Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Finding Peace


Where does your peace come from? How do you find it? Have you found it? These are the questions that have been rolling around in my head the past few years. I crave peace and peaceful living. But what exactly does that look like? 

For me personally peace comes in many forms. One of the ways I experience peace is to walk outside in the woods after a heavy snowfall. Nothing is moving, there is silence and a crispness to the air. All I hear are my footsteps on the frozen ground. Most of the snow has a slight shine to it. Almost like God has thrown glitter onto us. 

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

Finding peace in the midst of chaos is important as well. I mentioned in a previous post that our lives have been turned upside down the past few years. So finding peace became a focus for me. Brewing a pot of tea and sitting in the dining room with soft lights on brings me peace. Where I can just sit and be in the presence of my Heavenly Father. One of the most important lessons I have learned is I have been putting God on a back burner. Only going to Him when I was in trouble, frightened, scared or needed something. It took all kinds of tragedies in my life to bring be running back to Him. I realized that I need Him in ALL things!! 

"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace is also holding onto something that one of my grandparents had. I was blessed to inherit my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother's recipe boxes. I will share more about that in another post. Seeing their handwriting on a piece of paper or a recipe card is a feeling like none other! Our handwriting is one of the only part of us we can leave behind for the next generation. 

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

My peace comes from the Lord! My job is to stop putting God behind me! I need Him to be in front of me always. Guiding me, leading me and protecting me! This is the only way a person will find peace in this world! 

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. in the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

So where are you finding your peace? Are you finding it in things of this world? I strongly urge you to seek your peace in Heaven. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Peace and Quiet


When you think about peace, peaceful, rest, and or quiet what comes to mind? Do you think of still waters? A pond, a brook or creek? Or do you picture sitting in the woods on a cold winters day? There is nothing like a walk in the woods after a snowfall. Everything is quiet and peaceful. The birds are snuggled into their nests, the squirrels are high up in their tree nests, the deer are in the thicket huddled together. The peace that winter brings is why I love living in New York. 

Walking outside after the snowfall is just what my mind needs. Our minds are always going, thinking, worrying and filled with all kinds of troubles. If you don't live where there is snow you can still experience much of the same kind of thing. Go out right after the rain, walk around, go to a park, walk in the woods. There is nothing like it. Going out and becoming one with nature as God intended it to be. 

"The work of righteousness will be peace. And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet rest places." Isaiah 32:17-18

For many years now I have had a focus word for the year. The past 2 years have been horrible for my family. From the death of loved ones to tragic events involving my children I was craving peace! It was the word my mind kept going back to. I craved a quiet life, a peaceful life. I felt as if life was just full of chaos for 2 years. What I really craved was to be home again. I wanted to be able to do the work the Lord had created me to do. Financially at this time that is not possible. But I was blessed to be able to change jobs this past year. Which has now led to me being able to work remote most of the week. I am only required to be in the office 2 days a week! Because we live so far out my commutes were taking close to an hour one way. If the weather was back it was closer to 2 hours one way. So now that my new job has blessed me in ways only God knew was possible I have a lot of freed up time. I am able to keep my home clean and organized, cook supper, do some baking, do more ministry work and so much more. Plus I am able to assist with the finances. We have almost paid off our mortgage so maybe I will be able to stop working outside the home altogether one day soon!

One of ways I am trying to bring more peace into my life is by reading. I saw the book, Holy Hygge: Creating a Place for People to Gather and the Gospel to Grow, by Jamie Erickson. Hygge pronounced HYOO-gah is a Danish practice that brings a sense of peace and coziness into your home and life. It is about doing with what you have, and living a life of minimal items. I have found that the less I have the more peaceful I am internally. This is so far a fantastic book! 

One of the major things that always brought peace into my life was being in the kitchen creating goodies for my family. Instead of wishing I was home to do so again, I put my phone down, limited my time on social media and hit the kitchen when I had the opportunity to do so. Social media has become such a time waster for me. Endless scrolling of a bunch of drama and fake posts really started to get to me. 

