Peace is often depicted as a tranquil stream kissed by the sun with billowy clouds floating in the distance. Through the lens of a Hallmark card, peace is equivalent to rainbows emerging through the rain or birds atop a weeping willow tree. Many speak of peace as simply the absence of war. When peace is mentioned, quiet is the expected outcome. I can easily be convinced that all of those things relate to peace. Yes, peace is spiritual. It is at the very essence of God’s creation. It is lack of noise and the removal of hostility and anger. But, peace is also practical.
The practicality of peace is at the very core of what I am trying to understand and implement in my own life and I must say that I am finally starting to make some progress on what peace means to me in this season of my life. Last month, I embarked on a new journey. I opened the door to forty. It was never a scary door for me to open, rather a challenge calling to me. Being a woman of great optimism and even greater anxiety, I knew that I wanted to turn the tables on my own personal levels of inner peace.
I’d love to tell you that I heard an outstanding speaker who pierced my soul with their message of finding peace within or that I had an encounter with a free spirited troubadour playing his guitar in the town square. But alas, a few weeks before my birthday, I read a magnet that got me thinking. Yes, a magnet. I tried to warn you that it was not a mountaintop experience.
On this magnet, there was a sheep dancing in the snow with the following phrase: Do What Makes You Feel Sparkly Inside. Admittedly, I stared at that magnet for an abnormal amount of time. It made me smile, ponder, and smile again. I immediately began to think of the things that bring me joy. I started thinking about turning 40. I began to reflect on how I could make my new year a year with less anxiety and more peace. And so, I started making a lists of things that made me feel sparkly.
As a mother, a wife, a teacher, friend, and so on, I wear many hats and my personality lends itself greatly to pouring out my life into others because I love to love on people. Nothing makes me happier than being able to do what I can to bring happiness to those around me. On any given day, I would rather do something to lessen someone else’s stress rather than tackle my own. Often, however, I can lose myself in making so much of who I am about those around me. So, with forty coming fast and furious, I knew I wanted to tap into my own passions, unhinged moments, silly interactions, and simplistic intentionality. What does peace “my sparkle” mean to me?
Right now, it is allowing myself time to sit and read. It is taking pictures of my 4 year old daughter. For me, peace is plugging in the headphones and listening to music while I walk at dusk. Taking deep breaths and giving myself permission to read a magazine or watch a movie ignites a spark. Being able to go to Target and roam those glorious aisles by myself with nothing but my imagination and open ended ideas stirs up my inner glitter. Calling my husband and imploring him to pick up Thai take-out on a Friday night and then eating said take-out on a pillow fort we made for our daughter (but we secretly love) is my happy place.
I started coming to the realization that life will always be complicated. Anxiety will never fully be at bay. But, peace can and should be found in the moments that allow us to drown out the noise of a crazy world simply by doing what makes us the best version of ourselves. If we don’t make time to embrace peace on an intimate, unassuming level, then we are doing ourselves a disservice. Chaos is an unwelcome guest and does nothing but dim the sparkle and suppress the peace. I am finding that as life runs at me unabashed, I am heeding the call more and more to find and hold tight the things that rejuvenate my mind, soul, and body. I’d say that my current life goals are as follows: Less drama, more sparkle, and continuity of peace. And, on days where those goals seem unattainable, I will go stare at that magnet once again and grin at the ballet shoe wearing sheep dancing without hesitation and exuding delight in the day.
Farrell Boone is a native Texan who has been living the Nashville, TN life with her husband, Rob, for the past 8 years. She is mommy to the outspoken, beautiful, sassy, and hilarious 3 year old known as Emme. Farrell is an educator, writer, terrible house cleaner, football watcher, sweet tea drinker, and an overall sensitive soul. You can connect with Farrell via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: Farrell Boone or read more of her writing on her blog.