#thirstythursday / the difference between peace and peacefulness

My friend Gary Morland wrote something that has been stuck in my mind all day long:

Peace on earth. It’s part of the message of Christmas.

But I get it wrong. Here’s what I call peace:

When things are calm and all the pieces are in place;

When I see check-marks on the to-do list;

When there are no interruptions and things are going the way I planned;

Early in the morning in my favorite chair with my coffee and Oswald Chambers;

I call that peace.

That’s not peace. That’s peacefulness.

Peace is when the bottom falls out, you’re scared, nothing is working, you can’t believe they think that about you, this day will never end, you’re not going to make it, and hell is frozen . . .

And you aren’t freaked or angry or resentful.

You feel the potential for panic, but you don’t give in to it. The storm is on the outside, the calm is on the inside.

It’s not peaceful but there’s peace.

That’s the peace of Christmas. That’s the kind of peace Jesus came to bring.

Peacefulness depends on circumstances.

Peace depends on my trust in the absolute adequacy and sufficiency of Jesus for every circumstance, problem, fear, emotion, interruption, project, and relationship.

Oh my goodness gracious.

Have you ever thought about the difference between peace and peacefulness? Me neither.

I all too often confuse peacefulness for peace.

Those words: The storm is on the outside, the calm is on the inside.


Because I love photos and remember pictures sometimes better than words –  here is an example to illustrate Gary’s words of wisdom.

My idea of peacefulness would be something like this:


An example of peace would be something like this happening in public and me keeping my composure and a smile on my face – even while everyone stares and gives me suggestions on how to parent ((insert my knee-jerk reaction to tell people I actually know what I’m doing and no, he is not hungry and no, his toes are not cold)).


God, I want the ability to experience Your peace in the midst of my circumstances – no matter what is falling apart around me.

When our 3 year old is having a terrible tantrum and we can’t do anything to make her stop – I want peace.

When things in our business don’t go as planned and we start the day super stressed because of an employee’s decision beyond our control – I want peace.

When someone says something that just hits me the wrong way and I want to give them a piece of my mind – I want peace.

When I come home and the laundry is piled up and there is living proof that we have a family that creates clutter – I want peace.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27

I’m thirsty for true peace from above on this #thirstythursday. How about you, friend?

Thank you, Gary. Your words rang true for me tonight.

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Encouragement for the Day:

the daily Starr thirsty thursday peace

[Photo Source: Pinterest]

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6 replies to “#thirstythursday / the difference between peace and peacefulness

  1. Wow! Did I need that. And Peace. Real Peace. I have trouble giving it all to Him. I need to try harder. I read every day even if I don’t comment. I am ALWAYS Blessed! Love ya, Starr. You hit a home run with this one. 😊

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