Welcome to Day 14 of the Christmas Peace for Busy Moms online Bible study! Today I have a special interview with my new friend Nicole Kauffman. Nicole is a blogger, an aspiring author and a follower of Christ. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her amazing, God-seeking husband and family. She loves to inspire, mentor, read and explore the beauty of God’s creation all around. Visit her at couragehopelove.com or find her on social media (see links below)!
Q: How have you found peace with God because of who He is? Share part of your story with us.
A: My journey to peace with God has been a rollercoaster. Soon after becoming a Christian, my life was turned upside down and I was forced to grapple with a lot of difficult questions. With so much suffering, how could God truly care? Why would he allow such pain in my life? I went through a time where peace with God was nothing more than a faraway concept. It was a difficult season in my life and my faith was hanging by a thread.
But even then, God was working.
He sent people into my life that cared for me in a way that made it impossible to believe God didn’t. I began to learn of God’s true character and the purpose in suffering. The biggest thing that changed this mindset for me was in understanding that my time here is not about me. It’s not about everything going my way, but about my willingness to follow God’s way. And sometimes, God’s way involves suffering. But there is joy in suffering in knowing that my life is glorifying my Heavenly Father.
I have peace with God because of who He is. I know how deeply He loves me and I am confident that through His saving grace I will spend eternity with Him. And that alone gives me strength and peace no matter my circumstances. We must cling to that hope in order to live out the peace that transcends all understanding.
Q: This week we are discussing peace in our relationships. Which relationship in your life brings you the most peace, and why?
A: My relationship with my husband brings me SO much peace in my life and for so many reasons. My husband is the kind of guy who is always peaceful. No matter what is going on around him, he rarely ever lets it get to him. And let’s be real, most of us aren’t like that! He has shown me how to step back and to truly let things go.
He is also always encouraging me to keep my eyes on Christ. Together, through life’s ups and downs, we strive to keep our focus on Christ and to remember that our ultimate purpose is for His glory. When doing this, our relationship fills with peace because no matter what is going on around us, good or bad, we can be assured that God is with us and that He is working.
Finding peace in relationships can be hard. But if you keep Christ above everything, peace will start to fill the space between you and God will do amazing things!
Q: How are you planning to bring peace to your home during the Christmas season?
A: This is a GREAT question. Christmas has become so much about decorating and planning and gifts and while I love all these things, it gets really hard to remember to seek peace. Even though I can keep my focus on the “reason for the season,” we often aren’t reminded to bring peace to our homes during this time.
In order to bring peace into my home I have to be extremely intentional. I will have to continue starting my days with alone time with God (which often gets much harder in the whirlwind of December). I desperately need this if I am to have any bit of peace in my life.
I’ve recently committed to a deeper discipline in studying scripture and in prayer and I definitely notice the days that I don’t spend this time with God. My husband notices as well! It’s amazing how much a deeper connection with our Savior affects our entire mindset and mood!
Q: If you have any challenging relationships, in what ways are you planning to serve as an ambassador for peace this December?
A: Bringing peace into challenging relationships is so much about where my heart is. I spend a lot of time in prayer regarding difficult relationships and I am mostly praying for God to transform me and my attitude. As hard as it is to admit, I know that Christ calls us to deny ourselves and oftentimes conflict in relationship results from selfishness in our own hearts. When I want something from someone, whether it’s a word of love or time out of their schedule, and then I don’t receive it, I’m hurt. And this leads to conflict (even if the conflict remains hidden in my heart).
But I have to be intentional and place these relationships in God’s hands, trusting that His purpose is greater than anything I can imagine at the time. I have to remember that God calls me to love others no matter the circumstances. In constantly surrendering these challenging relationships to God, I can offer my heart to love others and in doing so, become an ambassador of peace.
Q: Do you have any Christmas-related posts? Please share the links with us!
Because this is my first year blogging, I do not have any Christmas posts yet. But be on the lookout come December, because there will be! Here are the links to posts about finding peace which can be very helpful in this Christmas season!
Nicole’s Social Media Links:
Thank you Nicole for this inspiring interview!
Questions for you:
Which of Nicole’s suggestions will help you keep your mind steadfast and result in greater peace?
Referencing Day 14 in the book, how do you plan to gain Christmas peace from your friendships this year?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook author page for your chance to win two giveaways!
Your comments this week enter you to win a copy of Tracie Miles’ book, Your Life Still Counts, which will help you develop peaceful habits. The giveaway for this book will be held Friday, Nov. 18.
Comment on my blog through Dec. 1 and you will be entered to win the grand prize Mom’s Pampering Set, pictured below, to be announced Dec. 2!
This Friday we will share holiday side dish recipes. Please pull out your favorite recipe and be ready to share with the group!
Our theme verse for this week:
Did you experience greater peace from this post? Please share it on social media!
On Thursdays I linkup with #LiveFreeThursday and #HeartEncouragement. Please go to my linkup page to visit these wonderful sites!