Peace and Quiet

Peace and quiet is not what we experience at our dinner table when we sit down. We are loud. Everyone is talking at once. Our dinner table is a processing center. When we gather, we make a full circle centered on a meal in the middle. As the meal begins to disappear, we begin to replace it with questions, reports, plans, and thoughts. Eventually we focus on one topic to process together.

This past week, our youngest tent member shared how loud her class gets when the teacher leaves the room (the same experience we all had in elementary school). Because she doesn’t want to get in trouble, she reads during this time. Or she puts her head on her desk. Or she asks her friends to be quiet. At our dinner table this week, she shared her new strategy…peace and quiet.

In a moment of inspiration, one day this week, she put one finger over her lips and one hand in the air making a peace-sign (a practice from earlier school years). Slowly her friends did the same. The room became peaceful and quiet (and we can only image the shock from the teacher when he re-entered the room).

I wonder how many times in our days that life gets too loud? Too busy? Too overwhelming? I know in our tent it happens too many times. All you need to do is join us around the dinner table to hear the reports. The noise and pressure of life will only increase this fall. Calendars fill up fast this time of the year.

This fall, try and increase the experience of peace and quiet, too. When you need a break, put one finger over your lips to remind you to stop talking and listen to the Holy Spirit. Take a breath. Put your phone down. When you feel like you are living in chaos, put two fingers in the air with the other hand in a peace-sign to remind you of the abundant life (abundant peace) that Jesus came to give you.

It’s a gift of love.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

From our Happy Tent to Yours,

Meredith Bell