|A little oasis, a place for reading in the evening or coffee in the morning!|
This sequence of events led to some days of thinking about peace, and looking at my life and wondering how I could feel peace when all around me seemed to be chaos. The first thing that came to my mind were the words of our Lord-"Peace I leave you-not as the world gives give I to you, but my peace I leave you." I started to think about this more, and realized that a large part of my inner turmoil came from the fact that I have not completely accepted the life that he has given me. I constantly wish for different circumstances (foolish, I know), a nice 9-5 job for my husband without all of the stress and uncertainty of farming, a cleaner, more beautiful home, and so on. I immediately knew that until I accepted with gratitude that I am living the life God has given me, and that he knows what I need to obtain holiness and happiness, I would never be at peace. There is an enormous sense of peace when we can calmly accept what we are given, and then strive to make the most of it-to live the life we are given as best we can. I have been trading the joys of my current situation for the imaginary good of a different way of living. There are days when the farm work keeps me so busy that my house IS a mess. Days when we eat deli chicken and leftovers for dinner, and my husbands wears yesterdays socks.However, this is what I have been given, and I accept it as being from the hand of God. It no longer makes me feel stressed out or angry. I will have all winter to catch up on work left undone, and I am learning what must be done in order for our home to function and what can be left to slide for a week or so.
The second realization I had is that peace is also about how I respond to the events in my life. I can be calm and cheerful, and just deal with things as they arise, or I can work myself in to a frenzy. By driving up the driveway like a mad woman (clouds of dust and gravel churning up from my wheels) I only saved my self thirty seconds, and I had to wash the car that evening. I am trying to cultivate a sweet, calm response to the things that happen in the day. This is hard for me, as I tend to be impatient and react with sarcastic comments.
I have also come to the conclusion that no matter how much work I have, I need to take time to rest. I have been making a point of spending at least half an hour each evening reading to my three younger children under the hickory tree. They love it, and it helps me to feel better about the business of the day, as I worry about them being lost in the shuffle! We end the day on a peaceful note. The evening skies have been beautiful lately, and as we read we watch the hummingbirds dive and chase,and the sweet smell of lilies and roses drifts our way. We have finished The Wind in the Willows, and I have also been reading Robert Louis Stevenson's poems to them.
Yes, peace can be had amidst the chaos of life. I am grateful for peace within my home-for husband and children who speak pleasantly to each other and treat one another with kindness and respect. I am learning how to accept the events of the day with peace, and not to rant and rail (inwardly) about the circumstances of my life. It is a long, hard road to holiness, it is! But I am determined to find peace, and to live each day with joy and gratitude.