I thought I was fine.
Sure, the whole world seems to have turned upside down on itself over the past month. And yes, having four kids home all day, every day, while two grown-ups try to work and manage homework isn’t ideal. And, yes, I’ve been a little under the weather — likely a random virus, nothing serious. But I’m holed up at home to be on the safe side.
I was fine, totally fine. So I thought.
And then after a long day of work and another hour making a home-cooked dinner, one unnamed thirteen-year-old made one too many critical comments, and I went from okay to out-of-control.
So maybe I’m not so fine after all.
Life has been hard lately with very little rest and recovery. There’s lots of tension and anxiety and chaos. Adults who struggle to physically get all the things done in a twenty-four-hour day are being followed by children who gripe and complain because they have no understanding of all that hangs in the balance. And then there’s the unrelenting news and ever-changing realities, none of which last long enough for any of us to find some solid ground and get our footing.
We’re like too many passengers, crammed into a too-small dingy, thrust out into the wide-open sea and then caught in a furious and terrifying storm:
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out.
As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped,
and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying,
“Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
Luke 8:22-24 (NIV)
I understand the disciples’ panic, their ability to go from okay to out-of-control in the span of seconds. My squall may not come in the form of rain and wind, but it’s just as terrifying, just as damaging. And more often than I want to admit, I’m the source of its sting — in my impatient responses and curt replies, my critical remarks and unforgiveness. When the tension and anxiety and chaos rise, my peace and self-control go down.
And you want to know something else? The funny thing about tension and anxiety and chaos is that the first things we often let go of are the things we need the most:
It seems there isn’t time for it, not enough energy for it.
A few days ago, I realized once again how insecure, irritable, and overwhelmed I felt. It wasn’t so much about world events, moody teenagers, and this cold I can’t shake. It was more about where I was putting my focus in the middle of it all.
I was so caught up in the chaos of the storm I forgot that Jesus was in my boat. And if I wanted to find a way to stay afloat, I needed to remember the only One who could offer me true peace.
So today’s agenda?
Inner quiet (because my house will be anything but quiet)
“Where is your faith?” He asked the disciples (vs. 25). He asks the same of you and me.
And for today, I remember that although my world rocks and the wind roars, my faith is with Jesus. He sits in my boat, even while the storm grows. That means my Peace is with me, right here, right now, no matter what comes.
Our Peace is with us, right here, right now, no matter what comes. -@MicheleCushatt: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
P.J. Seeley says
I needed to hear this message of encouragement today-thank you!!!
This made me feel like I am not alone in my feelings of insecurity and need for rest.
Thank you, and may you find your peace in those small but precious moments of your day.
Many blessings to you and your family
Michele Cushatt says
Definitely not alone, my friend. We’re in this together.
Amy Harper says
I needed this and I totally get this!
Michele Cushatt says
Such a relief to find out we’re not the only ones, right? Much love to you, Amy.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I don’t have kids that was my choice. I was just not brave enough to have any. I was registered Childminder for 19 years loved my job. I love today reading and all incourage readings. But I believe God is speaking that we should pray for Parents today who are looking are kids at this time in the mist of the storm all over the world. For like in the reading to do Jesus in the boat with the disciples. The water was clam to begin with. Kids love the fact of being of school to being with. But having to do school work at home getting them to do so much a day can be challenge. Then them only so many at time allowed so many out at time for so much fresh air a day. It even harder. For single parents. Thoes with kids with special needs. Them used to routine. When it changed. The bus not coming to collect them. It hard. Parents having to deal with them not understanding then temperas rising in them. So don’t understand why or the word no the bus not coming today or don’t like change. It challenging for the parents. Never mind the parents with normal kids. They get board start fighting. Like the disciples in the boat the sea waters get rough. Then parents get angus and patience begings to run out with them. As they are seeing board kids starting to fight. It also especially hard on thoes parents who find money tight and would have relied on school meals for their kids. Finding it hard doing that. Like disciples the sea waters got rougher. The parents our finding it rougher. So I feel even if not a parent. We are to pray to Jesus and ask him to be all parents at this time. To give them peace of mind in the mist of the storm. Give them the strength to cope. Especially if saved to hand everything over to Jesus ask him to help them stay calm like he calmed the water he can calm them and not take it out on their kids. Who are finding this boaring and the days long. Hard doing their school work at home. Thoes with kids with special needs the strength too cope. Especially when their kids with special needs don’t understand stand why things like this. For the waves of problems in the parents lives not to get out of control. That they will be able to take time out for themselves everyday rest. Let the kids know they are still loved. If old enough explain why things are the way they are at the moment and if saved. Let them know Jesus will make it better in his own time. They just have to trust Jesus. Keep praying. Love Dawn Ferguson- Little xxx
Thank you so much. I needed this article. Laurel, remember that He is right here beside you, probably touching you. A new poster I’ll put up to remind me of this beautiful reminder will be up this afternoon. Laurel
Michele Cushatt says
Such a great idea!
