Today

Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace…

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord of all pots and pans and things… make me a saint by getting meals and washing up plates…

Brother Lawrence

It sounds like you’re dealing with the blessing of answered prayer.

Brother Clark Berge

Today has gone from a quiet writing and baking day to a “squeeze writing and baking in between morning and afternoon carpool duties, a grant writing session, doing laundry so everyone can get dressed tomorrow, roasting the chicken early so dinner can be on the table in time to get my son to an evening activity, and (finally!) baking bread for tomorrow’s sandwiches” day. As I write, my dishwasher is humming and my clothes are spinning in the washer downstairs. The chicken is in the oven, apples and canning supplies are on the sideboard, and I am on my couch typing away. It’s not my typical Tuesday because a couple of things had to be rescheduled and a couple of evening activities arose. I’ll spend an extra two hours in the car and I’ll be up an extra hour as the bread bakes and cools.

Unexpectedly busy days bear truths about my life:

First: most of the activities come from the blessings of marriage, children, education, and plenty of food. Today is busy because heartfelt prayers were answered.

Second: today’s schedule isn’t written in stone. I could buy bread instead of baking it – or use the multitude of crackers in my cupboard! I could postpone writing this piece. And my local market sells a tasty rotisserie chicken, already prepared. I am choosing to have a busy day.

Third: I can choose to enjoy each activity, living my faith and finding contentment as I work. The Spirit is present when I remain present in my day’s adventures.

Fourth: I can be an instrument of peace on busy days and calm ones, or I can be an instrument of unrest and agitation. When I rely on God’s presence for my internal state and my external actions, peace will finds its way. When I don’t, no amount of quiet time will grant me peace.

Today I choose to quiet life’s noise by roasting the chicken, and savoring its aroma as I write. I choose to hang clean clothes on the line, taking time from writing to enjoy sun and leaves, pumpkins and birds. I’ll bake tonight, ending my day with the scent of fresh bread. Tomorrow, I’ll wake to a calmer schedule and the lingering scent of bread. And I’ll be thankful once again for today.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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