A Time for Peace

I just deactivated my Facebook again this week. Yes, again. *Blush*

There comes a time when the waves of whining, angst of worry, and streaming comments of disagreement discussion just get to be too much. Really, though, that wasn’t what initially got me itching to unplug.

It was a beautiful conversation with my neighbor, Callie. She was reminding me how important it is to be completely focused on whatever job it is God has given to me at any given moment.

Well, there goes Facebook.

Since Tuesday when I silently said goodbye to all my adoring 😜friends and fans, my week has been amazing.

I went outside with the kids, lay down on the grass with my husband, and watched the moon and Orion gleaming steadfastly overhead as a raucous game of hide and seek in the dark played out around us.

I went to bed early without falling asleep thinking about some drama I’d seen moments before on my newsfeed.

I haven’t worried as much. As much as I appreciate all that Facebook has given me, I have appreciated all that I’ve forgotten even more now that my mind isn’t begging to be entertained by my acquaintances.

Another thing that I’ve rediscovered is old radio programming. One person my mom always listened to as a child, and I listened to as a college student, was Elisabeth Elliot.

After looking her up, I discovered this message this afternoon. Delivered to a gathering of ladies, Mrs. Elliot spoke about how to have a quiet heart.

A quiet heart. Wow. Just what I’ve needed. Just what my husband and my kids need me to have.

Maybe you’re not like this, but it seems like my default setting is “Unsettled.” No matter how wonderful things are, it’s like I can always find a reason to become ill or anxious.

Not when I’m thinking about Jesus. Unfortunately, my mind wanders – way too often.

So, in case your mind wanders too, and you could benefit from this message as much as I did, here are some gold nuggets from her message.

“How much noise do you have to have?

“We need to arrange in our lives for quietness, solitude. I want to recommend to you mothers of young children you should have a quiet hour in the afternoon.

“Every afternoon, in [my daughter’s] family – and she has eight children – everything shuts down at 2:00 in the afternoon. Each child has to be alone…and there is this total calm. These children are learning to appreciate solitude and silence – and think what it’s doing for the mother!”

Hold us in quiet

through the age-long minute,

While Thou art silent

and the wind is shrill;

Can the boat sink

while Thou, Dear Lord,

art in it?

Can the heart faint

that waiteth on Thy will?

– Amy Carmichael

“If I can absolutely trust and rest in the fact that my heavenly Father is the Engineer of the Universe, there’s no reason to lose my peace. Keep a quiet heart.”

George MacDonald wrote of two men talking to each other:

‘The care that is filling your mind at this moment, or but waiting till you lay the book aside to leap upon you – that need which is no need, is a demon sucking at the spring of your life.’

‘No; mine is a reasonable care- an unavoidable care, indeed.’

‘Is it something you have to do this very moment?’

‘No.’

‘Then you are allowing it to usurp the place of something that is required of you this moment.’

‘There is nothing required of me at this moment.’

‘Nay but there is – the greatest thing that can be required of man.’

‘Pray, what is it?’

‘Trust in the living God….’

‘I do trust Him in spiritual matters.’

‘Everything is an affair of the spirit.’

“Do you believe that? Everything is an affair of the spirit! IT MATTERS how you do your housework. IT MATTERS how you treat your husband and your children. IT MATTERS what you read, what you see, what you love, what you do. Everything is an affair of the spirit.

“Let’s not make the very common mistake of separating the spiritual from the physical, or that which is spiritual work as opposed to that which is housework, for example. There is no dichotomy for a Christian. Everything I do is meant to be an offering to Jesus Christ. All that I am, all that I have, all that I do, and all that I suffer, is meant to be an offering to Jesus Christ.

“Do you suppose, ladies, that Jesus is more interested – or, shall we say, more impressed – with my standing in front of an audience like this and speaking, than He is in the way I iron [my husband’s] shirt or clean the bathtub?

“I don’t think so.

“I don’t think there is any difference in God’s eyes. There is a time for me to iron the shirt, and a time to clean the bathroom, and a time to speak to a group of ladies. It just happens that this is part of my assignment. But this is not spiritual work AS OPPOSED to the rest.

“It’s all for Jesus.

“And I want you to get that into your heads as clearly as you possibly can, because some of you have been thinking,  I wish I could do something really wonderful for God. I wish the Lord would give me a ministry. 

“Well, if you’re a mother, God has given you a ministry, hasn’t He?

“A lady said to me, ‘What did your mother do outside of the house?’ and I said, ‘Nothing at all.’

“She said, ‘You mean she didn’t have any ministry?!’ and I said, ‘Well, WE were her ministry, her six children.’

“And she said, ‘She gave her WHOLE life to her six children?!’

“‘Yes…If you were to ask my mother what she did, that’s what she would tell you. She raised six children for God.’

“And this woman looked at me with the most pitying expression, and she said to me, ‘Well that means she didn’t have any life of her own, did she?’

“And I said, ‘If you had asked my mother if she had a life of her own, my mother would not have had the foggiest notion what you are talking about.’

“We were the ministry that God had given her. 

“I don’t know what ministry God has given you, but I know He’s given every one of you a ministry. Ministry means, Service. It doesn’t mean ANYTHING ELSE. Get that through your heads.

“HE assigns you a place in the scheme of things. Are you being faithful in that place?

A Poem That Hung in Her Childhood Bedroom

Sleep sweetly in this quiet room, O thou, who e’re thou art,

And let no mournful yesterdays disturb thy peaceful heart.

Nor let tomorrow scare thy rest with thoughts of coming ill;

Thy Maker is thy changeless Friend – His love surrounds thee still.

Forget thyself, and all the world. Put out each feverish light.

The stars are watching overhead; sleep sweetly, then – good night.

“And I would go to sleep; very happily…and quietly.”

 

 

In case you missed it, here is a link to the message by Elisabeth Elliot. Enjoy! 🙂

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