Our home is constantly filled with children. In addition to our own 3 littles we regularly surround ourselves with kiddos belonging to family and friends. The only time it’s quiet around here is when everyone is either eating or sleeping. On the rare occasion that it is actually calm, we check to see what’s going on because chances are… someone is trying to be sneaky in an attempt to get away with something they shouldn’t be doing.
While I may not often enjoy the peace that comes from embracing silent moments I do experience the peace that comes from God. The world would define peace as a feeling of harmony that we desire when it comes to life and relationships. But biblical peace is not circumstantial. God’s peace occurs when we are in a proper relationship with Christ. It is not dependent on anyone or anything else.
Each summer we read through The Jesus Storybook Bible as a family. It’s a book our church gifted to Aidan the day of his child dedication. As I was reading their paraphrase of Psalm 23 my heart overflowed with peace. It is a beautiful reminder that whatever I do, wherever I go – God will always love and look after me.
“God is my shepherd. And I am his little lamb, He feeds me, He guides me, He looks after me. I have everything I need.
Inside, my heart is very quiet. As quiet as lying still on soft green grass. In a meadow. By a little stream.
Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places I won’t be afraid because my Shepherd knows where I am. He is here with me. He keeps me safe. He rescues me. He makes me strong. And brave.
He is getting wonderful things ready for me. Especially for me. Everything I ever dreamed of! He fills my heart so full of happiness. I can’t hold it all inside.
Wherever I go I know God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love will go, too!”
The peace given to us by the Holy Spirit is more than just a serene sensation. It is the calmness and contentment that consumes us as we grow in our relationship with Christ. And, if we are to follow the example of Jesus, than our words and actions should reflect those very characteristics. We are encouraged to live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
We should edify people and avoid insulting them. We need to be encouraging and let go of jealous or prideful thoughts. Instead of engaging in conflict that will lead to hurt relationships, simply walk away. Act kindly. Show respect.
The world will not experience lasting peace until Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom here on earth but we can personally experience and demonstrate God’s peace as He works in our lives and hearts today. Becky said it beautifully last December in her post The Happiness of Heaven during our Advent series. “Peace is knowing the happiness of heaven. It is Jesus. And you can know Him too.”
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23a
The kitchen is a place our family often experiences a sense of worldly peace. We love to make (and eat!) all sorts of delicious things. I especially enjoy anything that’s pumpkin flavored. One of our favorite family fall treats is homemade pumpkin bread. (It’s practically dessert.) You will find it on our Thanksgiving table every year. It’s a staple in our home!
- 29 ounce can of 100% pure pumpkin (The secret ingredient is exchanging the normal 14 ounce can for the 29 ounce one!)
- 1 and ⅔ cups white sugar
- ⅔ cup applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 3 cups whole wheat white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 12 ounce package mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together; pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, eggs, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Slowly add in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly before adding chocolate chips. Divide evenly between several greased bread pans. Bake 50 – 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then dump from pans.