The phrase “peace be with you” is often used in discussions or when you visit a church, but what does it really mean? How does it apply when you are in waiting mode?
This school year has brought several unwanted and unusual challenges, ranging from house repairs to really tough trials for our children. In some cases, they’ve taken over my time and energy entirely and caused me to have to be in get-by mode for a season. The more I fought against it, the more it became evident that this was a time to make things uncomplicated, cut back on involvements, and nestle in with the family. I’ve taken on small projects like cleaning out closets and simplifying our lives, and keep working on writing, but waiting has always been difficult for this Type-A planning kind of person!
Then a friend encouraged me to not wish away this time in life.
I’ve been thinking about what that means, and how I could revisit corners of peace amidst the chaos right now. Besides health and exercise, what could I do to change my own outlook and begin to cherish even the steep hillsides of challenges on my to-do lists?
First, I made room for the messiness of it all.
My heart broke saying no to invitations to speak or social events, but a back-to-basics approach was deeply in order. My children have needed me in a new way and it’s led to special moments of connection amidst the extra classes we’ve been taking for one child. One thing we’ve done is tried to gather several times per week for a visit about what’s going on for each of us and read a book all together. I never expected to enjoy those moments so much. Our times of laughter and connection really grow out of playing a game, sharing insights about our reading, praying about concerns, or just simply “being” together a bit more often. I love this measure of peace. It’s glue that holds us close when the daily tensions of deadlines or school projects could cause deeper ripples of doubt and exhaustion.
Second, I simplified my priorities.
When stressful times come, sometimes just keeping the basics going like laundry, managing paperwork, and regular upkeep are all that you’ve got room for. My husband and I really talked about how to accommodate the murkiness of this season, and cutting way back was the order of the day.
Third, I’ve chosen one favorite thing to keep nibbling at as time permits.
For me, writing is a balm to the soul, whether fun fiction or deeper nonfiction to help others. I’m loving the recent rainy days in Southern California and simple joy of a fire in the fireplace, adagios or wistful tunes in the background, and a stolen set of hours writing and keeping dreams alive. Even if the time-window is smaller than I’d like, just keeping the dream progressing along is so helpful. Some part of me sighs with fullfilment when I reach into those corners of winter that bring words to the forefront, like sipping a comforting cup of tea or giggling with a friend on the phone. Then I can dive back into the practical things with a bit more joy and a heart that’s ready to give.
Don’t wish away your time of waiting. Then you’ll miss it when the flowers and opportunities begin to bloom!
How do you make peace with the waiting in life? I’d love to hear in the comments below!