Prince of Peace

Two years ago at Christmas, Curt and I were furiously trying to finish remodeling our home so that we could move in before the return of our Lord. It was absolutely the most stressful time of our marriage to date. There was not much holiday cheer in the little townhouse that we were so eager to vacate. We chose not to bother with decorating since we had enough to deal with between the house and a baby on the way.

Last year was going to be the most wonderful Christmas of all time. It was going to be one that we talked about for years to come. We had an adorable ten-month-old to add to all the joy of the season. It was his first Christmas, so we would need to document every little thing that happened and make everything as special as possible. We had a very cute house to decorate to our hearts’ content. And boy, did we. Looking back, I can see that I was putting, hmmmm, just a leetle bit of pressure on, well, everyone and everything for it to be nothing less than magical. It makes me tired just thinking about it. And, honestly, I made no room in my heart for the baby Jesus. No room at all. In fact, on Christmas Day I started a huge argument with my sister. Yep, it was me. I picked it. And it was a big one.

This year is going to be different. The name of the game is peace. Financial peace. Sisterly peace. Peace in our schedule. Peace inside my house. (With about half the decorations we have instead of it looking like I robbed Hobby Lobby.) Peace outside my house. (With about half the Christmas lights we had last year, when Curt channeled Clark Griswold). Peace in my expectations. Peace in my heart with God.

Peace is something I will fight for this year. I want to enjoy this Christmas without all the self-inflicted pressure, unreasonable expectations, and needless distractions. I need there to be room for the baby Jesus, who, incidentally, is our peace.

I think if Mary had given birth to Jesus in 2007, she might have gone on eBay and ordered some custom-painted letters that spelled out his name on the wall. She might have emailed a picture of his crib bedding to the artist so that she could make it all match. To spell P-R-I-N-C-E O-F P-E-A-C-E would have cost Mary an arm and a leg. She might have even hoped Joseph wouldn’t notice the $150 to PayPal on their bank statement. But those 13 letters are worth all the money in the world. They’re the most lavish, expensive, mind-blowing, life-changing present we could ever give or get.

Colossians 3:12-17
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


137 Responses to “Prince of Peace”

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  1. 101
    valerie says:

    I remember back several years ago we had a huge wreath made of wood and had white lights on it. It was really very pretty when it stayed up and all lit up! That thing gave us heck every year to put up. One year it blew off – another year we had it all up and several of the lights wouldn’t work. My husband would get so mad.
    The kids are grown and gone and we still put up a tree and decorations, but not quite as many. The other day I asked him if he’d put lights on the outside of the house and he said, “No!” and that was that. Oh well…’s probably best.
    We would appreciate all of your prayers here in Okla. We have had a terrible ice storm. Thousands are w/out power including me and my family. They say 1.5 million people are w/out electricity in the state. An estimated 1,000,000 trees have been lost. It’s the worst ice storm in OK history. We have a source of heat at our home and gas to cook with, but so many do not. Keep all the electric co. workers in your prayers as well.
    Thanks for the post Amanda and I’m hoping this is the sweetest, most peaceful Christmas ever!

  2. 102
    Debbie in CA says:

    You have no idea how badly I needed that today.

    Thank you Amanda

  3. 103
    Kathy in Arkansas says:

    Thank you for sharing. This year my Christmas will be simple and peaceful.

    I lost both of my parent’s this summer and it was not always a peaceful Christmas with them. We didn’t really celebrate the true Christmas.

    This year I will be going to one of my sister’s and all of her family, including grandchildren, will be there. I am very excited about it.

    I did very little decorating this year, simply becuase I did not have much time and will have no one to help me “undecorate” this year. My family was here for Thanksgiving and we decorated together.

    I am adding to my name…instead of just Kathy I will use Kathy in Arkansas…there are too many Kathy’s.

  4. 104
    Angela Brooks is from says:

    I was so excited to see there is a Beth Moore Blog! I have enjoyed reading over it this afternoon.
    I am looking forward to getting updates as they come out.
    Blessings to you Beth!

