Peace defined by Children

 

As I was typing my first draft of this post I was joined (distracted) by two kids who came knocking on the door of the cabin I currently call home. It was an admittedly welcomed distraction. The first thing I asked them was to define Peace for me. I wasn’t sure what answers I would get from a thirteen-year-old and a six-year-old, but their answers made me smile.

The thirteen-year-old talked about a sense of calmness, sort of like a sigh of relief. I liked this image quite a lot. Thinking of when everything around me starts to go crazy and then once it’s over taking a deep breath. A sense of peace really does wash over you. It makes me think of  Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s such a simple thought and yet it brings such a sense of peace and calmness knowing that we can simply put our trust in Him, and He will take care of it all.

Now the six-year-old responded with a response that was a bit confusing to me at first. When I asked him what peace meant to him, he said “God’s Love”. I responded, “What?” and he repeated, “God’s Love, sharing God’s Love!”. Now it made more sense to me.   God’s Love is the definition of peace. How do we find peace? Through God’s Love. How is peace even a possible concept for us to feel? Because of God’s never-ending love for us.

I feel blessed knowing that even though I’m a leader, and I teach different things to other people, that I can also be on the other side of the spectrum as a learner. Learning things, and realizing that people have different viewpoints, opinions, and ideas, is one of my favorite things.

Until next time,
– Sarah

GUEST BLOGGER: Finding Peace

Bringing you another introduction to preface an awesome guest blogger post! This month’s guest is Kayla! Kayla worked with Christi and I this past summer at Camp Sandy Cove where she was in charge of all things pool (and then some). I loved every time I had to lifeguard a little bit more because it meant I got to spend time in Kayla’s presence. She’s fantastic and is going to do incredible things. This is her first ever blog post, and I can’t wait for you all to hear what she has to say! -Sarah

Finding Peace

Every morning I am in a rush out the door, I try to find enough time in my day for a decent amount of sleep and time to get everything accomplished on my to do list. I am constantly thinking about upcoming assignments, my work schedule, keeping in touch with my family, and making sure my friends still know I am there for them! I am sure you know that overwhelming feeling that can flood your mind at times and is sometimes difficult to drain. When I find myself in this situation I think to myself, “there is no point worrying about the things I cannot change,” As Philippians 4:6-7 reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” I ask God to take care of those things and trust in Him that He will. After this thought goes through my mind, that is when I find peace.

Peace:

  • Freedom of war
  • Tranquility
  • Mental calm
  • Harmony

Peace is a universal concept yet everyone may have his or her own way to define it. Even for me it has multiple definitions; peace is a place, a state of mind, security, and stillness. How do you define peace?

Peace is somewhere I can go to get away from my extremely busy life. Most often I find peace in my truck as I am driving to class, work or the gym. I am thankful to have a peaceful place, which I visit multiple times a day. Peace plays through my speakers while the hustle and bustle of my college campus surrounds me. As I sit at the stoplight I watch the students hurrying by trying to cross the street before my light turns green. I hear a lyric break through the static on the K-luv station “be still and know that he is God.” I am reminded of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” If peace could scream it would scream this verse but instead you must seek peace in order to find it.  So often in life, we are distracted by the hundreds of things going on in our day that we forget to be still.  This verse reminds me of the power God has, letting it be known He is lifted to the highest power on earth and in heaven! Knowing the most powerful force loves me feels like a security blanket. By trusting in the Lord you too can have that comfort that He has a clear path for you, to not worry about the things you can not change but find peace in that your plan is specific for you. Lean on the Lord for guidance and strength and you can find peace within. I want to encourage you to find peace throughout your day, reminding you to talk to thank God, give your worries to Him and seek comfort through Him.

May you find Peace,
Kayla

Find our guest blogger on the internet:
instagram: @k4yyyyl4
snapchat: @kkaylabbrand

Peace of Repentance

When I take a step back and look at this world, my life, the things that surround me, peace is not exactly something I think of or immediately see. The news tells of acts of violence, day to day life brings a variety of trials, doing life with those around me often times does not result in peace but is messy and hard. This got me thinking what exactly I define “peace” as and how in the world am I going to write a couple blog posts about it.