I never really had the patience for pie making. But with store purchased pie crust, I decided to attempt it. Perhaps one day I will conquer my fear of making my own crust. But for now I am taking baby steps! The above pies were for Christmas. One was the pumpkin and the other was pecan. YUM! They turned out really good! Even if I say so myself. :-)

What do you do to create peace in your life? Are you able to just sit in the quiet? We have so much noise all around us. Even if it is not audible noise our brains are full of it. We are constantly thinking about what's next. I challenge you to just sit in the quiet, listen, what are you hearing?

Monday, January 2, 2023

Another Year Gone!

With a new year comes a time of reflection of events from the past year. I cannot say we had a good year by any means, but we are all healthy and still here on earth, well most of us. 

 2022 has been a year of many trials and struggles for our family. Many of the trials actually happened in 2021 but carried over into 2022. Everything is such a blur from the past 2 years. 

In early 2021 my Nana fell and broke her foot. She had to go into the hospital and ultimately contracted Covid. She recovered from it but it left her with congestive heart failure. She walked into the arms of Jesus on February 21, 2021.

I will not go into detail about this particular event because it is not mine to share. This event left our family struggling for months to come. We learned how to show a lot of grace while facing this event. Honestly, it really opened our eyes to life in a small town. A town that my husband and I have lived most of our lives. A town I gave many hours to serving as a first responder. When we needed the people in the town the most is when they turned their backs on us. This was so heartbreaking! We felt so alone while trying to pick up the pieces. But it really made us lean on God with everything we had in us. I realized that I had turned my back on God like the people we thought were our friends did to us. God gave HIS Son for me! I had to release everything to Him. Complete surrender is what I had to do. Trusting in God's strength instead of my own was the only way I could find complete rest. In return I had to show Grace to those that made a choice to hurt us.

Look at this photo still brings me to my knees. My heart breaks into a million pieces over and over again. But it is a constant reminder of God's Grace and protection over my family. 

In mid February 2022, while we were still picking up the pieces of the above event, we had our upstairs bathroom flood causing thousands of dollars in damage to our home. The water not only ruined the upstairs bathroom, and hallway, it flooded our dining room. It completely had to be redone. 

I was completely broken and wore out by this time. I felt as if I could no longer go on. At this time also my middle daughter was experiencing a lot of emotional stress related to many things happening in our lives. I felt as if I was spiraling out of control. I do not like being out of control. I did not know how to pick up the pieces and make our lives better again. Perhaps this is what God was trying to show me with all of these events. I do not and should not be the one in control, HE is!

Between fighting the insurance company, making sure we found the right contractor and finding the money we needed to make the repairs to our home, it took over 6 months to be completed. If you have ever had to fight your insurance company you know the pain we feel. They are more than happy to take your money but do not want to part with it when you need it!! 

Our dining room is so much more beautiful than I could ever imagine it could be. Our contractor did the work in about 2 weeks once we got the money from the insurance company and all of the water restoration companies were done. 

I cannot say the past couple of years were all bad. Our eldest daughter was married to the love of her life. They have been doing pretty good. I remember all too well those first couple of years trying to navigate being married and becoming one when things arise. They are doing fantastic! I am so proud of them for coming together and conquering the issues as they come up. 

My middle daughter has been experiencing a great deal of emotional anxiety from all of our trials the past few years. She does not know how to express her feelings and most of the time withdraws from life. I am so thankful the Lord led us to a new team of doctors. They have assisted us in finding answers to why our daughters have struggled so much. 

One of the diagnoses I have been trying to get for my daughter since she was a young child! Why is everything a struggle!? 

On January 7, 2022 one of my best friends in the world passed away after a struggle with Covid. She was so much more than a friend, she was a sister to me. She was the first person I told when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, she was the first one I told about the abuse I had gone through, we worked together, laughed together and cried together. I know without a doubt she is celebrating with Jesus, but boy did that hurt to say goodbye to her. I know I will see her again but ugh! I miss her so much. 

In October 2022 I started a Bible study program called The Healing Journey I strongly urge anyone to reach out and find a local one being offered. This program has really started me on a path of emotional and physical healing of past traumatic events in my life. Both as a child and as an adult. God is using my hurt to heal others! 

Well, this post has to come to an end. Happy New Year! I am planning on posting a lot more this year. I plan on bringing more peace, quit and calm to my life. This mean less TV, social media and drama in my life. Thank you if you have read this far!