The Peace and Comfort of Art Created

I am deep in the trenches of editing my book, which is more overwhelming than it sounds. As I read through it a second time, this time with the words of those who have read and offered constructive criticism, I find myself swallowed in the process. It is equally daunting and peaceful.

In the background, the Mozart station plays on Pandora filling my mind with the peace and comfort of art created. I love the way the notes mold and push and swell and fall and each have their place.

My mind still feels full and twisted and confused by all that has happened over the last few months. Sometimes I feel like a lost little puppy. But when I stop thinking and start creating, peace takes over and wraps me tight. I just re-read these words from my novel. They were spoken by a father who had to let go of his son. I wrote this two years ago, but I needed to read again it today.

“Pain is an interesting emotion.  It’s more than physical, though it certainly manifests itself in physical ways.  As I hug my son for the last time, my arms physically ache as though the muscles are tearing from the bone.  And when I pull back and look into his brave but tear filled eyes, I feel my heart rip.

I think I even hear it.

I won’t get that piece of my heart back.  And that is the interesting thing about pain.  It never leaves you.  Sometimes it dulls and other times you may feel healed, but pain always leaves a mark – a scar as a reminder that life and love aren’t free.  Pain changes everything.”

©Kelli Stuart, April 2013

I hope I don’t sound terribly angsty and sad. I’m not – in fact, right now in this moment I am enormously satisfied. I still feel unsure of what tomorrow will bring, but today is alright.

Today there is peace in the process of creating.

And there is Mozart.

And…well, I can’t lie – there’s also some coffee and a little bit of chocolate involved.


So tell me friends – how do you all find peace and calm when life feels twisty and unsure?


I haven’t had the heart to write this week. Between Christmas, birthday, a traveling husband, the flu, the tragedy in Connecticut and some adoption drama, I have felt a bit boggled and crazed.

I walk from room to room in my house with a very clear purpose in mind and by the time I reach the bedroom, I have forgotten why I went there. My brain is scattered and I can’t remember the most minor of details. The pantry is nearly bare and the fridge is empty of all but a few leftovers that have been in there for…well, for too long.

In the midst of all this chaos, I am trying to sit still – to breathe. I’m trying to keep perspective. I’m trying to spend more time on my knees and less time listening to all the noise.

Every day this week, I’ve put my kids on a school bus and sent them to a place that should be safe, but instead has become a warzone. Yes, our school is secure. But so was Sandy Hook. Yes, it probably won’t happen here. But it wasn’t probable there, either.

I got a sweet email from Sloan’s teacher this week assuring us that she loved our children and would do anything to protect them. I sobbed as a read that because she shouldn’t have to feel that way. Teachers shouldn’t have to think about how they will protect their children if a gunman comes in.

Teachers shouldn’t have to think about taking a bullet for a child.

The shouldn’t have to! But they do have to. I shouldn’t have to worry about my children being safe in school, but I do have to. My children shouldn’t have to walk into a building armed by policeman and doors locked tight.

That’s prison. It shouldn’t be school.

I think we’ve all lost a little innocence this week. Or maybe we were never as safe as we thought?

These things have served as a distraction along with the fact that Congress passed the Magnitsky Bill this week. I don’t really understand that bill, but from what I am reading I understand why Russia feels outraged. And Russia’s retaliation is to threaten to shut down adoptions.

Will it happen? Who knows. This is political bantering at its finest. Unfortunately, the collateral in all this back and forth are the children lying in orphanages.

Right now I am not panicked by the thought of adoptions closing down. I feel a peace. I truly believe that if God wants us to adopt a little girl, He will bring us a little girl. If He doesn’t, I will wait expectantly for what He does want to do with us. I don’t believe our family is complete yet and that is where I find this comfort.

But while I feel a peace, I am also in constant prayer over this. It is on my mind at all times. I’ve never felt more out of control as a parent and I have to cling to the One who I believe is in complete control. I have to focus on Him because if I don’t, then a blanket of grief and fear begin to close in and I feel like I’m going to suffocate.

I’m not a person prone to fear or doubt. I count it as a blessing that God has knit a unique measure of peace inside me that has always given me the ability to trust, to believe and to not wallow in the fear of the unknown. But this week has shaken me a bit. This week I’ve had to keep things simple. I’ve had to sit and think and ponder. I’ve had to focus on Christ as Lord and let everything else fade away.

Truly He taught us to love one another

His law is love and His gospel is peace

Chains will He break, for the slave is our brother

And in His Name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of hope in grateful chorus raise we

Let all within us praise His Holy Name

Christ is the Lord

Oh Praise His Name forever

His power and glory

Ever more shall reign