All she wanted was peace and quiet

Mama’s whisper was the level of most folks regular voice. There was no whispers from her in church that everyone around didn’t hear. With people in and out of our house, laughter and activity always around, and all mama wanted was peace and quiet.

At the end of the day, she wanted to sit in her chair in the corner of her living room and read the newspaper.

NYX image from Flicker commons

home fades

God-given gifts

There is that kind of peace. It seems to be in diminishing supply in our busy world or maybe busy makes us crave it more. My mother-in-law could sit in their apartment with only the sound of the clicking wall clock. I don’t think we’ve ever had a house that quiet. And to be sure, the clicking of the clock would have had me tossing it out or going crazy. Close call there.

Jesus said the peace he gives isn’t like the world’s peace. We define peace as the absence of noise or the absence of war. If his peace is different from this, then what is His peace?

This is the word that’s impressed itself on me this year. Rather, this is what I think Jesus is wanting me to know:  peace for my restless soul.

You’d have to know me well to know the anxiety that is just below the surface. A few years ago it got to the level that had me in my doctors office hooked up to an EKG machine. My physical heart was fine. Still is. But the inner part of me was on teetering on the edge, every day.

This is not a peaceful life. But how do we live peaceful in this world?

I seem to be gifted with empathy. I often have an understanding of others circumstance without experiencing the same things. It works well in our ministry with people so different from me. But there’s a down side to empathy: feeling more intensely.

And I seem to be cursed with the desire to control things. Like everything: how our dishwasher is loaded, how people should be driving, how fast the lanes in Target should be moving. Things I have no absolutely no control over except how I react. And my reactions aren’t patterned after the popular song, “Let it go”.

I’ve relied on medication from the doctor to help with the physical symptoms this anxiety was causing but I haven’t done my part in facing what I can. There’s always a part for us to play. God may be in control but he desires our cooperation, our willingness to let him lead; our acceptance.

I found Heather Caliri’s blog a couple of years ago and finally subscribed. In her writing, I’ve found a kindred soul sharing her battle with anxiety. She recently offered a short series to her subscribers on dealing with this. One of my key take aways is her suggesting we learn from what anxiety can teach us.

I haven’t been able to change who I am or how I’m wired, but I’m eager to learn from this part of me instead of being controlled by it.

I’ve recited the Serenity prayer with our men. I know how important the line about acceptance is. Now it’s time to make peace with it.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

11 thoughts on “All she wanted was peace and quiet

  1. Annie Rim

    I need to remember this – that the peace Jesus promises is NOT the world’s peace. I can only imagine (faintly) what true peace looks like…. Thank you for these thought-provoking, and oh so timely, words.

    Reply

  2. Megs

    Serenity is a tricky word that I aim to accomplish and most days think I’ve attained …but it sneaks up on me when I truly reflect on the day’s thoughts. Happy Wednesday from the Coffee for Your Heart Linkup.
    Megs

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Yes, it does seem a slippery word to hold on to Megs. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  3. Michele Morin

    I’m also a lover of Heather’s honest writing. Thanks for sharing these thoughts on peace that go well beyond “peace and quiet,” but point to a peace that goes beyond our circumstances.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Some days it’s a scary quest, Michele, but the peace ‘beyond understanding’ is what He wants for each of us.

      Reply

  4. SarahEFrazer

    Praying for you as you deal with this – anxiety is a terrible cloud, but God shines even in the darkness!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Thank you SarahEFrazer and yes, he does!

      Reply

  5. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    Debby,
    I can so relate on the control aspect! On controlling my reactions to aggravations and irritations, that is. With supreme effort I try to ignore all those meaningless things that push my buttons and I’m far less successful than I’d like to be. 🙂 My prayer is to be controlled by the spirit and filled with peace — just as you describe here — I’m joining you friend! xo

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I want to believe it’s one and done but I have to work on it every day. Glad to have you with me on the quest to be filled with God’s peace, Valerie. 🙂

      Reply

  6. hopeful50

    Deb, I had no idea. Prayers, friend.

    Reply

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