Finding Peace and Nurturing Hope

I can’t tell you how proud I am of you (and me) this holiday season.

I’m proud that you (and me) stopped and took a moment to ourselves, that we gathered here.

Me, I’ve got a cup of mulled, spiced Wassail beside me, the only light in the room is from the Christmas tree lights and the burning fire. What about you?

Here’s the way my Christmas Eve morning began:

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A walk by the creek. Ah.

And my night is ending pretty easy as well.

In between the calm, I had a party here. I had people I love here. We ate, we played games, we sang carols, we even learned to waltz to the Christmas Waltz. Wonderfulness.

It’s a perfect time to abundantly appreciate this holiday season. For us all, even for those who are having a difficult and sad Christmas, there’s still the same focus on the sacredness and love in the holiday.

Yes, it is late Christmas Eve. Almost midnight. Christmas morning will be here in a short while. Santa is well on his way to your house and mine.

Late Christmas Eve has always been a special time for me. I’m usually alone this late,  wrapping presents. (I wrap LATE, yes, I know. It’s the same every year. I don’t like people to guess what I’m giving them. In fact, I always say, “If you guess it, you can’t have it.” So, people will make ridiculous guesses. Like a small box, “Is it luggage?” Or an obvious hard back book, “Could it be a pillow?”)

I just put on my James Taylor Christmas CD.

I usually drink eggnog at this special time on Christmas Eve. But earlier I made a perfect batch of Wassail, with lost of delicious spices, oranges, apples, ginger. Just perfection. Man, I wish I could send you a cup. The aroma is divine. The taste “diviner.”

To me, this is my SLOW Christmas time. I’m not rushed. I’m not anxious. Late Christmas Eve is my time to chill. And I am. Slow heartbeat, deep breaths, enjoying the moment.

I hope since you’re with me that you are chillin’ too.

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I interrupt this post to report that Merlin, My Magnificent Soul-Horse, wishes you a wonderful season.

(kiss, kiss, kiss)

Something that never dawned on me until the other day is that the word “holiday” means “holy day.” I looked it up and learned its origin is from the Old English word “hāligdæg.”

This particular Holy Day comes but once every 12 months. One time. It is to be cherished and treasured.

Life moves on, life changes, life evolves. And I think back on Christmases past, I have had a common theme. I have been on a search for peace and simplicity. I’ve worked every single year to make our Christmas simpler. Actually, I’ve worked every day to make my life simpler.

And I thought, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

And I sang it. No other person was there. Just me.

Me, my soul, my God, my horses, my creek, my sunset, my hills, my heart. My dog, Blue and a couple of cats. Lots of beings, but no human beings to hear.

I believe in Peace and Hope.

I believe in Christmas and Christmas Spirit.

I believe that peace is possible in the worst of times. It comes from within, not from without.

Peace on earth does not come from us focusing on the tragedies in the world or in our lives. It comes from deep inside us, from that quiet place in your heart. We must find it and let it grow. We must allow it to spread to EACH OTHER. Peace will grow stronger in each of us as we come together and help each other.

We must find PEACE.

We must BE the PEACE.

Me? I can be PEACE. I can create a PEACEFUL home. I can parent PEACEFULLY. I can share my PEACE with those I encounter. I can reach out to those who might need some PEACEFUL influences today.

I can listen. I can encourage.

I can be someone else’s HOPE.

Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a kinder world. Hope for stronger families. Hope in each other. Hope for a happy today.

I can plant my garden and share the harvest with someone who might be in need of some fresh veggies.

I can share my closet and pantry.

I can visit and support the elderly neighbor whose husband is not getting better.

I can commune with my Farmgirl Sisters and share our common vision for a better, healthier life.

I can Live Joy.

That’s my Christmas wish. That I can somehow ease someone else’s burden.

We are God’s hands. Reach them out to everyone in compassion, tolerance, love.

And, as my Dad reminded me earlier, Tiny Tim said, “God be with us, everyone.”

As my fortune in a recent fortune cookie said:

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Merry Christmas.

Merry Everything.

Smile.

It really is pretty simple.

And last, but definitely not least, Mr. Mustache wishes you a Merry Everything, including St. Patrick’s Day.

