A Little Peace & Quiet

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A little look at how things have changed.

China, 2003
9am

The water I put on to boil is starting to steam, which is easy to see in our shared-kitchen.  It’s nearly always cold in here this time of year.  I scuffle over to the old wooden armoire we use as a pantry and pull out the coffee.  Measuring it into the french press, I shake off the shivers and move to warm my hands over the whistling kettle before turning off the flame.

Coffee grounds swirl around in hot water and I let it settle while I sit at the scratched-up table and gaze out the kitchen window.  Elephant hill is in the distance.  It’s mostly brown now.  Some of the others will be hiking it this morning, but I don’t expect them to call me for an invite.  They know it’s my day of rest, so I’ll see them later in the afternoon.

I pour the coffee into my favorite mug I brought back from Thailand.  I can see I made it pretty strong today.  One sip tells me I’m happy with it.  I shut the door to the kitchen and walk past the courtyard and let myself into my room.  The fly screen falls in place behind me before I shut out the cold.

Ah, my room is cozy.  I sit in my chair and prop my socked feet up on the radiator, beside another pair of socks drying toasty warm.  I grab my Bible off the coffee table (it’s really my footlocker with a pretty piece of fabric draped over it).  This is my favorite day of the week.  Here, in my small, simple room.  I shut out the world and loose myself in the Word.  Here I wait for the Lord to speak to my heart; I wait to be filled and refueled.  Hours, if that’s what it takes.  I relish this… it’s nice to have a little peace and quiet…

*****
Texas, 2012

6:30am

I awake to find a little blonde boy has found his way into our bed again.  His feet in my ribs let me know it is morning.  Jeff’s pillow has been cool since 4am.  I am exhausted.  Was it midnight when we finally made it to bed?  Maybe later.  Too many nights in a row of staying up late to catch up with each other, do some writing, maybe some minimal cleaning in the kitchen.  Skip the laundry.  What’s one more day of it being piled on the couch?  The little sleep catching up with me.  But just as I’m drifting off to dream again, the baby starts to fuss in her corner crib.

By the time I finish nursing her, Mr. Blondie pops up awake.

“Hi, Mommy!”

How is he so immediately chipper?

“Oh hi, Baby Wivia” his little sing-song voice continues.

She cranes her neck to see him and smiles.  Rewarded, he continues his cooing at her until he suddenly is up on his knees.

“Mommy, go tee tee!”

Out of the bed we go.  And so our day begins.

The little blonde boy chatters and the bigger kids make their way out of beds.  Some bouncy.  Others slow and sleepy.  All of them hungry.
I am just trying to get the coffee poured.

The baby squirms in my lap as I try to read the open Bible laid beside me on the couch.  I lay her down on the quilt on the floor and the coffee mug takes up residence in my hands.
After the baby spits up, the blonde boy has to tee tee again, two bigger kids ask if they can draw at the table, and four children ask what’s for breakfast – I give up and close the Bible on the coffee table.  I whisper half a prayer as I move the baby to her seat by the kitchen and begin the breakfast preparations.

My phone buzzes and I notice a message.  My friend has sent me a scripture in a text.  Thankful, I repeat the words to myself as I start the water boiling in the kettle.  Willing those words – the Word – to get down into my Spirit.  Where I need a stirring.  I need to be filled.  Refueled.  I need to hear Him.

Even if there isn’t going to be any peace and quiet.

 

 

3 thoughts on “A Little Peace & Quiet

  1. Sandra

    He will be your calm in the midst of the chaos. May God continue to bless you and meet every need–even the need for a quiet moment or two. These days will pass all too soon, and then all will be quiet and calm again.

    Reply
    1. Shannon Post author

      Sandra, your comment brings tears to my eyes, because even in the noise and mess around here, I know what you’re saying is true. I’m watching them double in size before my eyes, with no way to make it slow down. And honestly I don’t want to go back to those long quiet days… I just want the Lord to still stir me and change me… because I only get to do this once… and I want to be the best I can be. I want to be filled with the Word and with His Spirit – for them as much as for me. And I pretty much blow it every day. But now I’m at least learning to admit my mistakes in front of them and let them see God’s grace in my weaknesses.

      Reply
      1. Sandra

        I believe God poured into you during the quiet moments of your past to equip you for your current mission–the greatest mission of your life. And I believe that teaching your children about real life, and how to allow God to be with you in the midst of all the chaos, is one of the most important things you can teach them. (His strength is made perfect in our weakness.)

        So many ordinary moments can be transformed into God moments. He is awesome like that. I think it works kind of like the loaves and fishes. He can take one minute and turn it into a lesson that will last a lifetime. May your spirit find rest in Him, even when your body is busy. If there’s ever a time that I can be of help in any way, please let me know. I greatly admire what you and your husband are doing, and I would count it an honor. God bless.

        Reply

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