Friday, February 8, 2008

That Elusive Fruit: PEACE

I so looked forward to today. I planned yesterday to spend a couple hours alone so I could write. Dealing with relationship issues, illnesses, politics, and weather...I'm tired today! I needed peace and a semblance of quiet, so I came to the new Panera restaurant in town.

We had a small crisis last night. Our three-year-old grandson touched the handle of the cast-iron fireplace insert and burned his fingers. I scooped him up and ran to the kitchen sink (loosing a slipper in the frenzy) and put his hand under the cold water. Our sink is on the outside wall and during the winter our water is wonderfully icy. Our grandson held his hand under the water bravely, tears still streaming down his face. He had enough after about two minutes and we went to sit on the sofa. My daughter brought a popsicle for him to hold, but it was melting quickly so I told her to find something else...a frozen juice can. After a bit more whimpering to make sure we knew he was still hurt, he became fascinated in the can of juice and started trying to "freeze Nana." He asked to have the popsicle back to, in his words "make me feel better," the episode was all but forgotten to him. Meanwhile, I could feel the aftermath of the adrenaline surge draining my energy away. When my husband called on his way home from men's Bible study, I related the events to him saying, "the crisis lasted about five minutes." He replied, "We seem to have a lot of 5-minute crisis'."

Life doesn't have to be full of major issues to leave one physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. A series of unrelated small problems piled on top of one another is just as debilitating as one big problem. Maybe even more so. With a big problem, you get the initial shock, experience the anxiety of anticipation, and then resign yourself to settle in for the long haul. Small problems that come at you one after the other bring on stress of a different sort. You get broadsided momentarily, handle the problem, get on with life and then BAM!, another one hits. The anxiety of worrying about when the next problem is coming robs one of the peace necessary for living abundantly.

I read "Streams in the Desert" by Mrs. L.B. Cowman as part of my daily Bible study. Look how amazing today's devotion related to this topic of peace:

"Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and cast aside all anxious thoughts and worries." ~ Francis de Sales

There is only one way to gain true peace. It has to come from God. Our nature is to worry, fret, and try to solve our problems on our own. God is the source of solutions... He is the cultivator of the fruit we are trying to grow spiritually: "The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace." ~ Psalm 29:11

I have come to the decision that it's time to simplify: my home, my projects, my web presence. After two weeks of being unable to access the website I pay for along with the two and a half months I couldn't access my email with that same site, I'm done. I'm trying to recover the writings posted there. I'm transferring everything to this blog. I'm keeping my homesteading blog because there are some things that are just more fun to share with like-minded people (those who don't think it strange that I have chickens in my backyard ;-> ). I know I can only focus on God when I let go of the extras that have no lasting value. I can only develop a peaceful spirit when I'm focused on Him.

In His Hands,

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