Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snow Peaceful ~ a Lesson in Peace. . .

After this post I should officially be caught up, I think? The week before last was amazingly wonderful. Peace fell upon our home in the form of beautiful white flakes of snow. I love rainy days because they are peaceful to me, but snow, oh, sweet snow, it is in a peace class all its own. There is nothing like looking out your window and seeing snowflakes slowly falling and blowing about in a gentle wind. It makes me want to run to my coffee pot and start brewing!!!!



In the stage of life that I am in, peace moments are few and far between. And, because life feels chaotic most days, I crave the peace like never before. I yearn for it. I work for it. I attempt to schedule nap times to make room for it. I conjure up the mood with candles, coffee, calm music, a good book, a soft warm throw, and a fire in the fireplace. And, many of the moments that I try to "make peace," end up with a crying baby who woke up early from a nap, a four year old who needs help with something, or a two year old who just had another "accident." Thus, what was meant for peace actually becomes frustration.


Sometime in December Erik and I were on a date, and we stopped at Barnes and Noble to get Starbucks. While I was waiting on my latte, I saw a quote on a mug that resonated with me, and I took a pencil and the back of a receipt and wrote it down. And, this is what it said. . .


peace.
It does not mean to be in a place where there
is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things
and still be calm in your heart.
Can I just say, "Amen."
For years I have made futile attempts at "peace" all along knowing within myself that peace doesn't come from my environment but rather from my state of heart, mind, and soul. So, after the sweet reminder on that silly little mug, I have been attempting to look at peace differently. And, I am becoming aware of peace in moments that I used to simply overlook.
The week before last was full of these peace moments for me. . .
It began with Joshua having Monday off (teacher work-day). This was a sweet day with lots of brother-love. Here is Joshua reading Frog and Toad to JCT.

And, here are the littles watching the Velveteen Rabbit. . .

In this picture the big "Bubbas," as Eriky D calls them, are quizzing him on what sounds various animals say!!!! They love to do this! Poor kid looks like he is being interrogated!!!

At this point in the week our pond looked like this. . .But, as the week went on, the top of the water froze completely. And, on Thursday when the snow began falling, the pond looked like this. . .

Joshua's school was cancelled both Thursday and Friday!! Woo hoo!!! On Thursday I wrote this in the snow where Joshua could see it out the front door windows when he came downstairs from playing in his room.

We ate french toast with "snow" sprinkled on top for breakfast!! Yum!

Here are some pictures of the boys playing on Thursday. . . Joshua just wanted to go outside and throw the football! He wanted to be like those NFL players who play in the snow!!!! Here is JCT-rex. . .
Lijah was just flat cute. . .And, I was excited that we all had another excuse to wear the boots we bought at Christmas! Here are mine! I love them!The boys threw sticks on the pond to see how frozen it was. The sticks just lay there, so we decided to get down by the pond and hit the ice with sticks and see if we could break it. We couldn't!!! The boys loved it. Later when I tucked Joshua in, he told me that throwing sticks on the pond was his favorite part of the day!!! :-) I was surprised his favorite part wasn't pelting me over and over with snowballs!!!! He seemed to get a kick out of that!!! :-)

JCT ready to throw the first stick. . .


The boys playing with the ice on top of the pond. . .
I love this picture because you can almost see the snowflakes individually. . .


And, I made a discovery on this day. I noticed for the first time that snowflakes are, in fact, beautiful. They look just like they do in pictures and on t-shirts. But, you really have to take time to seek them out and look for them in order to see their beauty. Snow falls in clumps ~ lots of snowflakes grouped together. So, you have to stare into a clump and look hard to see an individual and amazingly beautiful snowflake.

Isn't life like that? If we look at the entire day or even at an hour a time, life seems chaotic and busy. But, if we live life moment by moment we see the beauty of the moment, or for me, we see the peace of the moment ~ because it is there. Yes, it is there ~ if I will relax and stop trying so hard to "make peace" and rather live it in the everyday moments. In case that is confusing or doesn't make sense, here is an example. . .

God whispered this to me one day the week before last. I took the boys outside while it was still snowing so that they could catch snowflakes on their tongues. It was not quiet, or warm, or free from wild activity. I didn't have a cup of warm creamy coffee in my hand ~ nor was there soft music playing in the background. There was no throw to wrap myself in nor a book to read nor a comfy chair to sit in, for that matter. On the contrary, there was a lot of squealing and giggling and loud talking. There were four little ones to watch closely. There was ice on the brick walkway out back, and a one year old who easily loses his balance. There were gloves not yet on cold fingers, and impatient little boys ready to play. There was dancing and singing and yelling and all matter of fun. But, somehow in the midst of it all there was peace. And, God whispered to my hard head that this is what He has been trying to teach me! I didn't have to go seeking after peace. It has been here all along! Peace, Himself, lives inside me! Even though my life looks at first glance like a clump of chaos, if I look closely, if I abide in Him, then I am able to see my life through His eyes and I am able to live out His peace. And, that is as precious and as breathtaking as a single beautiful snowflake!!!!

Peace.

And, as wonderful as external "peace" is ~ a hot cup of coffee, a quiet house, and a good book, internal peace ~ the peace that comes from knowing the Prince of Peace, is far greater!!!!!

6 comments:

jenny said...

I've read your blog for awhile....not even sure how I found it, maybe through "in the midst of it"...can't remember, but I love your sweet spirit and your blog is such a blessing. And this post called me out as a "lurker", and I just had to comment. As a mom with similar age kids (8, 6, and 3) I so struggle with the craziness of the day. Looking back, I realize how "simple" it was when they were all 5 yrs and younger. And now that school is thrown into the mix I feel like there is always something to be done, or someone who needs cared for. This post greatly encouraged my heart and challenged me to find "peace" in the moment. Thanks!

Jenny C.
calcrew.wordpress.com

Tara said...

Such a beautiful post. Just had my third son nine weeks ago and very much needed this reminder. Thank you...

Bev said...

Love the quote - I can so related to it. And love that red hair your boys sport - absolutely wonderful. The boots are pretty darned great too.

Kelly said...

The last sentence made my heart the happiest ^_^ I am going to be a mommy soon and your blog is such a blessing to me. I've been reading it several years now and have just recommended it to my stay-at-home-mom of a sister who needs encouragement. God is doing work through your blog!

Manda said...

Love what you said about seeing the "peace of the moment," Erin. I'm going to think on that one.

Kim... and Her Coffee said...

What a wonderful post. This spoke directly to my heart. A super reminder of important truths about peace. Thanks so much.

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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