“May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.”
Jude 1:2 (ESV)
As I come to the end of this beautiful month of October, I am content. In spite of some of the minor setbacks experienced this month, they are not considered unfortunate circumstances whatsoever. In integrity, some opportunities were personally turned down by my soul, while others decided they did not fit me and my fortitude, as one aspect of my personality. Life must move forward with grace and the understanding that if belief is held in the works of God, Jesus, and the Spirit, as Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “there is a time for everything…” and in anytime, I hold on to peace.
When things seem a bit stormy, I often go to the testimonies of core faith to make sure alignment is with each one. I am glad when my adherence to a few is apparent, then I look at the ones that need strengthening and try to find ways that I can be a bit more compliant. In addition, I often seek out core faith queries of any kind to reflect and discern. A borrowed faith query I revisited this month of October asked the questions, “Do you and your family use your free time in ways that refresh the spirit and benefit mind and body, that encourage creativity and friendliness? Is your home a pleasant, peaceful place?”
The funny thing is, when I read this query, I was also creating the November calendar representing daily chores, self-care practices, and meaningful events. With my daughter now married and living in Washington, our conversations are not as hurried based on her previous Colorado schedule with friends. I now speak to her and my son-in-law together, in welcomed unhurried conversations. So, in the essence of close friends being family here and in other areas of the United States, the response is yes to the first part of the query. Together as friends, we create, have long and deep conversations, care for each other, protect each other, consider each other, thank each other, and pray for each other. The response to the second question, again, is yes. I consistently find ways to donate what I don’t need, find joy in each day, open windows on pleasant days, set up tea as often as I can, schedule chores so that I am not overwhelmed, only burn eco-friendly bee and bayberry wax candles in the home now, strategically manage phone calls and texts, and devote more time to reading. I am likewise careful with what I watch and listen to, and at least every day, soft music plays on the radio or on Pandora.
Revisiting this query helped me to really view my current life and offered me a better deliverance and understanding of why and how I wait for God, despite occasional obstructions. I always welcome faith queries developed plainly for spiritual exercises of reflection. To let my life speak while way continues to open. And acknowledging more that the Light of Jesus (John 8:12;1 John 1:5) does not guide me to do what I believe is right in my own eyes, but more so, to do what is right in God’s eyes.
The Apostle Paul tells us this:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:5-6 (ESV).
Whenever I read these verses, I remember not to strive for ordinary desires but for desires that create peace within me. With peace in me, I am more able to transmit this peace to others. Peace and ease in speech, in setting examples, and even in my tender quietude. To offer this peace in listening more attentively and allowing this peace into my knowing as I grasp the consciousness of what rules this life I live each day. To move away from the me-first mentality to let God’s Spirit be my guide. To capture and profoundly experience fulfillment, as I consistently remove the need or systems of immediacy. Furthermore, to discredit worries and most conflicts that sometimes seem to seek me out, to test me. To test this fortitude, I speak of. The fortitude, surprising some. This same fortitude, which scares some.
It is challenging to profess the importance of peace when my home is far from showing it. Such as when I don’t take the time to put the airdried dishes away each night; this act that offers more time with God the following day. I am disappointed in myself when I am not aware of water idly running for no purpose other than privileged waste. And it is annoying when I allow ridiculous haste to shake me.
I have many God-led desires, and I have come to comprehend the words of God so much more than when I was a teen, a young adult, and so on. As I shared with my dear friend, who drove over a thousand miles to see me this past summer, there must be intentional time put aside for God within the 24 hours I am given each day. As you view my November 2021 home schedule, there are also notes in which I carve out time to recognize extraordinary moments for both my biological and nurturing adopted families. I likewise try with every effort to be available during the storms, as I am in the triumphs. And I am here even when I am silent. Some characteristics I earnestly hold on to as examples that lead to lasting friendships, remaining acquainted with what love requires of me. Though I know I am not perfect in all aspects, Lord you know I really do try.
Oh gosh! I must bring this to a quick close. Why? Canon and Gigue for 3 Violins & Continou in D Major by Johann Pachelbel just started playing on Pandora. Man! I love this tune! As I listen, I also view squirrels hiding food under one tree in the backyard. Their own displayed peace and satisfaction that all will be okay even when the backyard has more than six inches of snow, I know is right around the corner. Their amusing behavior, so very comforting to watch.
Unquestionably, when we focus on Spirit-goals such as gentleness, less worry, careful guidance, patients, and keen observances, alongside these themes we find the ethos of liberty in our minds providing God’s glorious everlasting peace to move in. For me, this achievement comes in time allocated and spent with Him. In thought of personal experience, it is difficult to justify devoting precious time being anywhere else. Thank you Heavenly Father, for always being near. And, thank you for showing me that behind close doors, there are open doors of your perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
For all the things that bring you peace!
I’ll see you in November,
L Susan Davidson-Davis says
Reflecting on the difficulties all around me this past month, I am heartened by reading your blog, Char. The queries cause me to remember how God’s words sustain you and me in our living, no matter how small my sphere of operation. Thank you!
M.Charlotte Oliver says
Thanks so much for this comment Lillian!
I find that spiritual exercises of reflection to be deeply helpful for me too.
In grace & in gratitude!