Merry CHRISTmas!

It's late and I'm TIRED!

Here are a few thoughts wandering through my mind - I will elaborate more on them tomorrow!

We SURVIVED . . . another FIRST . . . our FIRST Christmas without our dear husband/daddy.  It was different to be sure.  We noticed the absence of Rick more than you can imagine.  It hit me at the oddest times.  When I went into the bathroom at his parents house (don't ask me why, it just did)!  Watching Daila & Maddie "cheer" for us.  Eating rice pudding.  Taking a nap this afternoon . . . grief is not predictable - that is for sure!  Yet, at these times, and so many more this CHRISTmas weekend, just as I felt myself beginning to sink, I would remember that my sadness was for those of us who are HERE.  Yes, we miss, yes, we wish the days together would have stretched on for YEARS more, yes the memories are bittersweet, but, those are OUR feelings.  RICKEY celebrated his first CHRISTMAS in HEAVEN . . . and the DELIGHT of that MUST overshadow my earthly, selfish grief.  I'm NOT denying the grief or the sadness, the loneliness or the missing Rick that we feel, I'm just re-focusing, learning to REST in God's PEACE! 

Which is what today's sermon was about!  You either HAVE peace or you DON'T!  It's black and white.  Yes or no.  It's like, are you pregnant or not?  You can't be "somewhat" pregnant, and you can't "somewhat" have peace!  GOOD STUFF!

Matthew 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Lamentations 3:32 "...though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love."

Therefore, as this first CHRISTmas comes to a close, I will CHOOSE to TRUST - again in the LORD.  I will CHOOSE to accept His PEACE.  I will CHOOSE to let my heart be un-troubled, I will CHOOSE to not be afraid.  I will TRUST in his compassion and accept the ABUNDANCE of His steadfast love.  As I lie down to sleep again tonight (with my house FULL of LOVE - Nick, Ashley & the girls are staying with us!), I will echo the words of the old hymn (1800's) that still ring true for believers today:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say;
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come;
Let this blest assurance control;
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, it is well,
With my soul, with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul


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