Real Women Ministries – When Christmas Is To Much

  Real Women Ministries
When Christmas Is To Much

Peace When Christmas is Too Much

by Jenn Buell
Guest Contributor

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Luke 2:14 NRSV

Gift lists. Christmas concerts. School activities. Add in a hurried college-visit road trip three states away and I was done before December 1st even arrived.

My anxiety levels have climbed ever higher as the Christmas season has approached.
Peace on earth? Really? I’m not feeling it. And usually it is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

The other day I figured out what is making this year so hard.

It’s my fourth Christmas as a widowed mom.
It’s the fourth year where all the magic and wonder and everything is my job to orchestrate.
It’s the fourth year of figuring out what to spend on who and how to decide what goes where.
It’s the fourth year that I am desperate not to let my children be robbed of their childhood because of their father’s death.

I’m exhausted.

This journey is a marathon. And Christmas magnifies loss. Anyone who has lost someone knows that the most wonderful time of the year magnifies their absence with deafening silence.

So here I find myself trying to determine which Christmas lights go in the trash can and which go where, when that used to be his job.

So here I am trying to determine a budget that will still make Christmas special for my kids and send something to extended family when he used to be the softy who fudged the numbers.

So here I find myself facing so much that used to be shared work.

Peace is what I’m missing as I look at this list.

And as I sat down to work on this blog on peace, the first verse on peace to come to mind was this one — offered to shepherds out in the fields just doing their work in the inky black of night. Angels burst onto the scene singing glory to God and offering peace.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Luke 2:14 NRSV


Such a complex thing, peace. And so freely offered by God and overwhelmingly desired by all.


Huh. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong.

Perhaps I need to –
Lay that list of to-dos before God and ask for some wisdom.
Let go of how it used to be and embrace what’s realistic now.
Admit that this is tougher than I imagined and take a moment to really feel that, so I can move past it.

If you are facing a holiday season under a cloud of loss, I’m so sorry. Truly. I get it. Taking a minute to admit to yourself that this is not what you planned or wanted is more than OK–it’s healthy. Taking a minute to miss the person you lost might help you get unstuck.

The need to celebrate this wonderful season can sometimes set us up for unrealistic expectations. Perhaps this year, we need to keep our eyes focused on the reason we celebrate and the peace that was offered on a night so long ago.

Dear Jesus, I confess I’ve become burdened in a season that is supposed to be joyful. I ask you to grant me wisdom in choosing what I do or don’t do. I ask you to bring joy as I think about someone I’ve lost and to bring a pause when I try to take on more than I need to tackle. Help peace be a hallmark of my home and my life this Christmas season. Amen


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