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Is it starting to get to you yet? The countdown is on, you know.
Do you complain when the stores put out Christmas decorations before Labor Day? Me too. But honestly, maybe we should take their cue and start early too – so we won’t be scrambling and stressed at the last minute.
Let’s face it, most of us cram more things into the month of December than any other month. And we want to do all the things, of course. But it makes for a breathless month.
2 Thessalonians 3:16: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
I want to bake all my favorite goodies; I want to sing in the Singing Christmas Tree; I want to host family and friends at my house; I want to give just-what-they-wanted gifts to those I love; I want to cook the biggest, yummiest meal of the year; I want to send and receive Christmas cards – with photos; I want to decorate and feel festive; I want to reminisce over every ornament. And on and on.
And we put all that on top of our regular, daily schedule.
For some reason our “daily” doesn’t stop to make room for our Christmas traditions.
John 14:27: “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.
Every year I attempt to focus on the Reason for the season. And I do, don’t get me wrong. But even so, peaceful has never been a word I would use to describe the month of December. Fun, maybe. Peaceful, no.
But here’s the thing I’ve come to realize.
You might find this surprising.
Not to mention contrary to most other blog posts about Christmas peace. But here’s the truth …
I am not willing to give up all the fun and traditions of our holiday season. If I was, I would have made the change years ago.
Ecclesiastes 2:24: There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,
But … I would like to add more peace to my fun this year. Notice I said add.
And I think I have found just the ticket. I have discovered a little book that truly exudes peacefulness. It’s called Christmas Peace For Busy Moms by Sarah Geringer. But don’t let that title fool you – it’s not only for moms of young children. Even though my boys are all grown up, I still found this book immensely beneficial.
It comes complete with 25 calm and tranquil starts for your day. Sarah has a relaxed and soothing way about her and she will convince you (as she did me) that Christmas peace is truly possible.
Let me give you a taste …
“My sleep is more peaceful when I pray before falling asleep. Even if I drift off during prayer, I still have more peaceful rest. … When I wake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, I consider that time an invitation to listen to God rather than a chance to review my to-do list. Often he brings matters to my attention I don’t necessarily consider during the day: buried fears, unresolved conflicts, special insights. God uses those middle-of-the-night prayers to defragment the deepest parts of my heart and draw me close to him.”
This book is also full of practical tips. You know how much I like practical! Here’s one I couldn’t agree with more …
“Church is my primary power source for peace in busy December. I am drawn back to the real meaning of Christmas as I sit at the Prince of Peace’s feet during Sunday worship. … Worship in the company of others always settles peace deeply in my heart.”
Settle peace deeply in our hearts. Ahhhh.
Sarah gently teaches that by sitting at Jesus’ feet we can find the peace we need during this hustle and bustle season. Her book walks you through 25 days to peacefulness. Each day begins with a verse, then she goes deeper into the verse and gives practical applications. Then she suggests further verses to read and asks a couple of questions to promote reflection.
Each day will take you 15 minutes or less. I plan to add these devotions to my December mornings.
Because I know I will need the daily reminder of Where my peace comes from.
Romans 8:6: For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Boy, do I wish I had had Table Mentoring by Sue Moore Donaldson 3 years ago when I first began leading the women’s ministry committee at our church. This book is not only a how-to for mentoring, but it’s also the ultimate “cheerleader” that you can do it – complete with the why and how.
Our committee had a desire to start a mentoring program of some sort, but we didn’t quite know how and the ideas we tossed around all fell flat. We found that the women we asked weren’t interested. The older women struggled with feeling qualified and the younger women didn’t feel like they had the time. So, we basically just gave up on the idea.
That was a huge mistake – and that’s not just my opinion …
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG: All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
Titus 2:3-5: Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Philippians 4:9 NLT: Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
If you have ever felt like you weren’t qualified to be a mentor, this book is for you! Sue effectively explains how the most important aspect of mentoring is simply strengthening another’s walk with God. Age does not matter, by the way. You will always be older than someone – or further along in your walk with the Lord.
As the verses above remind us, we are ALL called to mentor (aka disciple) someone.
It’s God’s chosen way to pass on the Gospel.
Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Sue reminds us that one of the best benefits of being a mentor or mentee is the accountability. She explains,“I can’t give God out to others if I’m not filled up with God myself. Yes, I could fake it awhile. But I’ll run out. The jar will run dry. I will burn out. Just as children learn more from what is caught than taught, our mentees will see that what is real to us, can be real to them when we are filled up to the brim with Him.”
Wondering if mentoring should happen organically or in a formal pairing-program? This book covers both.
Wondering how to find the right match? This book not only has practical tips for that but also gives a list of interview questions you could use.
Wondering what to do if the mentor-pairing doesn’t work out? This book covers it beautifully.
Wondering what to talk about with your mentor or mentee? There’s a whole chapter on that! And even a “Getting Started Questionnaire.” In fact, my favorite part of this book is that Sue has shared all of her worksheets (10) that she uses to have a successful mentor/mentee relationship (or whole program).
This little book packs a powerful punch! If you are in women’s ministry, or if you just want to find your own personal mentor or mentee, this book is a must-have. It’s the most-helpful book on mentoring that I have ever come across.
The hand-lettered note card above?
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I link up with these blogger friends: Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Deb at Faith ‘n Friends, Lori at Moments of Hope, Kelly at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer at Tell His Story, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart. and Modern Mrs. Darcy at Quick Lit.
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