The Pursuit of Peace
This blog has been in the works for weeks! I have been thinking, praying, talking to friends… and I am just today starting to understand what I have been pursuing. At first, I thought it was to choose joy, because my attitude just stinks lately! Then, I realized choosing joy is only temporary, so I started writing a piece called, “Finding Joy.” Well, I kept getting stuck. My attitude was continuously out of whack, and I was not getting any closer to resolving this mood-killer attitude that kept creeping into my life! If you know me well, you know that I never stop! I HAVE to stay busy, work, and check things off my ever-growing list of “things to do.”
Don’t get me wrong, I find pure satisfaction in checking something off my list! Sometimes I am even guilty of living FOR my list! If I have one spot that I can squeeze something in, I do! And don’t get me wrong, they are all great things! Some are even for kingdom building! But, what I have noticed, is that although I get some satisfaction in checking off those “things” on my list… those “things” are keeping me from feeling peace! After talking through things with friends, and most importantly with God, I have come to realize that true joy is unobtainable without peace! So, my blog has now changed to “The Pursuit of Peace.” Because that is what I am failing at in this season of life, and what I am craving to have daily to replace this stinking attitude!
The past few months have been filled with preparing for upcoming festivals, finishing commissioned artwork, and making an ungodly number of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets! I have barely left my art room! I have been consumed with making, preparing, finishing, checking things off my list, and adding just as many to replace them as they go! I love working! I love feeling like I have accomplished something each and every day.
A family member recently asked how I was loving all this new “free time” while the girls were in school. To which I replied, “I don’t even know what that means…”
After that conversation ended, my mind went back to it a few times. I wondered what it would be like, to actually take a day and have “free time,” without being forced to because I was sick…lol! But, to actually take time to just “have fun” or “relax,” instead of exhausting myself by trying to cram all the things into the time the girls are at school… (which is a total of 3 hours before I am back on mommy duty). To be honest, the thought of it terrifies me! The guilt of that list sitting there, unattended, forgotten, during my peak time to finish all those “things.” It is scary ladies! I cannot just leave it all to be done tomorrow…. or can I? Should I?
Today was a new day. I got up, and got the kids out the door with Jon, and sat down for my prayer, scripture, and time with God. Another check off my list.
But not today. Today I decided to not check it off, I decided that this attitude that keeps popping up out of nowhere needs to go! The feeling of “what is wrong with me!?” Because I know I have a great life and I should have a great attitude… that feeling has got to go! But I didn’t know where to start.
So, God took me to Isaiah 66:1-2.
This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my Word.”
After reading through this, my first takeaway was – How can God find a resting place in me, if I don’t even have one for myself!?” And there it was! The revelation of what my REAL issue was to my horrible attitude problem! Clearly, my attitude was coming from a place of unrest. I have been working tirelessly in the flesh, instead of relying on God to give me strength! I have been trying to do it all by myself! Some of the things in my life that are causing unrest have to do with my faith. I have not put complete faith in God during this season; although He deserves every bit of faith that I have, because God has been working behind the scenes, doing some amazing things with my ministries and artwork… so why am I working so hard to do anything more than what He wants for me?
I want God to be able to come into my heart, plop down on my couch, put His feet up and rest! I want to give Him a blanket to cover His feet, and ask Him if He needs a glass of water! I want Him to dwell there and find peace, and rest in my heart! I don’t want Him to come in and see me rushing around, tidying up my whole house while He waits until the dirty laundry is removed from His seat on the couch, or waits for me to check something off my list of “things to do” before I can attend to Him. I want Him to feel like He is the most important thing in my life. I want Him to stay, to have “free time” with me, to have fun, to give me wisdom and guidance. I want to take the time to get to know more about Him! I want Him to feel welcome. And before today, I am not sure I can honestly tell you He could have felt at home in my heart.
All of those “to do” lists, errands, and deadlines have been cluttering up His space, overtaking his spot on my couch. It is time to clear the schedule for Him! And that is what I did today. I cannot tell you the last time I took a bath! But, I did today; and ladies it was fabulous! I shaved my legs lying down! I took my time, I read more scripture, I prayed for my husband, and I made just one phone call, sent just one email. I have so many things on my list that did not get checked off, and guess what? I CAN do them tomorrow! Today, I cried out to God, I wept in His presence, I repented, I received forgiveness! And now, God is at home in my heart sitting on the couch with His feet propped up, bottle of water in hand and a blanket over His feet! But that is not all He shared with me today! Join me next week when I post, “The Pursuit of Peace Part 2” … next week is the meat of it, the part you and I are responsible for being, doing, and feeling. So, please come back next week, as I wrap up this section of scripture for you, and mostly for me.
Thank you for taking time to read my journey to becoming the lesser me. Have a blessed day!