Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Ordered Life

“The way you keep your house,
the way you organize your time,
the care you take in your personal appearance,
the things you spend your money on,
all speak loudly about what you believe.
The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life.
 A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

My friend, Amanda, posted this beautiful quote.
I think it is so true.
Not that everything has to go perfectly smooth in your life, or that your home has to be squeaky clean, or that your yard has to be perfectly manicured.
No, things don't need to be perfect.
Believe me, this has taken me a long time to come to grips with.

There is a balance and order, though, to keeping your life.
It comes from having peace that God is in control and that He is a God of order and beauty and creativity.
If you are listening to Him, delving into His word daily, and striving to live life to its fullest...with the peace that He knows your very next step and what is going to happen tomorrow...your life will have order.
Taking care of what you have been blessed with and sharing it to the best of your ability...
Organizing your time and your home so that you make it a place of rest and peace...
a haven for those that live there as well as those who pass by.
Caring about your appearance and knowing that you are a masterpiece in God's eyes...
Being content with what you are blessed with at this very moment and having a heart of grace and gratitude...
This is the kind of peace that I strive for.

The state of your heart is what fosters the way things look around you.
It's not about putting up a good "front,"  comparing yourself to others, or caring more about how everything looks around you to impress friends.
Bringing order to your life is really about letting the state of your heart change and morph into something that is lovely and so full of peace that it can only spill forth into what your life "looks like."

It's the peace of Christ that shines forth in an ordered life....and your life and gifts are a reflection of who Christ is.

Sometimes I fall short....and you know what...it is OK.
 When you have that sense of peace and calmness in your heart, you can pick up where you left off.
Brush off the dirt.
Get back up and let the beauty shine through in the midst of whatever life throws your way. 
The Lord's peace is like a shield that shelters you from all of the hardships that may come in life.

There are a few people that I know who truly exude this kind of peace.
Do you know someone like that?
When you stand next to them you can feel peace.
My Aunt Barbara is like this and I admire her so much.
She is a woman of God's peace and grace.
She has always lived a life that is ordered and lovely.
Her home is one that you just want to stay and stay... it is cozy, warm, welcoming and shines of her hospitality and talent.
She always looks beautiful and she taught me so many fun little beauty tips when I was little.
She and my Uncle have always spent wisely.
Now they are able to thoroughly enjoy their life as semi-retirees:).

I am sure that her life has had many a bump in the road, but her outlook is always the same.
She looks to God first.
I can remember riding home from school one Winter day with her, and the car started to slip backwards down a snowy hill.
She didn't scream or panic {out loud}...she just said, "Everybody PRAY!!"
And pray we did...and we didn't stop until two big guys stopped the car and helped us turn it around.
She told them they were angels:).

If I could just remember to pray first in everything, I wonder how much of my life would shine through with the beauty of peace.

Wishing you a day full of God's abundant grace, order, peace...so that your life can speak loudly of what you believe:).

~Julia

18 comments:

Valerie said...

Loved today's post, Julia! I have been "ordering" my home...by starting with myself! I think that how we look on the outside is a definite reflection of how we feel on the inside...even if we want to believe differently.

Blessings, sweet friend,

Val

Gumbo Lily said...

God's peace radiates through your blog and so through you.

Keep Home Simple said...

beautiful, beautiful post Julia.

Katy~The Country Blossom said...

A beautiful post!! :)

You describe exactly how I strive (and desire) to be! :)

Warmly,
katy :)

Alexis said...

What a beautiful message. Finding order in your life certainly brings out a sense of peace, even if it isn't "perfect." Because you're right, nothing can be perfect.

A Baker's Dozen Barnhouse News said...

Julia,

I love Elizabeth Elliot and the quote you included in today's post, and what a beautiful reminder you've left us with. Such a beautiful and edifying post. Thank you!

And are the pictures taken on your farm? They are absolutely lovely and look good enough to be post cards:)

Have a blessed and peaceful evening...

Sherry

Passionedeco...perchè le case hanno un'anima said...

Dear dear Julia,

can you tell me why, when I read your posts, I get goosebumps?

Thank you.

Fra

Thrifty Mom in Boise said...

Beautiful post. Love the quote. Words to live by.

Anne Marie said...

yes, I have met a few women who have that "peace" about them...it really makes me want to be a better individual myself...
your post today Julia is so beautifully written...God is blessing you so tenderly with such a tender heart
I can just hear your sweet voice telling me your thoughts...someday!

Lila said...

I just discovered your blog recently and I have to tell you what a blessing it has been! This post was exactly what I needed to hear...thank you for putting it into words!

Amanda said...

my goodness, you've said it so well!

an ordered life= balance.

Yes indeed!

some precious summertime photos of your fields to go along with this timely quote my friend.

;-)

Jillayne said...

Oh my, you spoke straight to me today. The first few lines of the quote, and I realized these words would sum up everything I am feeling about my life of late.
Your thoughts here today are so beautiful and gentle; this is my favourite post of all.

Christi said...

Julia, you said with words what my heart has been feeling for quite some time. Thank you for the sweet reminder.

Kelly said...

Julia,
I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have it in my favorites. I read it whenever I need some peace and beauty. We used to live in eastern WA (in Silverdale) and I was just learning about all the great local organic foods and farmer's markets, etc. I learned how to can and to knit and had time to sew. Now we have transferred to the midwest (can you say DROUGHT?) and are stuck in a fast paced suburban lifestyle that is killing me internally. Last year, we got so overwhelmed with so many outside activities and obligations that it really took it's toll on our family. I'm a homeschooling mom of 4 (soon to be 5) and am trying really hard to take a step back and reassess the real priorities and just SLOW DOWN. I am learning to not attack the day with my agenda in mind, but rather to just be peacefully quiet inside and allow God to lead. I'm amazed at how little He is actually telling me to accomplish but rather to just be present with Him and my immediate surroundings! Anyhow, your post today was so beautiful and inspiring and EXACTLY the confirmation I was looking for. Perhaps you should write a book someday? hmmm. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Kelly

Annette said...

Thank you. I needed that today.

Heather said...

Lovely - and so very true. Thank you for sharing your heart - your words were just what I needed this evening.

Cheryl said...

Love this post Julia.
It is so very true. We often let our circumstances dictate us. Loved the story of your Auunt. We all need to stop and pray first. ...well I know I need to anyway.
Thanks for sharing this. I needed that little reminder.

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Hi Julia,
I linked onto your blog from Pinterest and have so enjoyed reading your posts! I originally was looking at your mason jar soap dispensers :)

Your post about peace and an ordered life is wonderful, I love the way you've been able to put it into words. My Grandma had that peace and I loved being at her home with her. I wanted to grow up to be just like her and I'm still striving for that. There is nothing more satisfying than having the peace of Christ dwell in our hearts.

Have a blessed weekend!

Jan

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