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Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love and PEACE and HOPE and simplicity, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Meredith Williams says:

    “We are Gods’ hands”. Wow. That sank in deeply! Thank you for this !! I have been feeling very overextended this year and have not enjoyed time with friends and family as I should. Thank you for giving me perspective and PEACE. xoxo

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    Merry Christmas! Love this post and life is a process, isn’t it? I have read your posts for years and I think this is my favorite one! ❤️

  3. Denise says:

    Merry peaceful Christmas!

  4. Sharon Wegmeyer says:

    Ah, to live this next year (and all following years) “God-paced”: that is my goal . . .

  5. Mary says:

    Beautifully written words from the heart. I wish we were farm neighbors…I could use your encouraging words daily. (note to self…read old City Farmgirl posts for inspiration!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and blessings to your family for the New Year.

  6. Janice says:

    Wow, I loved reading your thoughts about calmness, a simpler life, and solitude. Thank you.

  7. Loreta Hazel says:

    That was simply wonderful

  8. Denise says:

    Hi Rebekah
    I really enjoyed your post, so happy to hear your words and see your focus and know you’re able to write and walk and enjoy life. I wasn’t sure how you came out of your accident in July, praying that you and your passenger would heal in every way, so I guess I’m somewhat relieved and thankful that God had answered my prayers.
    I took the pressure off myself and my family, I gave away the notion of the ‘perfect Christmas ‘ a while ago and go for simple, slower – as much as I can with it being summer, the school year finishing, and this year the fires that nearly had us evacuated twice. It’s been quite a year, but it’s been such a good one too. Full of healing, recognition of areas needing attention in my life, letting go, especially if the past and soaking in being content in the life that I am in, not the life I envisaged, but a good one all the same.
    I love how you’ve given the definition of holy day, I didn’t know that at all, and I always want to live out faith in love, forgiveness, hope and connection with others. I hope your Christmas season filled with Gods abundant blessings and throughout next year. Thank you for your beautiful posts xx

  9. Maureen says:

    Peace, hope and joy to you. I am printing off this post so I can peek at it when I am feeling overwhelmed. I, too, am working hard to simplify the season and my life in general. Surround yourself with what matters and it sounds like you are doing an awesome job! Many Blessings!

  10. Donna says:

    And…. peace be to you. Wonderful . Thank you for sharing.

  11. Sandi King says:

    Rebekah, you have changed my heart and mind. I was upset with my Christmas because I didn’t get to get all my decorations out of the garage and put up in the house; nor did I get as many lights strung around outdoors as I was wanting and I felt sad and depressed but after reading your blog post, I realize that what I did have was enough and it was simpler and less hectic, less of a lot that usually wears me out. I was able to enjoy my friends and family more. My older son bought me a live plantable Christmas tree about 4 foot high which I did decorate and he loaned me an inflatable dog which is so cute. My sister-in-law put my lights up around the roof of my home and so I did have some decorations outdoors and inside also. I love the peacefulness your blog gave to me and though it is now close to New Years Eve my Christmas was happy and I look forward to a peaceful New Year. Thank you for a wonderful post – and for all your animal friends who wish us a Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to all them and to you and your family from all my family and my friends and animals; Tippy, Dotty, Saugwa, Sissy, Allie, Tyker, Fluffy and Shadow, and me.

  12. Lisa says:

    I too have downsized every thing, keeping it simple and meaningful. Homemade gifts or bought from small family businesses. Taking time to enjoy friends and family. Learning to “rest” in winter.
    Thank you for sharing. I’m right there with ya! ❤️

  13. Pamela says:

    Oh!! Absolutely loved this post and really needed it! Could respond with so many comments but will just say “Beautiful
    and so full of Peace.” My motto for next year will be your realization that we can thoughtfully and carefully create Christmas. I really appreciate your taking the time to blog
    such an insightful piece. Thank you.

  14. Mercedes says:

    Thank you for your wonderful words. So inspiring. Wishing you the best in this new year.
    Mercedes

  15. Rene Marie Foust says:

    It was great to hear from you I am happy that you had a simple Merry Christmas

  16. Betsy says:

    I’m a little late getting this read, but wow. I still feel like I’m recovering from the stress and pressures Christmas has come to be for us. This year seemed worse in spite of my best intentions, being totally worn out by the time it got here. And then the babies got sick right before and extended family pressures…. not sure exactly what I need to do differently but perhaps slowing down and savoring the moments all year long could help our mindset going into the Holiday Season. Thank you for your inspiration and words of peace.

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