Finding Peace & Keeping Hope

I had planned to give you a tour of some of the rooms we’ve finished at our Farmhouse in this post. And then…..Friday happened. It’s kind of hard to give a perky house tour when we’re all feeling so shocked and saddened and scared.

I went out last evening to “get up” my horses for the night. I leaned down to the creek to fill up their bucket when a strange light reflected on the water. I looked behind me and saw the setting sun. Streaks of pink and orange behind a tree-topped mountain. I saw the church steeple off in the distance. I just stopped. I was in awe. I stopped and talked to God. I talked about pain and sorrow and violence and children.

And then you know what came over me? Peace.

And I thought, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

And I sang it. No other person was there. Just me. Me, my soul, my God, my horses, my creek, my sunset, my steeple, my mountain, my heart.

(A beautiful youtube version: Vince Gill. I sounded nothing like this.)

I do believe in Peace and Hope, do you? And I believe in Christmas and Christmas Spirit, do you? I also believe in miracles, do you? I believe that peace is possible in the worst of times. It comes from within; it certainly does not come from without.

Peace on earth does not come from us focusing on the tragedies in the world. It comes from deep inside us, from that quiet place in your heart. We must find it and let it grow. We must allow it to spread to EACH OTHER. Peace will grow stronger in each of us as we come together and help each other. As we hold onto hope amidst all the tragedies in the world. Tragedy is present. Tragedy will always be present. In some shape or form. You just don’t have to look very far to find it, see it, feel it.

We must find PEACE in spite of the pain.

I’ve been living in my bubble up here at the farm. It’s a wonderful bubble. People are honest and nice and friendly and welcoming. My land is beautiful. My home is a dream come true. I could just stay holed up here and be content the rest of my life. I could just grow turnips and eat eggs from some chickens and ride my horse in the sunset.

But I can’t live in the bubble and ignore the pain in the world. I’ve got to do my part in easing it. We all need to do that.

What can I do? I only have two hands.

But I have TWO hands!

I can be PEACE. I can create a PEACEFUL home. I can parent PEACEFULLY. I can share my PEACE with those I encounter. I can reach out to those who might need some PEACEFUL influences today.

I have a friend whose family is the biggest mess I’ve ever seen. Every holiday holds new TRAUMA DRAMA. Is there anything I can do? I can offer support and concern to my friend. I can be there when she needs to talk. I can show LOVE.

I know a young boy who is headed down the wrong path. Is there anything I can do? I can go out of my way to have contact with him. I can mentor him to make better decisions. I can show him that people believe in him. I can find some sort of motivation for him to do better.

I know a woman whose husband suddenly died last week. Is there anything I can do? I can listen. I can be present. I can let her know that I care. I can take her soup.

I know a mother whose heart hurts because of her son’s addiction. Is there anything I can do? I can be there. I can try to understand. I can listen. I can encourage her.

I can be HOPE.

Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a kinder world. Hope for stronger families. Hope in each other. Hope for a happy today.

I can plant my garden and share the harvest with someone who might be in need of some fresh veggies.

I can share my closet and pantry.

I can visit and support the elderly neighbor whose husband is not getting better.

I can commune with my Farmgirl Sisters and share our common vision for a better, healthier life.

I can dress up like an elf, the way I have every Christmas for the last 20 years or so, and read joyful stories to elementary school children.

I can show you my secret. The tree I found this weekend that I’m saving for something special, maybe the White House?

(My Facebook friends know what happened when I came down the mountain.

My truck

got stuck

in deep muck!)

I can Live Joy.

That’s my Christmas wish. That I can somehow ease someone else’s burden.


Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love and PEACE and HOPE, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. loreta says:

    Rebekah, you are one in a million. I loved everything you said it is so true.

  2. Cindy says:

    Beautiful, Rebekah! I have been thinking of S.t Francis of Assisi these past few days, and all I want is to be a instrument of peace from this day forward, and forever more. I feel a much deeper commitment to this now. Every action and every word creates the future. Our world needs us all to BE PEACE, not just hope for it, but actually live it! Small ways, big ways, all ways. I ask for guidance everyday, I pray, and then I act…kindly, with purpose, with love. You are such a lovely, lovely lady, a kindred spirit with whom I can see myself having coffee and a deep conversation about what we can all do, right here, right now, to create peace on earth. Many problems are solved when women come together, and many times it starts right over the kitchen table, over the back yard fence, or sitting on the front porch…but then you get up and take it out into the world and give it away!

    Thank you for being you, you’re a blessing! And a Merry, Bright, and Beautiful Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Rene Foust says:

    Thanks for such a wonderful and insightful read. I hope you and your family have the most joyful Christmas ever; it sure sounds like you are well on your way.

    P.S. I look forward to seeing your tree at the White House or maybe even Rockefeller center someday!

    May all your dreams come true!

  4. Teri says:

    Amen and Amen.

  5. Sherry says:

    Such truth and insight. I too, have been thinking these things. I know in this world we WILL have trouble….our world is Dark…I am called to be light and show the peace that lives IN me, the Peace that overcomes the world. Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Sharon C. says:

    You do have a way with words. Thank you for the beautiful insight.
    This is what I posted after the shootings last Friday. That Mr Longfellow had a way with words too.

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    "There is no peace on earth," I said;
    "For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on the earth, good-will to men."

    Merry Christmas , Rebekah and peace for us all.

