Over this past week my kids and I have been discussing Christmas stockings. In particular tackling the question, “Should we get a Christmas stocking to hang up for Gideon this year?”
I was actually baffled by their response, mostly because they treated the question with the exact same reason that I did. Half emotional and half practical.
“Well,” my daughter responded “he is one of the kids in our family. But at the same time nothing will actually go in the stocking…so I don’t know. Let’s ask the boys.”
“David and Aaron, what do you think? Do you think we should get a stocking for Gideon to put above our mantel this year?”
As the four of us stood and discussed the ins and outs of stocking hanging, we all abundantly agreed that it would bring us joy to hang a stocking for Gideon. Decision was made, stocking was ordered.
This ended up to be no small thing. Its no understatement to say that I have now become obsessed with said stocking/mantel. Dave’s speaker that he installed there has become increasingly more of an annoyance as to take away from the picturesque scene that I now want my mantel to have. No longer did strong tape seem like a reasonable way to hang the stockings. And, not to mention, I keep staring at the thing and the words “5 kids, 5 children, 5 babies” keeps rolling rolling over in my mind.
On another ironic note I was now on the hunt for stocking hangers. Apparently all stocking hanger sets come in 4s. Clearly that was no good and I was left stumped. UNTIL I was walking through Target when what do my wondering eyes should appear…a 5 set stocking holder spelling the word P E A C E. And if praising Jesus for stocking holders had never been done, in Target that day I literally jumped up and down with joy and thankfulness.
They were hung for 5 minutes. 5…minutes. When periodically each one of my children rotated doing SOMETHING that would in turn knock them down. For the love!!! And then comes the outer body experience of yelling at my kids for knocking down my PEACE stocking holders! Can’t Mommy just have one…ever…loving…nice thing in this house that is not yours to play with?!? Bah! Don’t you see that they say PEACE and that means SPECIAL and that means don’t touch?
And then there he is again. The picture of my sweet Gideon in my arms that reminds me that peace does not come in typical forms. That peace in our home, actually probably more looks like knocking things down and being okay with it over not knocking them down at all. Its a God given, Gideon delivered peace that I strive for. Pray for. Cry for. Hope for.
Its a peace that is in the mess, the messy, and the broken. Its a peace that intermingles out all of the cultural pressures that do more joy stealing than they do joy giving. Its a peace that remembers this season that its all for the baby. The baby that came to die so that we should live. Its not the pretty picture, nice looking, sparkling, or calm type peace. Its the real, rock you to your core with God’s power and goodness peace.
I tend to immediately want to feel bad for those moments when I lose sight of what’s truly important. The moments when my knee jerk reactions take over instead of the Holy Spirit that I know resides in our family. I don’t tend to try to stay guilty for long…I am human, always human and God’s love for me always overcomes my downfall type moments.
I can be okay with my PEACE being pulled down every so often. I can be okay that I have 5 stockings to hang, but only 4 foreheads to kiss. I can be okay with knowing that in this life there will be trouble. I can be okay because Christ came to overcome it all.
My prayer for this season is for PEACE to be top priority. To remember and fight for the joy over the crazy, and the blessings of it all.
A prayer for me and for you this Christmas season, as we remember it all.
Dear Heavenly Father. You are a Daddy who loves us. A God who has sacrificed it all because you care for us so. This year, as we hold our loved ones close, we remember that that is how you felt about Jesus. Jesus brought you the same Fatherly joy that children bring us. Our love is a reflection of your love and so we recognize that this holiday can bring both joy and sorrow. Not only for us, but for you too. We don’t forget that the peace that you have given to us came at a price. We remember that the baby that you sent had a precious and amazing birth, but that too he had a tragic death. But in this season we claim and remember that the story does not end sad. No, it is not void of hurt and suffering, but it teaches what true peace looks like. It looks like a supernatural collision of heaven come to earth and because you are good and capable of powerful things, we trust you and want this season to honor you. God please help us, in our moments in our days, to remember what Jesus came to give us. God I know I am sorry for all the times I make it about anything but that, I pray for your forgiveness and your perspective. God would you know always that we love you. We desire to show you that love and we desire to share that love with those that surround us. These days, these next 25 days, may they be upheld, cherished and honored in a way that brings all the glory to you. We love you and thank you.