March 11, 2017

CHOOSE Peace and PRACTICE Gratitude!

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. . . there is a future for the man of peace." ~ Psalm 37:7a, 37b

My father-in-law says their tongues are hinged in the middle and flaps on both ends. We all know someone like that. You can leave the conversation on the phone for ten minutes and return and they never knew you had left. 
It takes a real effort these days to find a quiet spot, somewhere where it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop to the floor. There is traffic outside your door,  radios or television blaring somewhere, telephones beeping or ringing, babies crying, children playing, aircraft flying overhead, trains rumbling down tracks, etc..
Dr. Ketterman told us that we should schedule a twenty-minute quiet time into our day, everyday, when our son was growing up, to get him into the habit of it. He could read, he could study, he could draw, he could take a nap. The only noise allowed was "white" noise -- the hum of a fan or reflective mood-setting, stringed instrumental music such as a harp, violin or zither or the bubbling of running fountain water.   

"He must seek peace and pursue it." ~ 1 Peter 3:11b

In Genesis, chapter 24, verse 63, one quiet place that is mentioned is a field where Isaac went to meditate. David, as a shepherd, was led to quiet waters (Psalm 23:2,3) where God restored his soul.
It's not always possible to get out "in nature" to have a quiet time, so we had to create the next best place at home. Dr. Ketterman told us to pare down the toys in our son's bedroom and add furniture to store his other possessions out-of-sight. Bedrooms were originally intended for a bed to sleep in, not for other activities, but since we could not afford to add more rooms to our house, our bedrooms are multi-purpose rooms. However, over the years, I've learned there are ways to make a bedroom a quieter place. Add the  solid color blue or green somewhere. Add something plant-based. Put in sound absorbers such as fabric or sound barriers like "white" noise machines or ear plugs. 
Our son has always been a fidgeter. It was very hard for him to keep still. His body was in constant motion. My leg has a will of it's own -- it wiggles. We both learn best visually and hands on.

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." ~ Isaiah 32: 17-18.

Kathy Racoosin, of the Daily Marker, says it's been proven that coloring for ten minutes a day will lower your blood pressure. Looking for something to keep my hands busy during quiet time, I've been looking at doodles at Pinterest and my niece sent me a chart to use during prayer time. Stephanie doodles flowers around her daily scriptures and her word in Documented Faith this month is CHOOSE.  To seek and pursue a quiet time, you must CHOOSE to do so.
The worksheet that my niece found online consisted of circles -- a large circle in the center of a page with arrows pointing to individual circles around the page to list prayer concerns or in this case, gratitude's. I saw a huge doodled sun at Pinterest with the rays as lines where gratitude's could be listed. I also saw a ring of decorated index cards, but since I like atc's (artist trading cards) or pocket letters, I could make one card each day to list a gratitude of the day. I also saw a photo album idea in which one side was dedicated to a journaled gratitude for the day and on the opposite side of the spread, a photo  of the person or thing I am grateful for. And then there are many sayings that correspond to being thankful as well. I have a whole Pinterest board of them.

"I will build you with stones of turquoise; your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace." ~ Isaiah 54:17b-13.

Two of my girlfriends and I got together last week to craft. Karen was laminating a few of her dividers for her faith-book and she showed me the back of one which held a small calendar. She said it was helpful to have a calendar to view, so she could visualize the week. I had decided not to have a calendar in my faith-book this year because after 30 + years of training my husband to use the calendar on the kitchen wall to post his appointments and things he wanted to do, he was getting fussy about having to come look in my faith-book for mine, so I went back to using the one in the kitchen to keep the peace. I had replaced it though with a numbered Bible Reading Plan gleaned from Back to the Bible. I could go online and read everyday when I am in town, but I wanted a hard copy to put in my faith-book, to check off as I read my portion for the day, so I typed up a list on Microsoft Word, for each day of the month, and printed it out, however, I missed having the visual calendar in front of me, so decided to go back to it and add in my Bible chapters each day. I discovered, though, it is really hard for me to read and craft during the same period of time, so I thought I could set the timer for twenty minutes and listen to an audio version of the Bible and doodle create instead. I found an audio version of the Bible online here.

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. . . Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her." ~ Luke 10:39, 42b.

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).