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It’s been nearly one full year since the robbery. My mind naturally goes there the closer to the 14th I get. I think of it when I look at the desk we built and every time I put on a pair of earrings.

On Saturday afternoon, a neighbor’s house was broken into. Smashed back slider. All too familiar. Another neighbor’s security alarm was triggered when they were at a party. They had to leave early.

I never expected a move to solve my fears. Obviously it doesn’t matter where a person lives. Crime still exists. I just never expected to revisit my fears with a repeat performance doors away. I’m surprised that anyone would risk this type of selfish crime in this neighborhood with the houses so tightly packed. No one can look outside without having a perfect view of five other houses. There is no easy getaway like our last house.

The depravity of stealing sickens me. Thieves, thugs, and burglars are not doing it because they are desperate for cash. They do it because they have no respect for property or anyone else in the world. Bad things supposedly happen in threes. Here are three instances of stealing in one week.

  1. At Costco – several boxes of Ritz crackers were opened and missing only one sleeve of crackers. There is no understanding for that kind of blatant disregard for moral decency. If you’re that hungry just walk around the corner! They give out free samples at Costco everywhere!
  2. At Lowes – two young men walked into the store and swiped stuff from the nearest counter and then ran outside. A middle aged man chased after them. He came back inside with a look of obvious frustration in his eyes. He didn’t catch them but he was willing to do whatever he could for the employees.
  3. In my neighborhood – not only did someone successfully break into a neighbor’s house but a picture is being circulated on social media with a clear view of a would be thief just before he broke the back slider glass of another home. The alarm was triggered and the police were summoned. The family was home but no one was hurt and nothing was taken.

I don’t want to live in fear. I can’t give in to this type of terrorism. I have my security system and security cameras. Our neighborhood is organizing a neighborhood watch system with the help of the local police department. There isn’t much else to do besides live life.

At church yesterday I realized I was too focused on these neighborhood issues. I felt as nervous as I did that first Sunday after our robbery. So I prayed. I prayed that I could let go of things I cannot control and redirect my focus to the peace found through worship services. At first it was like trying to fall asleep and constantly thinking about not being able to fall asleep! Eventually I listened more than I worried. Soon I felt calm and peaceful.

I can’t control other people or the choices they make. I can only control my reaction. I still have moments of worry and anxiety. I have learned that the more I focus on being present in my own life over worrying about the what ifs I can’t control, the more peaceful I feel. So Heath and I locked ourselves inside after the kids left for school. We piped Christmas music throughout the house and I organized books on the new bookshelf we built in the office.

Life moves on. My enthusiasm for this Christmas season will not be snuffed. I’m not sure why Pentatonix’ cover of Hallelujah is a Christmas song. The song has always made me want to cry. Their version is very powerful and I did cry when it came on today. Not out of fear or sadness or anything other than how powerfully beautiful the song is. At the end of the day, my faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ is all that matters. With that faith I am able to move forward beyond the memory of my worst nightmare, the affects of other’s choices, and any Grinchy response to my favorite time of year. I choose the happiness and peace found through my Savior Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!