Oikos: Peace and Love

I’ve been wrestling with God for weeks and just now, He speaks loud and clear.

“I hear you. I see you. I love you.”

All morning I’ve been singing “Jehovah Shalom” by Shannon Wexelberg. It’s the song I sang at the jail on Thursday night to women desperate for peace. A baker’s dozen: twelve inmates and me.

I sang it today on the trail, three miles worth of power walking and her voice on repeat.

“Your Spirit soothes me. Fills and renews me. I am completely in need of You! Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Shalom, You are my Peace. You are my Peace.”

Speaking those things that aren’t as though they are. Jehovah Shalom. I rearranged the Scrabble letters and spelled



I’m facing a big decision and I need Peace. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but simply knowing His voice and standing in that place of peace.

The morning started off great. Peter and I prayed together about the day, about finances. But the truth is, it’s much easier to write about OIKOS than to live it.

Home less than 24 hours and I blew it. Completely blew it. In my desire to get everyone ready and out the door to Band Camp, I barked orders faster than a drill-sergeant-turned-short-order-cook.

Hadn’t I just prayed with Peter before my feet even hit the floor? That all would go well this morning? I even submitted my thoughts, words and behaviors to God.  Submitted our family to Him.

We’re all in the van ready to head out when I realize no one packed sunscreen. They’ll be outside for most of this 90+ degree day and no one had sunscreen. I ask tell Michaela to get her bag with sunscreen in it so they can all share.

It didn’t go well but my response was worse. Peter called me on it, rightfully so. I huffed halfway to the high school.

After they all piled out, while I was still in the parking lot, I checked my phone to see if I’d received a text from a friend. She and I were supposed to get together today to prepare for worship at Wednesday’s Aglow meeting. Oh, the irony!

No text from Rindy, but this from Peter:

“That wasn’t a good comment, nor does it promote an oikos attitude, especially in front of the kids.”

He was right. I called him as I drove to the trail to walk the dog. Halfway there, I had to turn around to apologize to Michaela for my words. My behavior. Make it right.

Why does it have to be this hard, OIKOS Living?

After the trail, and pleading to God for His Peace, I came home to tackle the mountain of laundry. Always, always laundry.

Finally, this afternoon, I sat in the red Queen Anne Chair and pulled out my journal. I needed to write out my thoughts about OIKOS and this decision. Needed to hear from God.

He impressed a verse upon my heart. It was familiar, but I couldn’t immediately recall the reference. I looked it up.

John 13:34-35. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all (everyone in your family and beyond) will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Then I remembered my coffee cup that Kelli gave me. Something about love written on it?

Romans 5:5. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

(Technically the cup didn’t have that verse on it. Instead, it had Romans 8:16, but God was laying a trail.)

I looked up that word Love in my Strong’s concordance. Agape. #26.   from #25.

Looked up #25. agapeo – perhaps from agan (much) — [or comp. #5689] 

#5689 – agab – a prim. root; to breathe after; i. e . to love.

Love collage

My friend Christine calls. I ask her to pray. She says God will make the path clear and she asks for a fleece. She says He’ll confirm my decision in His Word and asks Him to give me word.

God reminds me that in February, He spoke “Arise” to me during an Aglow meeting. I had prayed it prophetically at first, then received it that same afternoon in an email from Aglow. the. very. same. verse.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1

But I’d never looked up that word, Arise, until this afternoon. (Or if I did, it has already slipped my mind.)

#6965. quwm. koom. a prim. root; to rise (in various applicaiton, lit., fig., intens. and caus.): abide.

Hadn’t I just read about quwm last week? 

Is it possible God has been speaking to me about Arise, about abiding, since February 2?

And then, no kidding. I open my email and here it is from Ann Voskamp. Shalom. And love. agab.

I cannot read the words because tears flood my eyes.

God, the Creator of the Universe, was speaking. To me. The very person who blows it. Again and again and again. Yet, He reaches out to me and confirms through his Holy Spirit. I’m blown away. That verse Kelli put on my coffee cup?

“For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16.

You and me. And He loves us, unconditionally.

Linking up with Ann for Multitudes on Mondays.

Multitudes on Monday

And Jennifer for God-bumps & God-incidences.

God-Bumps & God-Incidences

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6 Responses to Oikos: Peace and Love

  1. Ann Cocktale says:

    I can’t wait to get to my Bible after reading your post. I have been asking for direction on a certain project, and your post makes me realize I have been receiving pieces daily. I hope today I can put it all together. Thank you!

  2. I hate when I blow it so soon after I commit it. I love your real, my friend. Arise. Abide. I have bumps.

  3. dukeslee says:

    This is all kinds of God-Incidence material here! Wow! Praying that God guides you on your big decision, Cheryl. Much love to you …

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