When what you think you want under the tree is a tranquilizer gun…

You don’t.

I promise.

I know this because I recently thought to myself, “maybe I should ask for a tranquilizer gun for Christmas…”  Not a BIG one.  Just a tiny little thing.  But enough to knock out maybe let’s say, someone in the 35-60 pound range.

Because… Day One of vacation is under way, and already my four have found about 5,327 ways to get on each others nerves.

And it’s barely past lunchtime.

It’s a little funny to think about… how the behaviors might change if only I were sporting a holster loaded with tranquilizers.  I predict that Hurricane Brady would be the first to test the situation out.  That’s just how he rolls.  Julianne would follow quickly behind him, because (for better or for worse) she pretty much copies everything he does these days.  Next up would be Eli, because he doesn’t like being outdone by the little ones… and I think I would find Rachel happily reading a book on her bed in the now quiet house.

I might join her.

*sigh*

No, I don’t REALLY want a tranquilizer gun for Christmas.  What I want is a little bit of that “peace to all men” the angels mention on the hillside to a bunch of shepherds.

Peace.

branch

Peace isn’t something that just happens, you know?  It comes naturally to no one;  I should know, I just finished shopping for baking supplies with my four at the grocery store!

Peace is like all the other fruits of the Spirit.  We can fake it, but we will always fall prey to our own selfishness, our desire to have what we want at the cost of peace.

Peace happens when we are intentional about pursuing Jesus.

I’m not a fan of cliches (or bumper stickers, period)but the familiar,

“Know Jesus, Know Peace// No Jesus, No Peace”

is pretty much right on, yes?

Not just know who he is… but KNOW him.  Want to be more like him.  Want to spend time with him.  Want to model ourselves after him in the same way Julianne models her actions after her big brother, only in this case, we have only GOOD to be imitating!

So yeah.  What I truly need for Christmas this year isn’t a tranquilizer gun.  Not even during the terrible, horrible, very bad moments, because I know walking out our lives in faith happens to avoid the easy road.

What I need (what we need) is more Jesus.

What I need is the reminder that the things that God calls us to are sometimes hard things, but we can trust that he is fully aware of what’s going on, and he’s there.

End of story.

When that happens, where there is MORE of him, LESS of me, there is fun! When I not only know with my mind but hide in my heart the knowledge that I am not alone in this crazy crazy thing called life, there is joy!

When my eyes are opened to see the people surrounding me in the way HE sees them, there is patience!

When I view even the trials as gifts, there is peace. 

Deep down, that’s what I actually want this year for Christmas.  I want a little something intangible.

Actually, a big something.  I want peace.

And so, I need Jesus.

(Maybe a tranquilizer gun, too, just for kicks) 😉

(Disclaimer: if you read this, please know that even though I live in Texas I would not actually consider this course of action.  The tranquilizing, that is.)

***

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:14

***

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23

Merry Christmas, friends, and may you find peace this season.

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