This past week has been full of wonderful events. Our son, Christopher, who lives 650 miles away, was in town. We spent some time at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium seeing and learning about ocean life and other creatures we rarely get a chance to observe. Watching a movie there was a fun experience as our seats vibrated and we were sprayed with mist as animals swam towards us in the 4D theater, giving us a sea diving experience. The day truly was a festival of seas.
We enjoyed Mexican food at a delicious restaurant together and another night we had my parents and siblings over for a buffet and visit with our kids. It was fitting for us to share this short time with those who helped us raise our children.
Spending time as a family is no longer taken for granted and feels like a luxury as it has been nearly a year since we’ve all been together. It also causes me to do a lot of reflecting. I remember the days when I’d wonder if my two children would ever grow up. The memory of many late hours rocking a sick baby or the endless diaper changing and laundry has ended. I’m finished wondering how to potty-train or get my kids to clean their rooms and do other household chores. Crazy arguments with teenagers have come to a conclusion, along with the constant question: Am I teaching my children how to be responsible and happy adults? I know I made plenty of mistakes, but the lack of trying to do what was best was not one of them. I’m astonished at how fast the children grew up and with admiration for both of them, I cherish every moment I now get with them.
The delightful week started last Sunday as I attended my daughter, Katie’s church to hear her speak. Her topic was finding peace through Jesus Christ. I’ve reflected all week on her brilliant and uplifting talk as I’m always striving to find peace in my own life. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor, friend and employee, I want to spread peace, but I can’t give something I don’t have.
Now that our children are grown I struggle to let go. I wish I could rock their cares away, as I did so many years ago. My arms long to hold them tight and I miss being the person they come to for fixing their hurts. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the adults they are and the good that they are doing, but I can’t help missing my little children.
There are many distractions and opinions that can cause us confusion and turmoil and it’s easy to forget about what is most important. As I’ve spent time this week considering my life with our children and the choices I’ve made, I’m so grateful for the peace that I’ve found through Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace, not because He ruled in an already peaceful world, but because He created peace in a noisy, distressed and fearful world. He reminds me there are no earthly problems that are permanent—that brings me peace.
The week ended with Christopher going back to his home in Portland, Oregon. My sad spirit was lifted when we attended the magnificent musical, The Forgotten Carols. The story is about a nurse, Connie, whose empty life is changed by a patient, John. He understands the meaning of Christmas and brings it to life through his stories and songs of the innkeeper, Joseph, the shepherd boy and the three kings. Connie’s life is filled with heartache and turmoil, but she feels peace through the stories and songs of these often forgotten characters of the original Christmas story. As the program continued, I too felt the peace through the characters stories and each song.
Since it had been a week full of reflection for me, I realized whenever I made the Savior part of my crazy life He gave me the gift of peace. No matter the circumstances or concerns, He calmed the winds and waves of the raging sea inside of me, which enabled me to ride out the storm.
In John 14:27 we read, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Please enjoy my favorite song from The Forgotten Carols. It reminds me that sometimes I may loose my way, but just as the three Kings found the Lord, so can I and peace always follows.
I hope you have a peaceful Christmas.