Peace on Earth ... good will toward men...
It's Thankful Thursday. I have just two full days and one short day to work between now and the end of the year. I wish I didn't have to do what I have to do on my time off, but I'm thankful for the resources to take care of what needs taken care of....
Santa came early here! A good friend sent us a new pillow (can't have too many... got to cushion the tukas!) a new coffee maker and Starbucks coffee! That's the kind of gift that keeps on giving! I am so overwhelmed by the generosity that is shown to Austin and I that I don't even have words... it's an amazing, beautiful thing... and I don't feel worthy...
But I did realize yesterday that the very few people who treat me or Austin unkindly - and there are a few - are such a very tiny percentage of the people we come into contact with... for the most part, our lives are filled with kindness beyond what we deserve.
Interesting, isn't it, to realize that the kindness you show to someone might just be balancing some unkindness someone else has shown? Smiling... a kind word... generosity... simple things can totally change someone's day.
At least twice yesterday I wished I had a big roll of hundred dollar bills to pass out to people who are going through hard times. It's always sad to me when people struggle to pay their bills - I have a lot of empathy because I've been there - I am there! It just seems like Christmas puts a big magnifying glass on our situations... if you're blessed, you feel those blessings more... the have nots feel an even greater void.
You really don't have to be rich to make a difference, though. I can't pay the bills for my clients who struggle but I can offer them a kind word of encouragement. I explain our billing system... let them know what the absolute latest day is that they can pay... offer the different ways to pay. And although, there are times that I feel humbled by doing a task in our agency that is typically performed by the employee with the least experience and training... without a doubt I know that God is using my talents and spiritual gifts to reach people in our community.
Sometimes we just have to get our pride out of the way for God to be able to use us as a blessing. Sometimes we just have to let go of the things/people that we think we want in our lives for God to be able to bless us.
I realized yesterday that even facing three (or more) days on a liquid diet, a colonoscopy and major surgery in the week before Christmas, thanks to an ex-husband who shall not be named, this still won't be my worst Christmas ever. Ha! In fact, this has been an incredibly peaceful holiday season for me and I am beyond thankful.
If I had continued to cling to that toxic relationship, if the series of disappointments had not happened, if I had not struggled to heal and overcome my heartbreak... I wouldn't know the kind of peace I know now.
The things I thought I wanted in my life were just things... marriage, financial security, companionship... the things I thought that relationship would bring... couldn't truly protect me from unhappiness, instead, they became the source of my unhappiness.
Peace transcends... it's like air... it flows through you and from you and surrounds you and supports you. It allows you to rebound when you come across unkindness. It gives you a confidence that anything you face, regardless how unpleasant, can't steal your joy, can't change who you are. Peace is powerful.
Peace on Earth, good will toward men isn't just a holiday platitude. It's a year round attitude. When you have true peace, you can't help but have good will toward men... and even when someone is unkind to you, you feel a sense of compassion toward them that they have some spirit within them that is preventing them from experiencing what you have... what I have.
Even when you face pain or uncertainty... you can move forward knowing that God has gone ahead and made the road easier for you.
Even when you feel "less than" or a "have not"... you can know that you have everything you need. Peace is free. It's freeing.
Even when people treat you unkindly or you feel disrespected, you can still believe in who you are, peace confirms your identity and doesn't require validation from others.
Today, this Thankful Thursday, throughout this trying year, I am thankful for peace and I am thankful for the ones in my life who have brought peace into what could have been an unhappy time for us. Above everything, I wish you peace.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Peace on Earth ... good will toward men...
Posted by Heather at 5:23 AM