Thankful for the details.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

I'm doing a Bible study at the moment, and when I flicked back through my book, I noticed a phrase I had circled.

It was this:

'Thanksgiving activates peace'.

I haven't been feeling peaceful this week. It's been a bad pain week, and I've been stuck indoors because the weather (cold and windy) will make it worse. I've been getting cranky and irritable with Jellybean and Chris. I feel constantly tired. I really miss fresh air. And I start to notice all the little things that are wrong with our house, because I'm in it all the time.

I've been stressed and my brain feels chaotic.

Later in the study, I read this: 'Shalom, the familiar Hebrew word for peace which permeates the Old Testament, does not refer to the absence of chaos, but rather to an overall, deeply entrenched sense of harmony, health, and wholeness in the midst of chaos. In fact, true peace is best detected and measured against the backdrop of commotion and confusion - when instability abounds, yet you remain steadfast; when disappointment and confusion are near, yet you're still capable of walking with Spirit-infused confidence, stability and steadiness.' - Priscilla Shirer, the Armor of God 

I want that kind of peace. I don't necessarily want the kind of peace that my mind conjures up when I read the word: sitting quietly on a warm, secluded beach, feeling the warmth of the sand underneath me and watching the waves slowly lapping in and out. Although I wouldn't say no to that, obviously ;)

I want the kind of peace that resides in me even when the chaos happens. You can't stop life's stresses: they are just part of being alive. And so when the chaos of TN and all the implications of it hit me hard, I want to still feel that peace.

And I know I have to be thankful.

I've become mildly obsessed with black and white photography recently. I love it. I've been chasing down Instagram accounts that are full of black and white snaps. (In fact, if you have any suggestions, please let me know!). This week, I've been feeling the urge to go out and take photographs, but I've been unable to. And so I've been taking pictures at home, and going through my old ones and making them black and white. Something about draining the colour out of an image makes shape and form bolder, makes textures feel more 'touchable'.

I can't wait until spring arrives and I can leap outside with my toddler and my camera and take a million pictures (and also I'd quite like more sunlight. What is with this all-day darkness?), but until then, I try and snap the things I'm grateful for around me. I mean, there's a reason why thankfulness journals and mindfulness and stuff like that is so popular at the moment. People are realising how much joy is contained within the small, everyday things that you might normally miss. I know there's a theory that people who take pictures all the time instead of just enjoying a moment are missing out, but I don't really agree with that. When I get my camera out, I start noticing the details. I start feeling more and more grateful for what I have even when life is stressful.

And then I realise it's true: thankfulness does activate peace. It doesn't make the chaos around me disappear: it just keeps me anchored to the small things that keep me going.

So I'll keep snapping, and hopefully I'll get better as I go along. But I'll keep seeking that shalom peace while I do it.

Linking up with:

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  1. You mention mindfulness Megan, not sure if you're interested in a free mindfulness course through Future Learn? I enrolled in September but am only on Week 4 now and it is awesome. There's a new 6 week course starting today so not too late to enrol.

    That elusive peace!

    1. Thank you Shaz! I didn't realise they did a mindfulness course. I love Future Learn. Did a fiction writing course on there last year but didn't have time to finish it. Will check that one out, thank you x

  2. Your photos are lovely.
    I like the feet especially. :o)
    Thank you for commenting on my website.

    1. :) No worries! Thank you for your comment too x


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