  7. Maureen says:

    Oh Rebekah! I’m printing this entry off and putting it on my work desk. (I work at a University) You never know what people are feeling, there are so many pressures here, and it just reinforces my philosophy to be as kind as I can to everyone. It comes back to you in the most amazing ways.

    Thanks so much! Many blessings to you and yours!

  8. Jan says:

    Beautiful sentiment, Rebekah. We can all share our positive peace with those around us, in Farmgirl style..I love your elf outfit, too.

  9. Lori says:

    You are an inspiration! Thank you for being you and sharing with the rest of us. Peace unto you and yours.

  10. Debbie says:

    Howdy Sister Rebekah! My heart is heavy too… Love all you shared here today…What else can we do but BE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE…walk in hope and faith every day and be there for each other!
    Lots of love and huge farmgirl hugs to you, your sweet hubby and daughter and all the critters!
    Your beachy farmgirl sister from the northeast!

  11. Diana Henretty says:

    Good Morning From The Ozarks,
    Our hearts and prayers go with each one this holiday season.
    At a time when tragedy struck, I got a call from our daughter who was
    holding her newly adopted baby boy in N. Carolina. Her and her husband left work in Tulsa and drove straight thru to hold him in their arms, tiny at 4 pds.
    My heart was rejoicing, and my heart was sad a the same time, here we are
    given this precious angel for Christmas and 20 angels were taken from our nation. We strive to make sense of it all and come up without answers,
    except to create peace in our own homes and lives hoping that it will spread
    all thru the world.
    Merry Christmas to All From the Christmas City, Noel, Mo ~hugs Diana~

  12. bobbie calgaro says:

    Well said Rebekkah. You have hit the nail on the head. We can not cure the world but we can impact our little peace of it. The Lord is in charge when it is all said and done. He lets evil persist because we live in an imperfect world often of our own making. But HE cares for each one of us as he does the sparrow in the bible verse. We can take comfort in that and share that Love and Comfort with those around us. Take Joy! And a very Merry Christmas

  13. drMolly says:

    Merry Christmas to you & your family, Rebekah. Good ideas for all of us.
    I forget that everyone does not act in the same manner as I do – these type of things seem to be second nature & I do forget.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Peace & JOY to all this day & forward.

  14. sharon says:

    thank you so much for your words on peace, it is so important to let go of the horrible things going on, and your words on this made me feel better Merry Christmas, my rule this year will be hug those you love just a bit harder…its important.

  15. Meredith (Hereford Girl) says:

    Rebecca- YOU are an ANGEL sent from GOD. You always know just what to say and how to say it. You GO girl- you are so INSPIRING! Merry Christmas and Peace to you and your family!

  16. Louise Marie says:

    Your message gave my peaceful yearnings a much needed boost. Lately peace has been far from my mind and prayers. i listened to Vince Gill’s peace song and Yusef Islam’s Peace Train and read your words. Now i feel that i am on the right path again. TYVM.

  17. Adrienne says:

    Hanukkah ended Saturday and all of us in the Congregation Sherith Israel sent prayers and many blessings to those suffering in Connecticut. Christmas will never be the same holiday but its promise of peace will help all of us heal. Thank you for the wonderful words.

  18. Linda Petersen says:

    Thank you Rebekah for sharing your heart. I agree with you completely & I know it’s the Peace that God gives~~~not the world~~~that sustains us. Let’s shine our lights & lift those precious families up in prayer. Merry Christmas Everyone & Peace be with you!
    XO, Linda

  19. kay says:

    Merry Christmas Rebekah……

  20. bonnie ellis says:

    Rebecca: Peace does begin with us. Thank you for reminding all of us. I find that farmgirls practice this principle. Isn’t it great to be part of something that is so good. God Bless You.

  21. Beverly says:

    Amen, Rebekah, amen. May everyone find PEACE and JOY this holiday season and all the days to come…..

  22. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    What an inspiring, comforting post. All of us can do something to help those we encounter on our journey through life. The doing helps us in our sorrow and helps others we meet. Thank you for this heartfelt post! Mary Beth

  23. Joan says:

    YOU are beyond my word power – Thank YOU!!!
    God Bless!!

  24. Pat says:

    Rebekah, I couln’t have said it better. Wishing everyone a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

  25. Marion says:

    Rebekah you are truly inspiring. I think too that peace begins with our own selves and how we live our lives. We do need to be aware of and reach out to those who need hope and inspiration. As we spread this peace and kindness may we in some way make our world a better place.

  26. Mary Pitman says:

    wow!!! and there is said that no one believes in God any more! This proves them wrong! Thanks so much for your insight on the world. You are so inspiring to us ‘farm women’, the true believers! You do have a way with words, and we all thank you for sharing.

  27. Deborah Bessom says:

    Thank you for your blog of peace at this time that we celebrate the Prince of Peace. Merry Merry Christmas!!!

  28. Pam Houge says:

    Thank you. I really needed to read this on this cold, gray, misty Iowa morning. You are always an inspiration. Thank you and Merry Christmas. Peace….

  29. Carol in NC says:

    Loved this post. I even took the time to read the comments and I ditto every one of them. Concerning the special tree you found, I get it. I’ve had favorite trees on every piece of property we’ve ever owned and would often seek them out while I was out walking, pat them on their trunks and wish them well.
    Merry Christmas Rebekah to you and your family! Hope it’s wonderful!

  30. Denisha says:

    Very good article. I absolutely appreciate this site.
    Keep it up!

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