  5. 105
    Jackie Sue says:

    Thank you Amanda for those words. I needed to hear them. Could you make an endless loop tape that will run through my head for the next 11 days? 🙂 I also truly appreciate your vunerability. It takes a humble woman to admit she started the fight with her sister….oh how I do love a humble young person…(wait, if I tell you you are humble then I might make you proud of being humble, oh well, nevermind that then )

  6. 106
    North Carolina Gran'Ma says:

    Amen, siesta!! Something to take to heart!

    It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the decorating, gift-buying, etc. and totally forget the reason for the season….Jesus!

    It’s good to be reminded. Thank you!

  7. 107
    Bev Brandon says:

    We finished Breaking Free today. TRUTH. TRUTH. TRUTH. This morning in my QT, God spoke to me through II Cor. 3:17 where the Spirit of God is, there is FREEDOM and I even posted about it this a.m. He also spoke to me this a.m. through Isa. 61:1-3 that we are for the display of His splendor…then I came to my beth moore bible study and there were both of those verses showing up…my beautiful God showing up…31,273 verses and God brings those two words to me today…ones you wrote about a decade ago. Simply amazing and I am over here in Benbrook shouting TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH!

  8. 108
    In Awe says:

    I am at peace now, this Christmas. As we speak my Grandfather is dying of cancer. He has lived a full life and is ready to go the only problem was he didn’t know Christ as his savior and he didn’t want anyone talking to him about it. The prayer warriors have been working overtime praying for his salvation and for a confirmation so the rest of his family would know we would see him again on the other side. Last night my aunt went in to him and he was awake and lucid(a rarity). He said, “The most wonderful thing just happened. I saw all of the church people who have been praying for me. I saw all of their faces. They all knew. I saw the streets of heaven. It was so much more then you could ever imagine.” He kept saying, “it was so much more!” Our God is amazing! Thank you Lord!

  9. 109
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Thank you for that reminder! My life is about to get crazy with a big Christmas party and shopping and our church’s children’s Christmas program. What you’re saying is I shouldn’t freak out if everything isn’t perfect! Thank you! Cause I probably would have even though Saturday is supposed to be fun for me and my husband! Who cares if I don’t have the perfect outfit! Thank you again!

  10. 110
    Bev Brandon says:

    He Himself is our Peace. Eph 2:14
    No Props.

  11. 111
    Melinda says:

    Ran across this today and thought it was perfect as another comment for this post:

    Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
    Calvin Coolidge

  12. 112
    Gena-mi says:


    As a 40something mom — been there- done that! And at times, it’s still hard not to try to “create” memories instead of letting them happen! I have brass stocking holders that spell out PEACE on my mantel. One year, when life was especially hectic, I left them up for months after Christmas. My visual reminder from the Lord for peace to dwell in my home and for me to “be still” before the Lord.

  13. 113
    Anonymous says:

    As an “older mom” I have a calmer perspective than I did a few years ago. A few thoughts…

    You & your family get to decide how God is leading you to celebrate His Son’s Birthday…you don’t have to listen to anyone else! (or magazine or TV show…)

    Your kids remember the fun…and the funny goof-ups.

    Tradidions can be new each year, each “season” of your life, or handed down. Focus on Jesus, family, sharing and fun.

    Serve healthy food whenever posssible (to offset all the delicious sweets ; )

    Attend a Christmas musical or event at another church – a fun way to see the Body of Christ beyond your own church walls.

    When planning events, ask others if they would like to draw names, not exchange gifts, order pizza instead of cook, etc. Be willing to start the “let’s make this easy” conversation.

    Use any shortcut you can find – did you know Pillsbury now makes sheets of cookie dough – you can be decorating in only 3 minutes and NO clean up!

    Merry – and Peaceful – Christmas Siestas!

  14. 114
    Caren says:

    I definitely feel the need to make everyone’s Christmas memorable. I go into the season with the goal of simplicity and come out on the other side frazzled and worn out. I’m not sure where the shift occurs. Isn’t it just like Satan to be subtle and keep us busy so we take our eyes off Jesus.

  15. 115
    christy in AL says:

    Thanks for the PEACE reminder. Definitely came just exactly when I needed reminded. Refocus on JESUS! Thank You!

