Looking at the Withlacoochee River through wild flowers on the bank.
Kristy Dodson
Kristy Dodson


Peace like a river – there’s a song that runs through my mind when I read that. At times, the banks overflow, and at other times a drought leaves us cracked, still, and struggling to join the stream. This form of peace cannot be created by you or me. It ebbs and flows. Our Creator graciously offers this peace. We only need to take notice, live in it, and hold on to its favor when drought finds us longing.

Looking up the Withlacoochee River from a dock.

This is The Place

Sometimes I stop to look around and appreciate that we are finally living here at “Habersham”. It has taken a while to realize that this is it- this is where I live. I’m not going back to Benningfield. I’ve never really longed to go back. I thought I would miss being there, but I don’t. I have found peace like a river in this place.

Here Is Peace

Habersham is home. In a rather personal way, I felt at home here for a long time, long before we purchased it. Our life here feels like it has always existed. It is simply a natural continuation of the adventure John and I launched nearly 30 years ago at the 1848 House. Even before we paint one wall or replace one oddly low vanity, my soul is at peace here. I’m coming to realize that I’ve not felt this level of peace regarding a physical place. Of course, my childhood home was this for me as I was growing up, but as an adult, I’m not sure I have experienced this unexplainable peace.

Like a River, Peace Is A Gift

Some may say this house is out of date, needs remodeling, and updating, and is desperate for repairs. But oddly enough, none of that matters this time. The stained carpets, quirky old toilets, and metal floor radiators have not kept me from discovering a peace of mind that has come about naturally. It has been significant enough to catch my attention over and over. Peace like a river has nothing to do with a worldly experience. It is a gift.

A sunset view from the top of a hill.

This River

Peace cannot be created by me or by anything I paint or purchase. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Peace is a character trait given by the Holy Spirit, not self-effort. It is contentment that cannot be explained. Nothing physical is required. I am not in control of this river. It has provided peace for this moment in time. I will look to it when the banks run dry.

A cement statue of a peaceful garden saint next to a holly bush.

Taking My Time

Other houses have carried angst and a rush to make everything “just so”. Here, I feel no rush. I choose to sit in the space for a while. I want to take time to get to know my house. With that, I must notice and appreciate what others who lived here before me intended and felt. I need to be thankful for how they lived in this space and appreciate their choices, even the unusual and eccentric ones that make me scratch my head and ask a lot of questions.

For now, I dream about what I want each room to be, but today I will focus on the here and now. Choosing this approach has made me wonder if my rushing prevented peace in previous places. I was trying to hurry to its potential. I was attempting to live in the future before it was ready for me.

There Is History

I walk outside and breathe deeply. I’m blessed to be surrounded by vast oak, pine, and hickory trees and I experience nature on all sides. I see that the landscaping has become woody and overgrown. It has held on as tight as the interior. It is tiring and needs attention…but maybe not. The world’s expectation is perfection and a manicured property but I’m beginning to disagree. There is history here.

When we moved here, nature was already settled in. It’s complicated to interrupt its rhythm. Pileated woodpeckers have holes in trees of their choosing while the red-tailed hawks soar across the sky over the garden in the evenings. The squirrels have their tree highways impeccably mapped high above it all. Chipmunks find their safe hiding spots while the black and white stray cat follows his beaten path across the hill each morning. All of this has carried on without me for years. I need to harmonize and not disturb the natural order that is nature.

And There Is A Rhythm

Over time we will make simple changes, but first I will get to know the plan, the expectations, and the rhythm of those who were here first. After all, the animals are part of this easily missed peace. Even the most frantic soul is calmed by the rhythmic activity of nature.

Be still and know that I am God.

Peace Like A River

A young lady wading through a peaceful river that is up to her hips.

Peace is found in what is right in front of us. There is a place and much respect for planning, but that is not where I live now. As a fruit of the spirit, peace must be granted space to thrive. Once it is found, you will want to surround yourself with it and share it with others. You will not want to let it go. I’ve found peace in this place with those I love, the reminders from nature, and those which God allowed here before I came along. It is my turn to cherish this gift, protect it, and leave it behind for those who follow. This peace is like a river. It flows in, and through, and if we are lucky, it covers us.

Stay Curious,

Daybook The Curiosity of You
Kristy Dodson

Kristy Dodson

I’m Kristy, the Daybook curiosity guide. Daybook is my archive of daily goings-on and journal for recording thoughts. Visit often, comment and let’s stay curious.


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