"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5: 22, 23 NIV
Peace. Joy. Love. At this time of year, the fruit of the spirit is proclaimed by both Christians and the secular world alike. Unfortunately, 'peace on earth' is often more of a catch phrase than a reality. How many people are stressed out about all the added pressure of the season? Shopping, decorating, baking, cards, concerts... The stress of the preparations can make the fruit ferment!
Beyond the preparations, the holidays themselves can bring a lot of stress. Annual family get togethers are often fraught with arguments. Unrealistic expectations can lead to a feeling of discontent once it's all over. It can be especially painful for those who have recently lost a loved one.
This year, all of my children are coming home for Christmas. I know that our time together won't be 'perfect'. We may have an argument or two. (Especially around the card table.) My gift wrapping might be sloppy. (I'm not as meticulous as my daughters.) I might even burn something. (It has been known to happen...) But the joy of being with the people I love most will outweigh all the negatives.
I would like to wish everyone who reads this blog a happy and safe Christmas season. May you find joy, peace and love in the imperfection of your friends, family and loved ones.