And I didn’t know if that answer would come in time for this post and then I slowly began to find a different understanding of peace. An understanding of what peace is not. If I am honest, learning my understanding of what peace is not had me quite frustrated and I have struggled to put this post into words. This past week I have asked God to show me what His peace is. What it feels like. Where it comes from. How does one attain it. At first, He did not reveal anything and again, I got quite frustrated.

Until one night after photographing a concert for Ginny Owens. The show went a lot later than expected and I already was under the weather and fighting a cold, so the volunteer coordinator let me leave the show early. I was walking out of the venue and in the background heard the words “Jesus thank you for the fire” being sung. This got me thinking…a lot.

I live over an hour away from the venue and had lots of time to think and process. I admitted with a slight chuckle that I do not thank God for the fires in my life because they just are not fun and are often chaotic and overall just hard seasons to walk through. I asked God to humble my heart and what turned into a prayer for a sister of mine, resulted in a prayer from the deepest parts of my heart asking God for help, forgiveness, comfort, guidance, and ultimately to give me His peace. I came to realize repentance was missing in my world, thus my lack of peace was because there were parts of my heart I didn’t want God inside of. I started to put to words what peace is not:

Peace is not the absence of chaos.

Peace is not a life void of trials.

Peace is not always a quieted mind.

Peace does not always come in a stilled soul.

As these understandings of what peace is not started to fall into place, I began to comprehend what peace is to me. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was preparing for community group with my church later that evening, we were having a relatively chill night around a campfire and devoted the night to prayer, looking at the crucifixion of Christ, and reading a couple verses in Philippians. The two verses were the flip side of the peace equation I was trying to solve….check it out…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Peace is that still small voice inside my heart that whispers the promises of truth in the midst of chaos.

Peace is feeling when my trials seem to overtake me that then gives me the courage to take one more step toward the finish line.

Peace is when my minds won’t stop racing and my heart is overwhelmed, but falling into the arms of Jesus

Peace is when my soul is all stirred up and that faint whisper reminds me to rest and be still.

To me, peace can be found in the quietest places of the forest or the craziest parts of our lives. Peace is that still small voice in my heart that reminds me of what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable in God’s eyes. Peace comes when we are obedient to Christ, when we repent of our sinful ways and turn to the cross, then sprint back into the arms of the Prince of Peace.

Since that car ride home from the concert, no circumstances in my life have changed, but my perception of them has. I am overwhelmed with peace because God has tuned my ears to hear His voice above the noise and chaos in my heart. Wherever you are, find a place to be still and ask the Holy Spirit to incline your ear to His voice, to bring conviction and lead you in repentance, to take you back to Christ. And then rest there. It’s a beautiful place to be.

I hope you find peace this week. Go be with Jesus and ask Him for it

~Christi

 

Companionable Silences

April is upon us which means we are changing gears from Joy and heading into Peace! 

I can’t recall the first time I heard the term ‘companionable silence’. But this simple term has explained so much to me. Think of it this way: you are sitting in a room with a few of your favorite humans when a sudden silence washes over the group. It’s not an awkward pause, where thoughts come rushing to your mind of “Oh gosh, someone better say something soon. Should I say something? Did we run out of things to talk about?”. It’s not a deafening silence, where all that you can hear is nothing, and the nothingness begins to drive you crazy. It’s a companionable silence, where a sense of peace wells up inside you and you realize that your friendship is growing stronger by purely existing with those other people.

This term ‘companionable silence’ has become one of my favorites. I was standing on a mountain with four of my college friends in North Carolina when I first realized it to be true. There we all were coming down the mountain, and the sun began to set. A couple people stopped just to look at something and then we all ended up stopping, and just standing in almost complete silence together. Nothing needed to be said. I was at peace.

I like to think that these companionable silences that bring this sense of peace don’t have to come solely from instances where you’re with other people. There are times when I’m outside by myself where I just take a deep breath and simply exist. I sit and observe the world continuing to happen around me, but I forget about responsibilities and stressors and just focus on existing in that moment. No music, or electronics, or other distractions. Just me.

Even in those times when I’m alone, I know that the sense of peace I feel comes from believing that I’m never truly alone. That ‘companionable’ aspect is still there because Jesus is right there existing with me. I’m safe. I’m alive. I am at peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says that in every season there is a “time to be silent and a time to speak”. So much can be said in just a moment of silence.

Until next time,
Sarah