Category archives: Peace

A Sunday Contemplation: How Church is Healing Me

I love my church. It's like medicine for my soul. I get bruised up a lot during the week. I go to church to heal. Maybe you wouldn't know I was healing if you looked over at me. Because usually I'm crying. But, crying is the way I heal. It's this great, frustratingly necessary release. It's funny though because it's really hard for us to get to church. At least, it's hard for us to get to church at a reasonable time. Brent and I had a spat about this on the way to church. Which means that we got to church but we arrived there frowning and ready to cuss. We've learned by now just to go there anyways. And we're learning that we don't have to pretend like everything is okay once we get there. But usually just seeing our other struggling-along friends that somehow managed to make it the[...]

When You Want To Enter the New Year With a Quiet, Peaceful Heart

It matters what we do with a year. Let me back up. It matters what we do with our days. With our hours, our little ordinary moments here and there. It matters how we spend them. What we fill them up with. And I don't mean to instill any frantic feelings in us. I've had enough of those. I don't want us to scramble around and try so hard to impact the world and succeed at life, with a frenetic, worried, angsty kind of energy. I know that all too well. It doesn't bring a lick of peace. Just like that ancient prayer writer once wrote in a song up to God, "Teach us to number our days, (to realize the brevity of life) that we may gain a heart of wisdom," (from Psalm 90:12), I want us to be aware that time does move forward and we don't get any of these moments back. So, it matters. [...]

How to Cast Your Cares on Jesus

If you’re alive, then you have some things you’re carrying around. Some things that crush in on your heart, that cause you some angst or maybe a great deal of pain, even. Probably things you can’t control, or else you would, and you’re not quite sure what to do with them. In fact, you might be so busy that you don’t even know all the things that are there. You just walk around with this gnawing sense that something is there, always there, and it’s crowding out any semblance of joy you once had and infringing on your ability to relax, ever, and take deep breaths and enjoy your life. Or perhaps you do know exactly what the thing is that’s bugging you, keeping you awake at night. Maybe it’s that one strained relationship that causes your heart to be sore every time you think of it a[...]

What to do on the hard days

Some days start out pretty hard. Well, not hard compared to the friend who is battling cancer, or the neighbor who just lost their job. And not hard compared to the folks who don’t have enough to eat or the ones on the other side of the world who are being kidnapped and murdered by that terrorist group. Not that kind of hard. But hard to you, because there are just things that are difficult in the day to day where you are actually living. You know, with the kids who keep fighting and that one room you had resolved you would for sure finally clean today but for the life of you, you can’t seem to make any progress…on anything. Because soon as you get to work, someone gets whacked with a toy truck and another gets into the treats in the pantry and someone just made a big ol[...]

The One Thing That Can Keep You Stable Today

Isn’t it strange how you can be going along in life, just plugging away at all your regular things you do, like sweeping cheerios and dried peanut butter toast up off the floor, and loving your kids and trying to stay connected to your spouse, all the while this anxious stuff is quietly piling up there inside your chest? At first you're blissfully unaware. Because you’re busy and so you think you’re doing just fine. Meanwhile, you skim headlines on the news and your friend writes to tell you her world is falling apart, and a few friends ask you to do them a favor, and the kids keep making messes and you can’t find that one bill, and you’re laying there in bed at night, tired as can be, but for the life of you, you just can’t fall asleep. And this happens more frequently until one[...]

For the Free Spirits: Why Making a Plan Isn't Such a Bad Thing

These northern winters, I've watched a lot of snow fall. I've sat for long amounts of time, just gazing up into the sky, seeing which way the snowflakes go. Did you know snowflakes don't fall straight down? Each one of them is born on the wind, so they tumble this way, at first, and then they swoop up and twirl around a bit, before wafting slowly, slowly down to their resting place. I read the whole book of Galatians this morning because I was so hungry for it and utterly captivated and it spoke to me a lot of following the Spirit. I learned once that being born of the Spirit is kindred to the ways of the wind. (John 3:8) You can't see the wind, where it comes from or where it's headed next, but you can hear the movements of the breeze. The way it lifts the branches and rustles thro[...]

For All the Mommas of the House Wreckers (How to Keep Going, and Keep Loving)

I’ve got this one kid in particular who just happens to be a real house-wrecker. (Well, they’re all house wreckers but this one…he’s just the worst.) He doesn’t mean to be, I don’t think. It’s just they all seem to go through this exploratory stage right about the time they’re two whole feet tall, and they really do need to examine every single content in the Tupperware drawer. And this kid, he gets a strange compulsion to pull every article of clothing out of the chest of drawers, say oh, five times a day to see if that one pair of underwear will fit around his scrawny little head. And then he notices the strangest things. Like that one pile of laundry in the bathroom, that looks an awful lot like that other pile of clothes over there by Daddy’s closet. So I suppose he de[...]

On Finding Peace in the Pandemonium

There are some moments that are just so beautiful, they hurt. Like, Saturday morning moments, when my little girl in her mismatched pajamas wakes up early enough to go with her Daddy to retrieve donuts. She's got this certain little grin on her face and that extra bit of glimmer in her eyes because she gets to ride in the Jeep with Daddy and surprise her brothers with overly sprinkled sugary goodness when they wake up. I had stood there by the front door and watched them go as the sun came up over that rustling corn field back behind the neighbor's house. There were just enough clouds to make the light soft and pink and the sun a round smear across the sky. Yes, there are some moments when I can feel the worth of my soul. When the edges of my heart bump up against the nearness of[...]

For the Anxious Hearted: A Song of Peace

Today I had this anxious heart. It was all tied up in knots and I knew that I could keep knocking out my to-do list at this frantic pace, or I could just come away and be with Jesus for a minute. I chose to come away and be with Jesus. I spilled out my guts to Him and then opened up His Word to Colossians 3 and I began to pray those things into my life. I let His Word make its home inside my heart and I praised my God. Then I sat still in His Presence and breathed deep and let Him calm and quiet my soul. God's perfect love flooded out all my fears. Then I sat on the couch and sang. This is what I sang: I don't know if you've got an anxious heart all tied up in knots, but if so, well, consider this me singing to you. Little heart, why are you troubled? Why do you walk aroun[...]

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