Ah, the Elusive Character Quality of Peace

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What do you think of when you hear the word peace? No war/world peace? Serenity? Yoga? An early morning hike? An undisturbed cup of coffee?

We all attach different connotations to the idea of peace. Yet, it is something God tells us we can possess through Him. He calls us to pursue a life of peace, especially in our interactions with others.

Confession:
I decided last week that peace would be a fitting character quality to focus on in our families during December because the chaos of the holidays can sometimes leave us thread-bare and caught in the snare of materialism. However appropriate the quality of peace seemed, I must confess I woke up quite stressed this morning. Last week was a very busy week for us, full of wonderful opportunities, but also great challenges. My husband was exhausted, and I felt like my legs could give out under me. We both collapsed asleep last night, Mitch anticipating a much needed and true day off on Monday (today), and me chasing my mental to-do list in circles. I am blessed with a flexible schedule, but I never feel like I truly have a day-off. Do any of us really?

Anyhow, I tossed and turned all night and woke up at 5:00 AM to a bed of knotted sheets and worries that kept circling like vultures in my mind. When my alarm sounded a while later, I turned it off and hid from my day. Do you know what I am talking about? The days you pull your sheets over your head and pretend it’s not morning? Well, I did that today. But my brain kept churning: we have to figure out health insurance today, how are going to budget for ______, we need to call so-and-so, I need to get groceries, I have to puree pumpkin, coordinate this, etc. It even (sadly) stressed me out that I had not had time to write this blog post over the weekend, and I was going to be late posting in linkups, on-and-on. It is quite counterproductive to feel stressed about writing a post on peace. . . 

As I finally drug myself out of bed and wrapped up in my fuzzy robe, I made myself sit down for a short quiet time with Jesus Calling. While reading, it occurred to me that I was trying to solve an unsolvable puzzle, and all the while I was neglecting to turn to the one who not only holds the answer key, but freely offers peace that passes understanding to those who seek Him. I had fallen for another one of Satan’s distracting rabbit trails, this time chasing fear and doubt far away from my source of true peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me (Paul)–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ” –Philippians 4:6-9

I hope from my failures, you can gather that I am journeying toward peace with you. I can’t help but conclude that if I had taken my anxieties to the Lord first, my day would have started out very differently. Now, I am trying to focus, not on my ever present to-do list, but rather things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. (Interesting how pursuing peace is not all that different from pursuing Thankfulness–it is about focusing on God, the source of all good things.)

What does peace mean to you? How do you find peace during the holiday season?

Linked Up at: Fellowship Friday

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