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Peace Be Still
by Mary Elder-Criss
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Peace Be Still

The alarm clock beeps its annoying ditty, to announce 8 a.m. has arrived yet once again, mixing it’s rather soulful strains with the telephone’s discordant ringing and a 90 lb. yellow lab whoofing at the door to announce her need for morning relief. I groan, roll over and try to answer the alarm clock while Maggie issues a howl that could qualify her for a part in a Stephen King flick.

As I struggle to shut the alarm clock off, and fling the offending telephone under a wad of dirty laundry at the foot of the bed, while trying to disentangle myself from the sheets that have managed to wrap me up like a two-bit extra in “Return of the Mummy,” I hear my 10 year old moan from her bedroom. “Mooooommm” she croaks....and I hang my head in despair. I know that frog voice. It means the onslaught of another asthmatic respiratory attack is on its way. So much for today’s plans. “Just a minute, hon.” I yell, as I continue to fight my way clear of the sheets, which have now become hopelessly entwined around my ankles.

Stumbling up the hall, I trip over one of my 6 year olds Barbie’s laying face down with arms and legs all akimbo, like she was the test protege for “Skydiving Barbie without a Parachute.” My kids Barbies lead a rough life. None of that sissy, let’s dress up and go to the ball for these Barbies, oh no. They are all Ninja Barbie’s or Rambo Barbie’s, or test subject Barbies. They are rough and tough Barbies that could thwart all evil. And they look the part. Most of the time their hair is well, rather mussed, looking as if they had spent the day in some remote wild jungle fighting off man-eating tigers, instead of at the beauty parlor getting their perfectly sculpted nails done. But anyway, I digress.

Kicking the offending Ninja-Rambo-Skydiving-test subject doll out of my way, I continue on towards the family room to let the now jitterbugging dog out.

Stepping down (there’s a step) into the family room, to let the frantically dancing dog out the door, I wince as underused muscles scream a protest due to my participation in our Youth Drama Ministry’s practice session yesterday. (this includes interpretive dance, and is for the Youth for a reason.....the reason being, I’m too old).

As I actually navigate the step, my foot lands on a Hot Wheel’s pile up. Evidently there was an accident on I-94 right under the step of the family room last night, and there were no emergency personnel to clean up. Muttering under
my breath, as I let the dog out, I try to remember the verse which assures me children are gifts from God. My dog’s response of gratitude is to step on my feet on her way out. I stagger back up the step, and peer at the kitchen clock. 8:05 a.m. and I have been attacked by sheets, Ninja Barbies, Hot Wheels and the family dog,
all before the first cup of Maxwell House.

Just as I raise the cup of life to my trembling lips, I am interrupted by the shrill ringing of the telephone again, as my 10 year old voices another croaking plea, longer and more demanding this time.“MOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!"Jumping inadvertently, I slosh the brimming hot black potion onto my shirt front. Great. I
limp/hop back to the bathroom, holding the steaming shirt away from my skin, as I watch the coffee slowly eat a hole through the cloth. (not really, but it sounded good). Quickly grabbing a different shirt, I change while assuring my daughter I haven’t forgotten she is in her death throes, while I search frantically for the ringing telephone.

Finally locating it under the mountain of dirty laundry, I answer, only to be greeted by the Nasal Voice of a telemarketer. I interrupted them long enough to tell them politely I had exactly $0.32 to my name in my bank account. That is, if
the bank hadn’t gotten it yet for service fees, and if they hadn’t, I needed it to buy one Tylenol for the horrendous headache I had after only 8 minutes of being awake.

Hanging up, I proceed to my daughter’s bedside to murmur soft encouraging words of comfort. They sounded something like: “Have you been using your inhaler?” After a cough, and a glimpse at her “I forgot” face, I shake my head and wander
back across the hall into the bathroom where I grab inhaler, allergy medication, Children’s Tylenol, thermometer and a glass of water to take back to her. After waiting for 8 minutes for the 1 minute thermometer to work, I discover she is
running a fever of 102. I then go back to the bedroom to try to find the telephone once more to phone the doctor. After telling the nurse that her chest is congested, gurgly sounding and she is running a fever, I am instructed to bring her into the office in 45 minutes. I check the clock, I check my appearance in the mirror, and I
sigh, knowing that this day isn’t going to get any easier. I have about an hour to get myself, and 2 children halfway presentable, and about 20 minutes to do it in.


Limping back towards the kitchen I decide there is no way any of this can be even remotely considered until I have the first cup of coffee. Which, of course, has now congealed and grown cold in the cup, and in the pot, as I forgot to hit the warmer switch. Sigh. Life just keeps getting better and better. I zap the coffee in the microwave and realize belatedly, I need to pray. I bow my head, in a quick plea for

“Dear Lord, this day hasn’t started out very well. I was awakened by disruption, and a sick child. I was attacked by a Ninja Skydiving Barbie that probably was the cause of that 10 car pile up of Hotwheels, as their drivers were most likely distracted by this giant Amazon Woman crashing down from the sky. I was stepped on by the dog. I spilled coffee on my flesh, and that was before even getting a taste of it, and now I have to get myself and two others ready in about 10 minutes. I was harassed by a telemarketer, and I have just realized that I have to pay a $15 dollar co-payment at the doctors office, and I’m $14.68 short on that, not to mention the prescriptions. And I STILL haven’t had my first cup of coffee. Lord, if You could, could You just give me a little help? In Jesus Name I pray, and
thanks. Amen.”

Remaining silent and still for a moment, I took a deep breath and I listened. And you know what? I heard Him answer. His answer was this, Peace be still , my child.

And you know what else? Suddenly, this crazy day, and this crazy start, and this crazy life of mine all made perfect sense. True, it had gotten off badly, but it had gotten off. True, I had been awakened by the phone, alarm clock and dog, but also true, I was able to hear. True, the sheets had tried to do an imitation of “The Mummy Returns” on me, but also true, I had warm blankets and a comfortable bed to sleep in. True, I was attacked by a Ninja Barbie in the hall, but that only means that my children not only have the necessities, but God has blessed us enough, that they have playthings as well (even if they are used in non-conformist fashions).

True, I winced in pain from underused muscles in my legs, but they are strong enough to carry me upright. True, the dog stepped on my feet as I let her out the door, but also true, she is loyal and a good watchdog, that protects the very
house that the Lord blessed me to live in. True, the coffee got cold before I could drink it, but the Lord provides a cup to drink it out of. True, telemarketers are annoying, but....well, telemarketers are annoying. True, my daughter is sick, but I have faith that through prayer, and by Jesus’ stripes, she will be healed. True, I don’t have enough money right now to cover the medicine and visit, but the Lord directed me to a Christian doctor that will let me postdate the check, and will even give me samples of medication.

True, my hair looks like the Safari Barbie’s hair, but I have it to comb. Yes, the Lord has blessed me. Peace be still. My cup runneth over(and not just on my shirt.)

Oh, and one more thing He blesses me with. Travel cups to take in the car. Thank You Lord. Peace be still.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Pisacane 02 Oct 2003
Loved This!!! Thanks for sharing a "special moment" !! May the Lord watch over you and guard you well. Julie Pisacane
29 Jan 2003
Cute and funny, all moms can relate and that's what you want. Check your punctuation again, with all that going on the reader needs the extra clues of punctuation to help them get every funny detail.


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