A Quest for a Quiet Life

Welcome  I was recently doing some study in 1 Timothy.  The first verses of chapter two really resonated with me that day.  I want to share some of my thoughts about that study with you.  I also have a super-healthy salad to share in our recipe section.  Thank you for joining me.  Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisements or affiliate links seen on this blog.  For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  I don’t think it’s much coincidence that the words “peace” and “quiet” are often used side-by-side.  I think to achieve real peace in our world we must learn to be quiet.  Does that sound ironic coming from someone who writes her thoughts in a blog almost every day?  I do try to share my views in a somewhat-quiet manner, rather than beat you over the head with my opinions, but I’m talking about 1 Timothy 2:1-3 today.  Let me share these verses with you, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good and pleases God our Savior.”  I underlined our key words for today.  A couple months ago I wrote a post about praying for our leaders in government and referenced these verses, but today I want to focus on the part about living peaceful and quiet lives.  I love how verse three states that this pleases God.  This is really my goal in life…to live peacefully and quietly and to please God.

My first thoughts were of the world we are living in these days.  We are living in a world saturated with media and lots of people screaming to be heard.  The groups that shout the loudest, either literally or by their actions, are the ones that get heard, especially by the media.  Our society likes drama…otherwise we wouldn’t have all of the ridiculous “reality” shows portraying dramatic behaviors, whether real or fake.  Social media blows up with drama, either politically or among family and friends.  My saying is always “Facebook is no place to air your dirty laundry.”  But no one listens…it’s there every day, and I have to just keep scrollin’ on.  So it would seem the society around us has no interest in living quiet lives, and in my opinion, there will be no peace either.

My second idea was how hard it is to lead a “quiet” life in the work place.  I bet a lot of us currently, or have in the past, work in places where you disagree with the opinions of your employers, but what do you do?  What I experienced in the work place was if you aren’t a person that brings the drama, it’s hard to be heard.  I worked with some teachers and staff that were criers, screamers, whiners, and profanity-slingers.  I guarantee all of them were listened to before someone like me, who just wanted to quietly disagree, yet still be heard and have my opinions count for something.  It feels like “calm and quiet” isn’t taken seriously anymore.  It’s so frustrating!  Even through my last few months of working at school, with feelings of pain, hurt, and disappointment, I tried to resign and leave as quietly as possible.

Hooker Falls, North Carolina
A quiet place…Hooker Falls, DuPont State Forest, North Carolina

The third thought I had was how this probably explains why my husband and I take the types of vacations we do.  In the past couple of years we have been criticized by “friends” who cannot believe we have never been to Disney World.  Umm…not quiet, not peaceful, too much drama!  When I would tell people that my husband and I were headed to North Carolina or Tennessee to go hiking for Spring Break, they would look at me almost with pity, like we didn’t know how to take “real” vacations.  For us, hiking is fun, but also vacations are meant to be quiet and peaceful, at least to us anyway.  We live in a suburb of a large city and it gets pretty “noisy” here.  Everyone’s competing to be more busy than their neighbor and like other urban areas, there’s plenty of bad news going around.  So we seek the solitude of the trails and the fresh, clean mountain air.  This past Spring, my husband and I hiked six days in North Carolina and Tennessee, and there were a couple days we saw less than 5 people total, all day.  It was fantastic!  It’s almost like I can watch the stress lift away from my body.  I am incredibly thankful for these places of peace and quiet.

So yes, I just want to live my quiet life with my family and seek peace and calm.  An interesting thing I notice these days, however, is we have to be intentional in living our quiet lives.  For my family, that means limiting media, whether news, television, or social websites.  It means not becoming too busy with activities that can overwhelm or distract us.  It means taking time to do quiet activities, like reading, art, or puzzles, on occasion.  It means seeking some quiet time with God on a daily basis.  It means when we are quiet, we can really listen to each other.  Living a peaceful and quiet life can be pleasing, both to God, and myself.

Today’s Scriptures  We began our study today with 1 Timothy 2:1-3.  I have a few additional verses to share today regarding being quiet.

Exodus 14:14  “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Proverbs 17:28  “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12  “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so you will not be dependent on anybody.”

James 1:19  “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

1 Peter 3:3-4  “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Today’s Recipe  I should have shared this Power Salad yesterday for a Wellness Wednesday, but it’s never too late for some delicious and nutritious healthy eats!  We call this Power Salad at our house because of all the vitamins and antioxidants this baby’s packin’.  The brighter your diet, typically, the healthier you’re eating, and no, I’m not talking about Cheeto-orange or the radioactive hue of Velveeta!  Here, we’ve got our dark greens with spinach, broccoli, and romaine.  We have the blues and purples from blueberries and dried cranberries.  The sunflower seeds are a good source of Vitamin E, B-6, and Magnesium.  While cucumbers aren’t praised for any of the “big” nutrients, they do contain phytonutrients including cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids and help us achieve our daily water intake.  We top it off with some low-fat feta, which has such a strong flavor you only need a little to bring big impact.  This recipe also includes a homemade vinaigrette, because I just can’t bring myself to finish this salad with a plastic bottle of store-bought dressing.  The one thing this salad is lacking is a serving of protein, so we serve it with a side of grilled chicken, marinated with a little lemon juice and garlic.  Power up, salad’s ready!

Power Salad (serves 8-10, leftovers keep in a sealed plastic container, left undressed, for 2-3 days)

  • 6 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 6 oz bag of chopped romaine
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped small
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels (I use unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta, crumbled
  • Place large leafy vegetables in bowl, then top with remaining vegetables and fruits.  Sprinkle on sunflower kernels and feta.  Serve with my Honey Vinaigrette or dressing of your choice.

Honey Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS salt-free herb blend (I use Penzey’s Mural of Flavor, but you could also use a Mrs. Dash blend)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I have to keep the salt content down in my recipes because of blood pressure issues.  You may find it needs more salt, but remember, feta is pretty salty, too.)
  • Place all ingredients in a small (pint size) Mason jar.  Screw on lid and shake vigorously until ingredients are well mixed.  We pass the jar at the table so everyone can add how much they want and the leftover salad will store better if it hasn’t been dressed.
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