Sunday, August 7, 2011

For Discussion: peace

Back in January, I picked a "word" for my year.  I'd heard this idea on the radio and loved it.  I shared this concept with women at church and I shared it with my college student friends- we all picked our words for 2011.  This word was supposed to be something we prayed and focused on for ourSELVES this year- not something we prayed for our families, children, whatever.

My word is peace.

Funny, I'd forgotten that recently.  (I'm not so smart sometimes.)  During the summer months as our lives were filled with an overseas adventure, Summer BLOCK Party, and Foster Care training, I got sucked into lists and prayed for specific items- not for "peace".  Don't get me wrong- in lots of those specific items for which I was praying, "peace" was high on the list.  But I didn't even remember it was the word that was supposed to define my 2011.  (Read: not so smart.)

"word bags" at the retreat
At a retreat I hosted in February, I handed out bags to each woman in attendance that had their words embroidered on them.  I've been using mine since then.  But the other day I picked it up and- honest to God- thought "I wonder whose word this was?  Maybe someone left it here."  Right.  Peace.  It was MY word.  The word I'd chosen to pray, live, and create in 2011.

So, here we are a week into the month of August, and friends, I am craving peace.  This morning as I prayed for our family, God led me to this verse: The Lord gives his people strength, The Lord blesses them with peace. (Psalm 29:11)  Whew.  Oh, to make that true in my heart.  I believe it... now I want to live it.

I want to create peace in my home.

In fact, Dan had a conversation with someone recently who was having a hard time with the chaos of life.  This person told Dan that the secret to outliving the chaos was to have a moderately clean home and have people in it who say "I love you."  Both of those things we do well.  (Emphasis on the moderately clean part.)  I've been letting those words roll around in my mind lately and wondering how the home I've made does or does not show peace.

How I would love a home like this:
 I love the clean lines!  I love the "free from clutter" look!  It's not quite "warm" enough for me... but...

Or this:
Oh, y'all... how I want to have a cup of coffee on that couch.  Maybe I'd need to drink it in a sippy cup so as not to mess up the calm white theme... but...

Don't see these two examples and think I like a lack of color.  One of my newest dear friends lives in a home with lots going on- colors and children all over the place.  But her home is still peaceful- and I'm trying to bring that peace into my space.

While I was searching for "peaceful homes" on The Google this morning, I found this article.  Several of those things we do well: we have a "landing strip" for things that need to be attended to... but our landing "strip" has become a landing "room."  My friend Leigh Ann taught me years ago the joy of a made bed- she said it in a way that I heard well.  She told me that her brother taught her to make her bed every day so that even if the rest of your house is in clutter, you have one organized thing in your house to come home to.  Household plants?  Got it.  Totally agree.  Done it.

remember this?
So what works for you?  What rituals or routines do you do to ensure your home is peaceful?  I feel certain that my laundry skills do not create peace- but we're working on it.  I usually don't end with a question- but I really do want your response this time.  (And sidenote? Thanks for all of your comments that sounded like "How could someone not like you, Becky?  You are amazingly wonderful!" or junk like that from my last post.  At least that's how I read it.  You are all sweet.  And clearly you are not the people I was talking about.)  No, seriously... what do you do to maintain peace in your home.  I want tips, tactics, and thoughts on creating peace.

I'm starting my day praying to the God of Peace for Him to pour it into my life.  And as I do that, I am going to fold some laundry to bring some peace into my family.  Now... what about you?  Bring it on, people...


LaVenture's Adventures said...

I'm not trying to sermonize (or "Jesus jank you" as Tami mentioned recently), but seriously, Jesus is my peace. I don't look for peace in a clean house because I would NEVER find it!! When the world gets stressful, I just rememind myself that this world is not my home. My "home" is not my home. All of this is temporal, a facade, a curtain, a mirage. I really don't look to anything in the physical world for peace. Jesus told us He gives us His peace, and not peace like the world gives. Hallelujah!

The Smittys said...

I agree with LaVenture totally, but I do believe there are things you can to your space that helps keep tour heart uncluttered. In the process your home and heart are free and open to love Jesus and others well. Love you dear friend!