Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advent: Week 2, Day 3 - Peace

This year our family submitted a piece to be part of our church's Advent book, and it was an honor to be included in such a special collection of reflections.  The Advent season is so busy and can be so stressful... but it is so important for us to pause and reflect, to pray and be thankful. <3

Since today was our assigned day, I wanted to include our piece on here, too.  As you read, I hope you find a moment of peace, a moment to reflect on what the Advent season is all about...

Week 2, Day 3
December 7, 2016
The Peeles:  TJ and Jessie
Cameron Kate, Everette, and Brooks

Genesis 15: 1-18

In this text, Abram is afraid.  He is worried about his future, stressed about who will be his heir.  And then God not only promises the same number of offspring as there are stars in the sky, but says to him something so incredibly powerful:  “Do not be afraid.”  It is through these words and His covenant that God provides peace for Abram.  It won’t be easy - God is sure to tell Abram that - but as long as Abram trusts God and is patient, he will receive God’s promised gifts... the best gifts.

This text brings us the gift of peace, reminding us that in all circumstances we must be patient, wait with a hopeful heart, and trust God that His best gifts are coming. 

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the chaos that comes from being the parents of three kids, we find ourselves feeling stressed over so many materialistic worries.  How can we attend all of the holiday functions?  Will we get the kids the gifts they really want?  Will we dig ourselves into a financial hole while buying those gifts?

It is so important during the holidays to quiet our minds from the unnecessary noise and find peace with God and what this season really means.  We want our kids to see us celebrating our lives, lives we are only able to live so beautifully because of Jesus.  We don’t want them to see us stressing over presents and parties!

It wasn’t too long ago that we struggled to grow our little family.  We went through some dark times, often wondering if we would ever have the family we’d dreamed of for so long.  We leaned on God through those struggles, trying so hard to find peace in His promises.  This text from Genesis reminds us so much of our conversations with God and the questions we had for him during those troubling years.

“Do not be afraid...”

God’s promise... it’s incredible.  If we will only wait for him with a patient and peaceful heart, we will receive His best gifts.

This holiday season our lives will be even more chaotic, as it is our first as a family of five.  We will cut down a tree and decorate it as a family, with Cameron Kate putting the star on the top.  The kids will fill a box full of toys to donate, they will write letters to Santa, and we will bake lots and lots (and lots!) of treats.  We’ll read our Advent book each night, sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn, and sit at the top of the stairs for the obligatory picture on Christmas morning.

And rather than feel stressed or overwhelmed, we will find peace in the chaos, so incredibly thankful to have a house full of the best kind of noise and so incredibly grateful to be the children of a God whose gifts are so amazing.

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