Last week, after an unusually difficult day, I hit the road to head over to Coppell for the 30th annual Coppell High School Lariette Spaghetti Dinner. I didn’t go because I was craving spaghetti, although it would have been fabulous had I not accidentally doused it in Italian salad dressing because my head was too full to think. I went to Coppell that night because I love my niece Sophia more than I can explain and I love her Mama more than is rational, because she’s my sister. (Which I think makes it rational, but either way, I digress.)
The point is, I was emotionally exhausted and barely holding it together on the surface.
I got tied up in another conversation in the car on my way in, which made me late after I’d worked so hard to be on time. I took a long, deep breath, wiped my eyes one last time and fast-walked all the way down the high school hallway toward the cafeteria. Smiling at people all the way. I was going to be fine. Until I saw Kim, and completely broke down in a puddle of tears. I pulled it back together and kept going.
Then the strangest thing happened.
As many times as I’ve been to Spaghetti Dinner, I’ve never looked out the courtyard doors, but they were standing wide open and the view was almost majestic with the gorgeous trees standing so peacefully in the blazing sun, providing shade to everything below. It was like they were drawing me out, beckoning me to come. I left the hubbub of the cafeteria and wandered out there. As soon as I left the air-conditioned building with loud music blaring and all the people stirring, I stepped into a world of calm. It was all still spinning inside, just beyond the doors, but the chaos suddenly disappeared in this peaceful place.
“Peace. It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. “ (unknown author)
That’s a quote on a magnet I keep right here next to my desk. I keep it here because I wrestle daily to live with calm in my heart. I’m a go-getter. I’m a get it done girl, who wants to fix everything.
But some things can’t be fixed.
For you, or for me. At least not right now, right when we want them to be. It’s our responsibility to find a peaceful place anyway. Peace is available to each of us. It may require you to step away from the hubbub, wander out to a place you’ve never noticed before, and take a long deep breath. It may be a place you know well, that you decide to make peaceful. It could even be in your car, at your desk, or in the bathroom stall.
But it won’t just show up on its own.
It may beckon you, but it will require you to come.
It will require you to intentionally choose to cultivate the peace you need.
Find a peaceful place to breathe today.
to more love,