Make it Beautiful Monday: Peace is not impossible

Our family was asked to light the advent candle and say a little something about the advent theme of “Peace” at church yesterday.
Here is what BRH and I came up with to say to the congregation:
You may find it a bit ironic that a young family like ours would be chosen to light the advent candle on a Sunday with the theme of Peace. As you can see, we have been very blessed with a beautiful eight month old that can make our home a place many would call anything but “peaceful” at times. Also adding to the excitement is a two-year-old black lab named Henry who is starting to come out of his puppy stage but still a handful.
If you really want to see the “Peace Family” in action, come visit us as we are preparing to get anywhere “on time,” and I have a funny feeling you might second guess us representing peace. The truth is that between dirty diapers and dog hair, Priscilla and I find our home more peaceful now than we ever have. We have been blessed far beyond what we ever deserve with our delightful daughter. With every smile, every laugh and even lots of spit up, we are constantly reminded of the Peace God sent through the birth of his son. Our family is continually humbled by the Peace our relationship with Jesus Christ brings us daily.
It reminds us of a quote we once saw on a coffee mug.
“Peace. It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
So during this holiday season, if you are fighting illness, struggling financially, or facing other hardships, please remember that as long as you trust that God is always present with you, you will find the calm in your heart…and you will find Peace. Merry Christmas.
If you could have seen us trying to get out the door Sunday morning, you would be amazed at the enormity of the irony.
The night before I had struggled getting ready for a family function. I couldn’t find clothes that fit. I felt anxious. B. had been gone most of the day with work. I had just put our house back in order after the mouse fiasco, only to hear a pitter-patter of rodent feet when I opened the cupboard. My head was still spinning from the withdrawal of my medicine. I felt my brain “zap” if I turned too fast and wondered if I would make it the rest of the night. I told myself to buck up. Get a grip. If I could go through ten hours of labor and 3.5 hours of pushing, I could get through a little vertigo. I try to balance being too hard on myself with a dose or reality when I can. Suddenly, a phrase came to mind that really stuck.
This is not impossible. THIS is not impossible. Uncomfortable, yes. But not impossible. 
The next morning I got up extra early, determined to get to church not only on time, but early enough for the pre-service coffee hour my in-laws were hosting. I went down to get AJH’s bottle ready and while it was heating up, I thought I’d be proactive and go ahead and get her formula ready for the day in our handy little compartmentalized container. As I twisted and turned, trying to get that plastic lid to budge, I suddenly heard a pop in my right shoulder (the one that hurts constantly from years of pitching). I thought it would be fine, but soon realized I could barely move it and was in a lot of pain. I went upstairs to see if BRH could massage it out for me but by the time I got up the steps I couldn’t even maneuver my way into a sitting position without screaming in pain. I tried to lay down and literally got stuck.
And then came the tears.
As the time dwindled away, I cried, brushed my teeth, called my mom, tried to fix my hair, cried some more and may or may not have let a few curse words slip. The pinnacle of the pain was when BRH was in the shower, the baby was in her crib screaming at the top of her lungs as if she was also in pain (which is out of character) and I was in hysterics as I tried with all my might to reach down and pick her up with a shoulder that felt dislocated and wouldn’t budge.
This is not impossible. THIS is not impossible. Uncomfortable, yes. But not impossible.
I think she could sense my panic.
After somehow pulling her out with my left arm and rocking her, things slowly got better, but I soon realized I had about five minutes to finish getting ready. After throwing outfits to the floor in a fit of rage, I finally settled on something basic but festive and together we pulled clothes on a screaming, very unhappy baby.
This is not impossible. THIS is not impossible. Uncomfortable, yes. But not impossible.
We made it to church in a frenzy, only a few minutes before we were set to walk down the aisle.
As I stood up in front of the entire congregation, my husband reading about “peace,” holding a squirmy, but smiling baby and wondering if I remembered deodorant, I couldn’t help but laugh, and cry in the cusp of the almost ridiculousness of the morning.
An hour before I had been a complete disaster, now I was surrounded by love. My shoulder still aching, and eyes still drained from the tears, I wondered if they could tell. I thought of Brené Brown and The Gifts of Imperfection. For once, rather than shy away, I basked in the glory of not being perfect, for I had no other choice. I felt the warmth of my surroundings, felt everyone’s imperfections and realized that us portraying a “perfect, peaceful” family was not the answer. My heart was calm.
I was living in the moment, and though it was a bit uncomfortable, and messy…it was beautiful, and it was perfect.
The quote we read still echoes in my mind.
It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

The “Peace Family.”
Four word mantra of the day:
It is not impossible.

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