  16. 116
    maryflys says:

    Your words are so true here in Oklahoma where we are sitting in the dark for the fourth day. I woke to power and now have a house full of family to share light and warmth with. It is anything but peaceful and the decorating isn’t finished, but the joy is deep and the thankfulness is running stronger than Rudolf on a cold winter’s night. Peace and joy to you all.


  17. 117
    Detroit Jennie says:

    Well said.

    Amen. Praise the PRINCE OF PEACE.

  18. 118
    Anonymous says:

    I think you hit it on the head, Amanda. I think God intended to be clear with His Peace theme for the season, so it seems like we really ought to put some deliberate thought and action into making that evident in our lives and homes. The peace of the season is my favorite thing, but it certainly has taken some counter-culture(counter family, even!) steps to make it happen and we’re still working on it. I’m with Betsy and the year round shopping and mailing at the end of November. It makes going to the mall or any store either unnecessary or not so frantic feeling. We also told our parents that they could get the children ONE gift for Christmas (we also buy one gift for each child)- we did have to clarify that as they seemed to misunderstand that one gift and a bunch of stocking stuffers didn’t count and neither did a lot of gifts in one box. They love it now, and they know that they can do what they want throughout the year to build the relationship with the children (we move every few years and never within 10 hours). Anyway, thank you Amanda for encouraging us with your words to stay the course.
    Blessings- T.G.

  19. 119
    Stephani says:

    Amanda– I needed that word! Some many times I get caught up in all the details. I will fight for some PEACE this season! Merry Christmas.

  20. 120
    Kristi B. says:

    Thank you for this reminder what this season is really all about.
    I just keep thinking of the words of our Lord, “Peace be still.” I want to take time to just be still and to be filled.

    Love ya
    Kristi B.

  21. 121
    Marion says:

    It is so funny that you are writing about this, because a week ago, I also wrote a post much like this one.

    Now a week later, I have forgotten my own words and find myself getting stressed over finding time to address Christmas cards and bake for my neighbors. I needed this post to remind myself of my frame of mind just a week ago! Thank you so much for sharing and for letting the Lord use you to get me back on track!
    Seeking His Heart,

  22. 122
    hdpickle says:

    Wow!!! I have just (as in Dec. 1st) moved into my first home… I am single, in my 30’s and NEVER thought i’d be doin this alone 🙂 BUT GOD…. I have been sooo blessed!!! to top it off i work with High school students that did an amazing job of moving me in… and their question… when are you putting your tree up??? are they kidding?!!! I did purchase a garland for my mantle that i will place my homemade nativity set from my grandmother that passed on this year up there with the pine cones and all. Thanks again for the rememberance of peace… as i get ready to travel to the “rents” home, i really want the peace i have now to carry over into that… I also am doing the Jesus the one and only devot. and guess what i get to read on Christmas morning??? (yes i counted ahead) HE IS RISEN!!! how much more appropriate to read his resurrection on his Birthday… Let us never forget!!! Peace to you all…

  23. 123
    Anonymous says:

    Amanda Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth to you also and my J O Y to your family this year.

    Love ya,

  24. 124
    bunny h says:

    Amanda, thank you for sharing about peace, I am right there with you girlfriend! That is truly what we are focusing on this Christmas also and I love the verses you used and plan to use them also this season. So, here’s to all our families having a peace filled Christmas keeping our eyes focused on the PRINCE of PEACE!!

  25. 125
    Anonymous says:

    The JOurney Continues in PEACE ~

    We sold our home of 16 years ~ A Queen Anne Victorian 4000 square foot dream that I raised my precious ones in and wanted to be the “perfect” mom and hostess to others. Infact, I just received an email from the buyer of our home asking me if I would send her interior photos of my past decorations because she has met many people in the town that keep “bragging” on my decorating abilities. I actually felt embarrassed about it. I had tree’s from the outside entry to the 3rd floor. all decorated in different themes, my home looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting! They used my home for tours and director/producers of 2 different films wanted to use our home. I hosted atleast 4 parties during the Christmas season each year. I had all my presents decorated with bows and the perfect gift tag. I had children parties making gingerbread houses, bake cookies, etc… 2007 Is a new year! My husband and I have moved to a small home overlooking the ocean on the central coast and my decorations are not the same. we have taken our two college sons for a week of shopping and fun in San Francisco, next week we will celebrate PEACE and FAMILY at Disneyland. We are attending instead of giving the parties this year. Our sons told me as we were traveling down highway 101 in California. ” It sure is great being together as a family” Amazing, how our children let us know what is truly important! BEING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY! We need to learn PEACE and WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT! I am singing it too.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
    With ” Heaven Bound” Blessings,
    Kim Safina ~ Cayucos, CA.

