There is a song by Tim Hughes that I absolutely love, and have grown to love more and more over the many years since I first heard it.
Beauty of Your Peace - Tim Hughes (here are a few of the lyrics)
To lead us to the place where you'll restore our souls
And all our earthly strivings come to cease
Take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of your peace
Here are some of my thoughts.
1. I try to do this a couple of different ways: calendaring, keeping a schedule, and trying not to let things stress me out.
2. The Hope of the gospel is the answer to number 1.
3. What do we show a world who needs to know the peace of God?
1. Calendaring. I plan way ahead. Just ask many friends. I like to get things on the calendar. If things aren't on the calendar...well, its a little harder to get things on it. Say if I have nothing to do some a weekend, I have already planned it in my head that it is going to a quiet one, at home, chilling. So, I am less likely to put something on there last minute. Schedule. I try to think through my day, either the night before or the morning of, and get in the things that I know need to be on there. Again, I have many things that need to get done during the day, and I try to make the best use of my time. This schedule keeping goes with house cleaning, daily chores, reading, blog posts, writing, ministry events, church activities, lunches/meals with friends, etc. No Stress. A new(er) friend said to me the other day that I never get stressed out about anything. That is definitely not true, but why get stressed out. I think the most stressful thing to me is driving when I'm in a hurry. But, then again, why am I in a hurry - because I haven't kept to my schedule. You may be wondering if my schedule runs my life. No, friends/life are more important. But, if something doesn't have to happen right now - then I try to look a few days down the road and schedule it in there.
2. Hope of the Gospel. No matter how well or how poorly I keep this schedule - Jesus is still bigger. He allows me to keep it well, and he is still in charge when I don't keep it at all. Sometimes I do get agitated when my schedule doesn't get accomplished or I get behind on tasks or reading. But, Jesus died for that - my sin and tyranny over my schedule. He died so that I wouldn't stress over the little things in life but also that I wouldn't live at the demand of the world that is telling me I must do this or that to feel worthy.
3. The World. What does your house (clean, organized), your clothes (ironing, mended), your meals (planned, healthy, affordable, not wasteful), your daily QTs (are they happening at all), your relationships (how you talk to your friends and family, how much time you spend with people vs alone time), how you handle conflict or unexpected happenings, how you worry or don't worry about the future, your desk/work space (are you a time waster or clutter keeper) - all these things. If a friend who is a Christian came over or observed any of these things in your life - would they see the glory of the gospel? And if a non-believer was to witness these - what would they hear your life saying about the gospel of Jesus?
This is again a new area of interest of mine. One that I have not perfected, but am working for under and with the grace of Jesus. I didn't grow up like this at all. I think I planned ahead for things, but everything in our house was a mess: clutter, stuff, not-organized, stuff everywhere, my locker was a mess. But, since seeing my life and my home life (loving my home, organizing, my home, living a stress free life) as a way to display the gospel - it has radically changed my life.
This will become a guest post series. I look forward to hearing from some of my friends on more of these topics. Check back.