read to feed the soul

Written by FBJ Women for Women

by: Camille Anding

Prince of Peace or Chaos

With a lot of wisdom, Booth Tarkington said, “Cherish all your happy moments. They make a fine cushion for old age.” In the past few days I’ve been relishing some Christmas memories through my collection of decorations, and that brings up another Christmas memory – a new one.

Our daughter, Tahya, and her girls surprised us with a time-saving early Christmas present right after Thanksgiving. Their family returned from a family trip to Birmingham before Othel and I did, and those three females pulled every Christmas box from the attic (a multitude) and also set up the Christmas tree.

When Othel and I walked in, the counter tops, table, and shelves were lined with wise men, nativity scenes, angels, garlands, wreaths, trees, and a pint of gold and silver glitter scattered about! You see, our attic stairway is tall and steep, so they saved us lots of hazardous ups and downs – a thoughtful gesture indeed.

However, the Christmas hurricane that had settled on our living and eating quarters needed immediate attention. Last year’s routine of slowly emptying and placing one box of decorations at a time was quickly eliminated.

Othel laughed out loud as we meandered through the congestion of Christmas in our den and kitchen. Since he was the prime mover of the Christmas boxes, I knew he was laughing from pure joy and relief. I was relieved, too, but all of my Christmas treasures looked like chaos mixed with clutter.

Tahya called and asked, “Surprised?” Then she laughed with me, “I know it’s a mess, but we meant it for help. I hope you understand that. We would have tried setting it up where you wanted it, but we couldn’t remember what went where.”

I assured her that the gesture was an early Christmas gift and would make me shift my gears into high – and it did. Within a couple of days, Christmas, not chaos, had settled in our home. I’ve thought back over our walking into that shock of clutter and felt conviction. Haven’t I been guilty of Christmas clutter – taking the treasured story and sandwiching it in between parties, traffic frustrations, long check-out lines, greedy shopping, and exhausting cantata rehearsals?

All of that has somehow become a part of this generation’s Christmas celebration. God is the best at taking our clutter and chaos that we call “Merry” and making it “Holy” because He always knows “what goes where” and will show us if we ask.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

Prince of Peace, thank You for “sorting” our lives into paths that please You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Camille Anding

Camille Anding


  • Camille Anding is a child of God since age 12.
  • Wife of 53 years to Othel; mother to Tahya and Eli;l grandmother to seven grandchildren and two great-grands.
  • Retired from photography business with Othel. Now carry cameras on their travel adventures.
  • Freelance writer, regular contributor to Hometown magazines, and dedicated to living “my utmost for His highest.”