  26. 126
    Jai says:

    We are believing God for a healhty pregnancy and adoption this Christmas and it has really helped me to get in the right heart and frame of mind. Mary and Joseph were awaiting Christ’s birth. They had to be excited with loads of emotions running through them at every moment. Then, the big census and the traveling right when she was due. This was the Christ child, the Mesiah who each generation had anxiously awaited and met death without! What a big deal! I know we celebrate it at a different time of year, but it’s still Jesus’ birthday. We should make a big deal over this season!

  27. 127
    Shelley says:

    Hi Girls! I just wanted to leave a link to my online journal because this very topic of Peace is something the Lord has been teaching me much about during an extremely challenging time in my personal life as it pertains to painful choices made by someone very, very dear to me. I hope it will bless and encourage you. I am so thankful for our Immanuel–God with us: who never leaves us, never forsakes us, never abandons us, and never overlooks us. May we all experience the Peace that passes all understanding during this Christmas Season!

  28. 128
    Reilyth says:

    Well thank you very much for sharing this. It is very uplifting and encouraging. I fight for peace each day and I fidn it that I lose the battle because I fight too much and then peace is the least on my mind, how sad! I am trying to tame this very human nature of mine that compells me to make everything perfect. I constantly struggle with the “if I had a bigger home” thought. I have to constantly remind myself how blessed I am for having a home, a tiny one, but still a home. A home is where God is! When I let God in my home is the most beautiful one and couldn’t want more.
    In Christ,

  29. 129
    Anonymous says:

    This is a day when I told my husband – “this holiday is getting out of hand”. Thinking we have to get this person x-amount for a gift, because they spent x-amount. URRRGGGHHH. Your post hit me square in the face. Not once this week have I taken time to reflect on the true reason we celebrate. I have the cutest little Nativity set that is little children dressed in those clothes of long ago. Instead of passing by it…I need to sit and reflect on it.

  30. 130
    Gayle says:

    Hello my sweet sisters…just wanted to drop by to say that I have been missing you. Hope that you are having a blessed Christmas season. I am so thankful for all of you…

  31. 131
    Janice says:

    It looks like today is the 1 year anniversary of the blog. Congratulations! Love y’all!

  32. 132
    Anonymous says:

    What an awesome reminder!! I too often fall into the trap of trying to create the perfect Christmas for others – the last two years it was for my cousins who lost their mom a couple of years ago – as if a great Christmas would make up for their loss.

    I had already decided that I’m really going to try to make this Christmas about who it should be about…thanks for the reminder. 🙂 What a wise reminder that we should be after peace!!!

    Love and peace to you!!

    Cynthia in OK

  33. 133
    Anonymous says:

    Just a note, shopping at the Local Hobby Lobby saw 9 aisles of Christmas decor and 1/2 of 1 aisle was for Nativity display, saw less than that at Target, Jesus was most likely born during the Spring anyway and the whole thing (Christmas) has less of Christ himself in it all the time. I love Christmas and the love and the gifts but as Christians we are going to have to live Christmas everyday as our modern culture seems to prefer just a holiday! Shalom and Merry Christmas

  34. 134
    Living Beyond says:

    Fabulous posts – just love it all!!

  35. 135
    carolee in colorado says:

    Hello friends,
    I had decided to make my 2008 WORD FOR THE YEAR to be peace!!!!
    So your comment was perfect confirmation! Thanks so much.
    this is my first BLOG response.
    Much love,

  36. 136
    Marystwinsnkids says:

    This response is a little late because I’ve been so busy with the Holiday rush that I haven’t checked the blog! Thanks for reminding us to set aside the presents, the parties, the shopping to focus on Christ.

  37. 137

    Excellent info so I would like to back-link on it keep it up, well done,

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