peace and quiet

I’m sitting in a quiet hotel room. I woke up on my own, took a long shower. There were no little feet, no knocks at the door, no early morning bursts of energy that are just a little too much before that first cup of coffee. It was quiet and peaceful, words that don’t generally describe my life on any given day during this season. Time away is a much-needed blessing. One I find myself longing for often and should probably schedule more regularly.

But the irony of the blessing is that I suddenly find myself thinking it’s a little too quiet.

My life doesn’t always feel like a blessing when I’m in it. I feel pulled in a million directions – the to-do list piles up alongside the laundry, requests to play feel burdensome, and whining becomes the straw that’s going to break this mother’s back. So I long for peace and quiet. I bask in the rare opportunities to run an errand alone, to linger in the shower while my husband does breakfast with the kids, to read just one more page. And in my heart a song begins to form: My hope is built on nothing less than a clean house filled with peace and quiet.

What idolatry and ingratitude! And what excuses I make to justify them. I am 9 months pregnant, after all. It’s been a stressful year or two. I haven’t had good time with Jesus. I haven’t had good time with my husband. My kids really are being whiney. The to-do list really is overwhelming.The laundry monster really is threatening to eat me.

It’s not that I want to wish them away. But I do long for a break from the demands and the noise and the mess. And God graciously granted my request through good friends and a priceline hotel deal.

Don’t misunderstand me – it has been gloriously peaceful and quiet. I had uninterrupted conversation with a friend and slept until I wanted and I’m sitting here writing an entire blog post without Adrienne in my lap trying to color everything on my desk. Alone time is wonderful and necessary and good.

But what I’m thankful for in the midst of the quiet is this gentle reminder: so are little feet.

The little feet in my life are among my greatest blessings. I have people. My people. And the opportunity to lay down my life for them is one I ought to praise God for rather than resent. Because when I set out to find my life, I find that I have lost it. But when I lose my life for the sake of Christ, it turns out that I find it.

I’m going to linger over some coffee. Have another uninterrupted conversation or two. Run a few peaceful errands. But as I do I am thankful for the conviction of my sin. I am thankful for grace that is sufficient to cover my ingratitude and discontentment – grace that is continuing to work in me and change me to be more like Christ. And I am thankful for the reminder that God’s gifts are good, even when they require more of me than I think I have to give.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

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