As I look back over the last year, I guess, that is what stuck out the most. With the busy lifestyles of today, sometimes it just seems that we were so rushed, or tense from coming home from being rushed. I know the kids deal with things all day long in their teenager worlds and Hubby at work has had some pretty stressful days. As have I. Working with 6 - 7 preschoolers all day, day in and day out can have it's moments. I so want my home to be peaceful for my family. But in looking back I can see where there were things we were doing, or not doing such as the case may be, habits that we had fallen into, that were not promoting peace at all. And I was wondering why we seemed to always be at a certain underlying stress level. Sometimes it rose to the surface and sometimes it was buried. But it did seem to always be there. Now I don't want to leave you with that idea that our home is always filled with chaos, drama and trauma. It's not. But I know there was things that needed to be changed.
Because I work at home (did I mention with 6 - 7 preschoolers?) I was in a bit of a dilemma. Because my work is in the home, I need to find a way to balance it all out. Because, well, I don't get to leave. And there are things going on all day. Messes being made. Therefore, I need to find things which are small steps to allow the peace to flow. Small things I could work towards.
I know that ultimately peace comes from the Lord, and the more time I get to spend with Him, the more I myself am changed and filled with His peace. This I have proved in my life. When I get out of the Word of God for any length of time I am more easily bothered, have a shorter fuse, and tend to live on the adrenalin of stress. Jesus said in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let if be fearful." The Amplified Bible says to "stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed". Uhmmm, ouch! He's speaking directly to me and I know it. One of goals is to work towards time spent each morning and before I go to bed in God's word and prayer. Now I'm not talking about hours, but just some time being with the Lord. That will work in my heart.
I also need very practical things to change. One thing I started last week was organizing myself to get meals on the table by 6 p.m. at the latest. Way too many times, I find myself rushing to get some kind of dinner on the table. And a lot of times it was way later than six. If I have dinner on the table by 6, things are much more peaceful. We've eaten in plenty of time to not have to rush to evening activities or homework. We have plenty of time to do up the dishes, which in turn allows for the kitchen to get cleaned, which in turn makes for a more peaceful morning. Already this week, this theory was put to the test in the great experimental test tube of life. I had a busy weekend and didn't get my Menu Plan done for the week and therefore have basically been flying by the seat of my pants each day for dinner ideas. And of course, that meant later dinners. Last night we didn't eat until 7 p.m. Kids were hungry and cranky, homework was late getting done and we couldn't start relaxing until way late. Point was proven.
My next step is going to be to get to bed by 11 p.m. each night. We all know how not enough sleep makes for a cranky mommy. So I'm going to be starting that goal today. This will be a toughy for me. I'll have to force myself but I know I'll be better off for it in the long run and so will the peaceful atmosphere.
So again thank you for your great suggestions. I'm going to take it one step at a time and incorporate them as I'm going along.