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As I prayed for you during quarantine and how I could best serve and encourage you, God laid on my heart to ask some of my friends to share their wisdom and expertise.  I am so excited to bring you a series of guest posts from my friends, starting with Ericka Eller.  

Ericka Eller is a life coach and functional nutritionist empowering high-achieving women to increase their success by beating burnout, adrenal fatigue and making health a priority.  

Ericka has a weekly podcast – Vulnerable You Stress Unscripted.  I have been a guest on her podcast (Episode 31) and I follow it.  She is so knowledgeable about stress yet she converses so effortlessly with guests –  sometimes I feel like I am listening in on a conversation amongst close friends.

You can connect with Ericka on Instagram @theerickaeller, on Facebook at Ericka Eller and on her website erickaeller.com

A Peaceful & Quiet Life

by Ericka Eller

“…that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life.” 1 Timothy 2:2

I came across this verse in my quiet time and every fiber in my being was drawn to it.

This is exactly what I crave and yet I’m drawn to busy. I’m drawn to work. To productivity. To serving. To achievement & perfection.

As a stress management expert and coach, I teach that stress is a choice. Stress starts in the mind. How we think matters. What we focus on matters. I am not immune to any of these truths.

As I read and re-read this verse, I realized that I desire a quiet and peaceful life yet my everyday actions aren’t congruent to that desire.

I looked up the definition of “peaceful” in the dictionary and I read,

free from disturbance; tranquil

not involving war or violence

Surely, that’s what I experience daily, right?!?

Am I free from disturbance? Do I feel tranquil?

I guess my answer depends on the day. On the days when I start with Jesus and allow the slowness of the morning to lead the way for my day, then yes, I do feel like my life is a peaceful & quiet one.

On the days when I wake up anxious with my to-do list running through my mind, ruminating thoughts on past “failures” or fears of the future holding me captive, and react by getting on my phone or heading directly to my office, then yes, my life feels chaotic as I pursue productivity and achievement. Stress rules these days.

In those panic-driven days, I allow fear to guide me. This either results in a whole lot of busy-work or I shut down in deflation. Non-stop or off. There is no in-between.

The question I often return to in those times:

How can I lead a peaceful & quiet life that truly feels connected to Jesus and honor what I am called to do by Him?

Because I am a nerd, I also looked up the definition of the word quiet.

Verb:

1. making little or no noise

2. carried out discreetly, secretly, or with moderation.

Noun:

absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm

As I read this, I realized the chaos is all internal. It starts in my mind. I get easily distracted. I allow so much input. I worry that I’m missing out on something. I stress out. I get busy or I shut down. Either way, I don’t move forward.

My internal busyness is preventing my peaceful & quiet life.

A peaceful and quiet life isn’t necessarily one that is solely made up of yoga and sitting in nature. Because, believe me, chaos can find you there also.

A peaceful and quiet life is one without constantly seeking the “next big thing”. It’s a life where contentment is found in the present, where growth is preferred over achievement. When I focus on the present, I am thriving right where I am.

I want to move forward in my life with intention and being led by Christ.

I want all the inner struggle over what I “should be” doing to be minor in comparison over “knowing” what God would have me do.

Being in communion with Him each day will always trump the tasks I think I, again, “should be” focusing on. Social media posts, emails, podcasts, speaking engagements, and blogs will pale in comparison when I am confident in my calling because my days start with Jesus. My rest is found in Jesus. My peace comes from Jesus.

Leading a stress-less, peaceful, and quiet life starts with an invitation from Jesus being accepted by me.

How do you create a peaceful and quiet life?

It starts by intentional design. Write out everything you desire on one side of a paper. Think of every element in your life: If given the option, how do you want your days to look like? How would you start your mornings? What would your relationships look like? What would it look like to have a meaningful career? What do you want your legacy to be? (Spoiler alert-you do have the option to design this life you desire

Next, think about how you would currently describe the state of each of those situations on the other side of the paper? How do you feel about each of these areas?

If you don’t feel like they are congruent, it is time to consider why and how you can create the life you desire.

A peaceful and quiet life comes from intention and design. Plan out your self-care & quiet time before anything else on your calendar. I have my morning quiet time scheduled every morning at 5:30. I know that if I don’t do it first, I get overtaken by my other work tasks and obligations.

I honor that time like I would a doctor appointment or an appointment with a client. My time with Jesus allows me to start my day not out of reaction, but out of intention.

Maybe you are seeing a theme here?  Intention.

So much of our stress stems from reactivity in our life to circumstances that surround us. When we decide what we allow in our life and how we will respond beforehand to distractions, we can experience greater peace.

You have more control than you realize. You can choose how you spend your time. You can choose how you respond to circumstances. You can choose your priorities. You can choose what your legacy will be.

Choosing a life that is peaceful and quiet is within your reach…it merely takes some intentional design and your peace is worth that.