I don’t always have peace of mind. And I’m willing to guess that you don’t have either. The ridiculous pressure that we put on ourselves to create a good life; the well-considered career, the tasteful and clean home, the perfectly cooked dinners and families that live and grow well together and meaningful friendships. The highlight reels that we showcase on social media, that thinly disguise our insecurities over whether we really are living the life that we think everyone else wants to have. Every new year where we question our goals, our life direction, and jobs. Our minds become unsettled and sometimes lack peace.
Peace of mind, it’s a common term, we talk of not having peace of mind. How about peace in the soul, are the two connected? I think so. When our minds are at peace our soul is also at peace. Is it possible to have peace in our souls when we don’t have peace of mind? I think so too. Because peace may need to start in our soul to transfer to our minds, and sometimes it doesn’t quite reach our minds.
Have you ever felt unsettled, where a decision or concern weighs heavy on your mind? Or that nagging sense of there always being something that needs figuring out? What about when those answers that your mind desperately longs for but God seems silent on and that breaks your heart. Answers that are not easily found. Hearts that grieve. We live at a frantic pace and often don’t stop long enough to consider what peace in our minds actually feels like, we drown out our restlessness inside with busyness on the outside. Life is busy, we have many concerns and demands on our time. We have jobs, family, we have friends, homes, errands that all require our time and our thoughts. There is always something to do, somewhere to be, something to think about. Our minds roam around looking for peace and our bodies don’t settle. Peace seems elusive and yet we yearn for more of it. We want peace in our minds and hearts. At Christmas we send cards declaring peace and we buy peace as a decorative word to declare over our home and our lives. Do we stop to consider what that peace is, how did the birth of Christ really bring peace into a fractious world? Can we have that peace ourselves?
One of the deepest requirements of our soul is peace. The peace of that deep breath at the centre of our being where everything is all right, deep in our soul. I’m so aware that everything is not all right. All around is turbulence. Our external world is full of trouble and turmoil, and our internal world doesn’t bear that lightly.
So how do we find this elusive soul peace where also our heart is at rest, our mind is stilled? If Jesus is the Prince of Peace what does that mean to our troubled minds and our restless soul? How do we have this peace in our minds, heart and soul? I think it begins with the story of Christmas, of God come down, God with us. God as Jesus. This peace comes to me through the indwelling of Jesus in my soul through the presence of his Holy Spirit. God indwelling, God with us. God in my mind, God in my heart, God in my soul. It comes in my surrender to him. Our true, only hope for peace is with him and in him. I think that doesn’t mean that we always have peace of mind. I may have peace in my soul but I still have trouble in my mind. I think that is part of the soul’s peace, to trust that the trouble in my mind will not unseat the peace of God in my soul. That I can put the questions, concerns, burdens down for a while and treasure the peace in my soul without needing to have that peace of mind. And that maybe, after a while, this trouble doesn’t feel so pressing, so immediate, I can rest in his presence and trust him in his ways and that peace will transcend my understanding.
Bible verses on peace
The Lord blesses his people with peace.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone Lord make me dwell in safety.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.
2 Thess 3:16
Isaiah 9:6, John 20:21-22, John 14:27, Romans 15:13, Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:7, John 16:33, Luke 1:32, Jude 1:2
Peace creative project
Wooden block picture
It is my prayer that your project would serve as a reminder to live daily in that awareness of God’s peace. As you sit in Jesus’ presence let his peace flow through you. Be aware of his love for you and may it still your heart. Breathe in his presence. Let his peace reign in your heart. His peace reigns in you and gives you peace. The peace that transcends all understanding, that guards your heart and mind.
When Jesus was baptised it says that the spirit came down from heaven as a dove and remained on him. The intention of this picture you create is that it will encourage and remind you that God’s holy presence – his spirit – represented by the dove, indwelling in you can bring you his Peace.
Materials: Wood block, or old door or canvas, patterned or plain paper, blue, pink and white paint, printed peace word and dove template: [Download not found]
Equipment: paintbrushes large and fine, sandpaper, mod podge or decoupage medium, pencil, scissors.
When you start this project, prepare a space, protect your clothes and gather your materials and equipment. Take a moment before starting to breathe and slow yourself. There is no pressure of results here, the process of creating is as meaningful as the finished item. The time spent creating in God’s presence is an act of worship and can be done mindfully whilst meditating on his truths.
First paint the block in a blue colour, you can follow this tutorial to the letter or add your own creative flourish. I am using the colour blue as in colour psychology it represents peace and serenity. As you paint notice your brush strokes and how peaceful it is in the rhythm of your hands.
Leave the block to dry. Using a dry brush dip it in the pink paint and on a spare piece of paper, paint strokes to remove most of the colour, then brush over the blue on the block to add streaks.
Using your cut out dove template, trace around the dove onto your chosen paper in pencil. I have chosen a printed texture white paper, but you could again use your own choice of paper. The dove represents the Holy Spirit.
When the paint has dried, for a weathered look you may want to sandpaper some of the edges of the block.
Placing your printed peace word in top of your picture, with pencil go over the outline of the word peace pressing firmly. It should transfer an outline of the word onto the wood block, if the wood is soft enough. Mix your blue paint with a little white paint and fill in the word with paint, using a fine paintbrush.
With a brush, paint a thin layer of decoupage medium into the block where you want to place your dove and smooth your dove down on to it. Cover over the dove and the rest of the block with a thin layer of decoupage glue. Leave to dry.
Cover the whole picture with another thin layer of decoupage medium to seal. You may need to paint a few layers.
Screw a picture hook to the back of the picture to hang.
Hang your picture in your home and I pray that it reminds you as you go about your daily life that Jesus is your indwelling peace through his Holy Spirit.
This is a chapter from Re: create restore your creative soul, a creative devotional guide. You can buy it here.