3 Things to Learn from An Unruly Garland

So, I’ve been working on Christmas decor this week and I have encountered the most obstinate piece of garland ever created. When I picked it out at Paul Michael’s store, it seemed so minimalist. It was not dense or heavy. I had dreams of it winding around thingies on the mantel. You know, kinda like sugar plums dancing in my head. 

My head was dancing alright. When you must resort to using your head to hold the middle of the garland on the mantel so you can use your hands to hold the ends, every bit of grinchiness hidden deep within your soul emerges. I wanted to snatch that stuff off the mantel like the Grinch jerked Cindy Lou Who’s tree up her chimney.

How can I find any kind of spiritual morsel out of such aggravation and craziness?, I thought. It’s Christmas time. I need to be good for goodness sakes. My first spiritual thought was the verse in Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin…”, as I stood there with the garland on my head and my arms growing numb,

I learned:

      • Just because something seems easy, it may not be a good fit for our life (or mantel) in this season. 

      • Just because it’s a new process, opportunity, or relationship doesn’t mean the process, opportunity, or relationship from the past was wrong.  

      • We may need to use the tools we have until we get the kinks worked out on how the new tools work.

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Y’all, when what we are changing too brings more confusion to our soul than what we changing from, Stop – Pray – Wait

Pray about it, a lot. Peace follows decisions that fall into God’s plan and His timing. If our heads are heavy and our arms are numb from the load we are carrying, I’m thinkin’ we have the wrong definition of peace. 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28, ESV

I don’t want to craft this picture of perfection when I’m speaking of peace. The list is too long of peace stealers. Jesus told us we would have lots of troubles in this old world. Our hope comes from the knowledge that He has overcome this cranky, troublesome world and we will one day be with Him in Paradise. 

Peace, to me, means that although I may be filled with fear as I step forward into a new direction, I have a calmness within my quivering soul, shaking knees, and pounding heart.

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It’s that calmness that can propel us forward and it’s the absence of that calmness that should be a check within to Stop – Pray – Wait

Waiting is tough. Fluffing our old life and dusting off the cobwebs of days that seem to never change is so mundane. Ugh. But, I have also felt my heart sink into my tummy when the shiny new thing I was running after turned real dull, real fast. Anxiety rushed over me like a cold wind. Ever been there?

In a peace-seeking state of mind, we can see sparkle when it begins to flicker. Peaceful sparkle. Breathing is deep and restful instead of shallow and hurried. Peaceful sparkle. I like that. 

Are you wondering what happened to the garland? Here’s a picture of it on my mantel. There have been a few additions since this picture, but not much. It seems to be scared of anything getting near it. I have embraced its unruly disposition and continue to pray no one touches it or even breathes on it during picture-taking time. Because it has its own idea of where it should live and obviously it is struggling to accept life sitting pretty on our mantel. 

Garland on Mantel


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