Unwrapping Peace and Joy

Sometimes the holidays can feel like a scary ride on a rickety old bike down a treacherously steep dirt road— there's violent shuddering while you try to hold on, it’s hard to steer, and there’s usually a large plume of dust involved.
I can’t control how fast this season zooms by nor the fact that my to-do list seems to expand while I sleep. But instead of allowing the inevitable stresses of the season to create more kinks in my already knotted neck, I’ve decided to unwrap a couple of Christmas gifts early.
That’s right. I peeked under the tree, shook the boxes, and heard the Holy Spirit whisper Go ahead, open them now!
So I did.
And now, when a crazy man in a snazzy Mercedes convertible cusses out my husband and I in the Target parking lot,
I can hold my peace.
When our dishwasher decides to stop working, I can smile—and mean it.
When I’m folding my 20th load of laundry from all the company at our house over Thanksgiving weekend, I can feel joyful.
When my hubby sprains his ankle, our Australian Shepherd runs off three times in one day, and our teen daughter has an attitude, I can still have amazing peace and joy. And instead of worrying, groaning and fuming, I can smile. Heck, I can even laugh!
And that, sweet friends, is an amazing, priceless gift at this most wonderful time of the year.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and indulge—unwrap God’s precious gifts of peace and joy early.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27, NLT)

I love Christmas! To celebrate, I'm giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card, randomly selected from those who leave a comment. You must either (1) have a blog with your contact information or (2) leave me your email address to qualify. That way I can contact you if you win.
Merry Christmas!


Kelly said...

I want what you have for Christmas! Wow - I think they call that tidings of comfort and joy.

(I too have a dog that is an escape artist!)

May all the blessing of Christmas be yours, Julie!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love your gift! I think I might have to do some early unwrapping myself:) Blessings to you!


So far my Christmas prep has been pretty calm . . . thanks for the encouragement, for when that changes.


Cheryl Barker said...

I'm opening peace and joy early, too! :) And hey, I've also got a giveaway going on over on my blog (scroll down a couple of posts). Come throw your name in the hat! :)

Janice Johnson said...

that is a nice Christmas refresher devotion! Thanks so much. janicejohnsontyler@gmail.com

Felecia Clarke said...

The season of the tired. And I had a lady screaming profanity at me Saturday too. Little did she know that she was reaping prayer.
Blessings to you and yours ... in His name. .. peace,

Unknown said...

unwrapping that gift right now!! :) such a perfect reminder, and then to combine that with a Starbucks drink... AH, heavenly!! :_

Ginny said...

I want that joy, too! I really get envious of those super women who already have their shopping done, wrapped, house cleaned, and cookies baked....I have to admit that I am running in circles and going nowhere fast! maybe a Starbucks coffee is just what I need!

Anonymous said...

I love it, Julie! This brought a smile to my face! If I don't say so sometime in the next few weeks, I hope you have an amazing and PEACEFUL Christmas holiday.

Barbara Koob said...

I love this post, Julie. What a great idea to open up the gifts of peace and joy early! Thanks! (P.S. Can't wait to read your upcoming book.)

Barbara Koob said...

I love this post, Julie. What a great idea to open up the gifts of peace and joy early! Thanks! (P.S. Can't wait to read your upcoming book.)

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