor. I bought myself a large stuffed “Olaf” (as in from Frozen) too, as a reminder this is just a longer than expected “season” in God’s providence…

    • May God richly bless you this year with all that you need to continue your care-living and live without your parents — we are not alone…He is with us wherever we go and knows our every need.
      .

  6. Wow! You expressed my heart so well. My Christmas experience was very similar. Just accepted that my daughter was spending Christmas in Quadamala with her husbands family – wasn’t going to put anything out — than decided to creat the joy of Christmas with all the stuff (decorated, baked, etc…) and than…….Dave had to be admitted in the hospital on Christmas Eve. We just came home on new eves eve. Really puts things in prospective.

    I too have been praying to walk in His peace and love. Everyday, I really “do not know where I m going to” – have no clue what lies ahead- make my plans and they are changed with no warning. I don’t know where I’m going but I know my Lord Jesus does. So I will change the lyrics to “He knows where I’m going to” . Sheryl, I agree and understand that only focus on Him daily, all day, brings peace and a joy that only Jesus can give when our choice for the day His Him. What a gift it is to get that! So thankful to know Him.

    • Kindred spirits my friend! This New Year still produces much opportunity for me to be in the Word relying
      on Him — yes and AMEN to the fact that He is the One directing our paths!

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