Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

My appologies for not writing for a month!  This is always a busy time of year for everyone….this year it is especially busy for me it seems and finding some peace and sanity seems almost impossible.  Between my sister’s wedding that we had to plan in three weeks the week before Thanksgiving, hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, planning and hosting my birthday, writing papers for school, studying for finals, hosting my family for brunch for my birthday, attending events in supoprt of my friends/family, Christmas shopping/decorating/card writing, etc….whew….we do all this in a month?  No wonder why Santa takes the whole rest of the year off!

But amist all the craziness….i have to admit, it’s my favorite time of year.  I may hear those Christmas carols over and over and over again-and some of that may be while fighting the hords of shoppers at the mall for that perfect gift, it doesn’t matter b/c in the end it always makes me smile.  I always love this time of year.  It reminds me of my mom, which i can’t lie that does make me tear up at times….but I know that she’s always with me still.  Its a matter of getting used to how she is with me now versus before.  No matter though, this time of year gives me comfort.  It makes me smile because of all the happy memories I have of it. 

So during all of the cooking, baking, hosting, travelling, wrapping, shopping, writing, working, cleaning, etc….how do you find peace?  Where do you go for solitude and comfort?

For me, its not so much a physical space but a mental one.  Sometimes it is in the midst of my baking or cooking.  I have physically done those actions so much that I just know how to make them without using the receipe so I mentally go into a state of meditation.  But for others cooking is a chore.I always find peace in church, especially in our chapel on campus.  Its an old mission style chapel-gorgeous.  And so many times when I am on campus I will find myself there.  Ironically it is in the center of campus. No matter your denomination it is a sererne place to just relax and reflect.  Recently, I have been turned on to a podcast from East Coast Believers (http://www.eastcoastbelievers.org/), Norm’s last 5 sermons he’s talked about prayer. It’s really made me think-for all the years of Catholic school i went through, i really was never taught about prayer.  Effect prayer is not a laundry/Santa wish list, it’s a conversation.  When he said this it just seemed so profound to me.  For so long that’s how i prayed, but it never seemed effective.  Not because my prayers weren’t answered, they were, but something about it just didnt seem right.  It felt like i went to someone, barked an order, then walked away before they could say anything.  Why would you do something for someone if thats how they talked to you?  I dont think I would.  So I am working on my prayer.  Daily there is always something I can be praying for, its not like a Miss America speech…”i pray for world peace.”  Um no…dont get me wrong, i do want world peace- we all do.  But I need guidance for me and my life.  I need to get questions answered for my smaller things before i can take on world peace. 

So while it may seem simple to you.  I encourage you to take time out of your busy holiday schedule and set aside some peaceful solitary time.  You can do it, you just need a couple of minutes.  Give it a chance.  I bet you will feel better just from getting a few minutes of peace and quiet from all the hustle and bustle.

You know, i still laugh at this but, my mom used to “talk to herself” while doing things.  I’d walk in while she was cooking or gardening alone, i’d see her mouth moving, her eyes and head moving too as if she was in a deep conversation with someone.  I’d laugh and she’d then realize that she was no longer alone and ask me what i wanted.  I’d giggle at her and ask her who she was talking to.  She’d just shoo me out and tell me to go find something productive to do.  I realize now, looking back, that she was praying.  She got it, she understood what effective prayer was.  I strive to do the same.  My mom was a good person, she took care of her family and many others.  She cared a lot for people.  I’d be blessed to become half the woman my mom was.

So find peace in your chaos through prayer this season.

Happy Holidays!  .