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Peace

O, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.

– “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid. There is Someone who knows how to turn on the lights.

– Unkown

The last post I did should have been posted last week, the Advent week of Hope.  This past Sunday began the Advent week of Peace.  I can’t remember the last time I was peaceful.  Noise.  Tension.  Busyness.  Stress. Strife. Torment.  Unrest.  All words that have pervaded my life for months and months.  There have been many times, many seasons, where I have not had peace, but this season has been one of the most unpeaceful of them all.  This Christmas will be unlike any other.  I suppose each Christmas season is different in some ways, but generally they are the same.  For our family, this Christmas will bring joy and sadness.  It will be markedly different.  It will be a time of unrest.

I think we often make decisions based on the guidance of the outside world, and while the people in our lives often give good guidance and advice, decisions are ultimately ours to make.  And sometimes that is hard…more than hard.  Often they are not decisions we are peaceful about.  I have been in the midst of one such decision for months now.  But I have had to remember that God is a God of Peace, and so I finally laid my decision in His hands.  So whether my decision is good or bad, I know that I can still have peace.  Most days are not peaceful, but I have peaceful moments, and for now…in this moment, I can say with this decision, my heart is at rest.  My heart is at rest because I do not have to be afraid.  Despite whatever darkness I experience when the moments of peace pass, I believe that God is faithful…and He will turn on the lights.

 

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Peace in Troubled Times

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Wow. A long time has gone by since I’ve given an update on our marital non-bliss. We’ve struggled….a lot. We continue to struggle. It’s starting to really amaze me that Bloke and I ever hooked up to begin with. We really are polar opposites in almost every way.

I’m a social butterfly. He’d rather be a loner. I’m a disciplinarian. He’s perfectly fine with just giving a verbal reprimand (although I think he’s progressing in this area). I love the water. He doesn’t swim well….or even float well. I’m content with not asking too many questions. He wants to know the answers to everything. I love food. He’d be perfectly happy to take a pill for each of his meals. You get the picture.

Well, besides that we actually can (and often do) get along well.  When we put our differences aside and simply enjoy the things about each other that we fell in love with, our lives are peaceful and fun.  I’m so thankful for those times, a reprieve from the struggles, from the tension.  I find it kind of ironic that what seemed to be the central issue behind our issues is now at the forefront of our disputes…religion.  Before Bloke was saved, I prayed and prayed for him to become a believer, to really stand for Christ and allow himself to be changed by the Changer…not just for Bloke but for our family as well. I just wanted us to be saved from Bloke’s well of bad choices, and I wanted him to be saved by his well of emptiness.  Now that he is a believer, our stances on our beliefs differ quite a bit ( I mean drastically in most areas) which causes the majority of our disputes.  I mean we have tensions about finances and parenting as well, but really, those are way more resolvable than fights over religion.  If I’m being completely honest, I have no idea where he stands as a Christian.  And thus the dilemma begins.

So, there is peace in troubled times for us.  We (often daily) choose to ignore our spiritual differences, to forego fighting and to take peace instead.  We aren’t going to change one another anyway.  Only God can do that.  And what a relief to know that I’m not in charge of doing that!  I used to try so hard to change Bloke, to make him see everything my way (because, of course, I’m right all the time ;-)).  Now, I can relax in the knowledge that the Lord will change what He wants changed in both of us.  I can trust that He will move in our hearts at just the right time in just the right way.

I know that I love my husband, and I fully believe that he loves me.  And that combined with the love, provision, and guidance of the Lord will see us through rocky waters and calm seas.  I don’t know how.  But I know it will.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

**On a different note, I have so missed sharing photos with all of you.  However, since no one has willingly offered up the digital camera I want, I am still using my Nikon F4 film camera and guess what?  Film’s expensive.  And so is processing, so when I have pictures, I’ll definitely be posting them!