Oh my gosh! Just needed this, so badly. I’ve been insecure, irritable, easily triggered and last week I thought I nuked my marriage after basically saying I regretted everything about it. I know I’m so far away from God right now, it’s not even funny. I decided to order my bible (mind you I already have mine five others). I openes it today, and there it was: Parenting and the Beatitudes. If you need more encouragement go read it.
Michele Cushatt says
I think we’re all struggling to make peace of our current reality. All the unknowns and the helplessness we feel about it puts us on edge. So we sink into grace ourselves and offer it to those we love. We’ll get through, together.
Susan Slaugenhaupt says
Thanks Michele for your transparency – glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling for peace and quietness of soul and temperament.
Also, thanks for the reminder of who is in control of our “boats” – JESUS! and right there with us in this storm and the anchor of our souls.
Love, peace and health to you and your family
Michele Cushatt says
And to you, Susan. xo
Very much needed this reminder today. I did not realize I was letting all of the circumstances subvert my peace and the joy I find in Christ. I took my eyes off the prize so to speak. I knew tonight that I was out of control when I yelled at the dog and then yelled at my husband. In about 20 seconds time. I need to put myself in a ‘time-out’ and spend some time in prayer and with God’s Word. Thank you for the timely reminder that Jesus is in control and He is more than enough to handle any situation.
Michele Cushatt says
Been there, done that. Lots of grace for all of us right now, friend. Shalom to you, as well.
Kim H says
Thank you! God bless!
Penny Cobb says
Oh what a needed gut punch this was!!! I’m reading it 2 days after I received it because I had put off the thing I needed most (inner quiet and meditation) for the “busy award” that doesn’t exist! I usually enjoy breakfast discussions with my husband but the past couple of days they have become like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. I now realize it’s because I’ve been hanging onto my bed longer instead of getting up and reading this morning jewels I receive in my email. God bless you for putting my current reality into words and bringing me back to a place of healing!
Beth Williams says
Life as we know it today is anything but calm. Our routines are disrupted & we are stuck inside with each other. Can be hard to find quiet & relief. For me life has been a little more topsy turvy. Like you I had a cold for a few weeks. Couldn’t go visit my MIL. Work has still been extra busy. Patients still come to ER, although not as many. For last few weeks I’ve been the “crazy” person. Between working at hospital with extra phone calls, trying to grocery shop, missing church, etc. I just lost it-a lot. Through all this, though, I realize that when I have any free time I need to listen to Bible & christian music, work on Bible study & most assuredly pray. Jesus is the answer to the chaos in our lives. Only He can calm our anxious thoughts. He can offer the peace that surpasses all understanding. My cold got better & Easter Sunday I went to MILs for a nice dinner & spent time with her. It felt like my normal was coming back some. Praying for all parents in the midst of this virus.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore says
Such a powerful message about Peace being right with us in the boat, Michele. Thank you for challenging me as always!
I read this last night and didn’t comment. I really feel this like a healthy reminder of something good in all the chaos. The day (today) went by fast with working a full day from home. Three kids doing virtual school plus all the crazy, noise, fights, over use of technology. It’s stormy outside so we didn’t walk today either. All stuck in isolation.
I skipped over meditation today but I’m back reading your post again tonight. You are right we do need to spend time with Jesus. We’re in the boat and a Jesus is here too, it’s like relaxing hunched shoulders and a big breath out. To know we don’t have to carry it all…more to stop carrying it all.
Stopping and giving it all to him to lead us on our journey…
Lucretia Berry says
YES!! Peace is not the lack of the storm. PEACE thrives in the midst of the storm. The storm is the background noise where PEACE abides!
Thank you for preaching, friend!!!