Being a Mom of three children 5 and under, trying to set up an alternative income source, homeschool my kids, look after the home and pretty importantly, trying to keep the marriage going despite it all, can be a bit trying at times. Peace becomes as scarce as snow in the summer – Basically, non-existent :-).
Friday was one of those days where, for once, I felt as though there were no calls to make, no emails to respond to, no difficult people to appease. The sun was shining, the children were playing out and I was baking; I was making a lemon meringue pie for tloml and then some muffins for the kids and I. I had managed to clean bits of the house and now I was baking and mostly, I had not been interrupted! I felt at peace with my world and everything was going great.
In came H, wailing and pointing at something only she understands ( I cannot wait for her to start to speak because then she might be able to tell me what she wants specifically, instead of a random pointing finger 🙁 ). I manage to convince her that she is, in fact, tired and send her off with tloml who is helpfully working from home and has the magic touch when it comes to putting little ones down for a nap.
I return to my tranquility and peaceful baking.
V and E decide to come back into the kitchen as well to ‘help’ me – which as most Moms will know actually means slow you down considerably! However, as you are the Mom and you are supposed to teach them how to do such useful things like baking, you feel somewhat compelled to be patient with them and let them ‘help’ you.
So, V takes on the mixing of the batter but then fairly shortly, the other little lady, E, also wants to hold the mixer alone and as they are both standing on one chair, a mini scuffle ensues, leading to the accidental destruction of the lemon juice bottle! It falls off the counter top and crashes to the floor spraying lemon juice and dark green glass bottle all over the floor!
Patient, peaceful Mommy disappears and quietly (but with no doubt of the seriousness of the anger in Mommy’s eye), I tell V and E politely to leave the kitchen and go back outside to play. They oblige without a fight – they might have spotted the glare in the eyes!
Peace has left the kitchen and this Mommy just wants to get her baking over and done with while cleaning up the mess left behind by V and E.
While trying to return to peaceful reverie, I remember something I had talked about with V early on that morning as we did our bit of formal homeschooling for the day.
Earlier on Friday, we had sung and sung this memory verse.
‘Let the peace of God rule in your heart and be thankful – Eph 3:15’
We had mentioned what it meant to be peaceful inside and also about thankfulness for the things that we have, even in the midst of chaos. I have also talked about being grateful and still time and again, I forget.
Whatever your belief system, peace is a habit to cultivate because life definitely does not always go according to plan. There is no surefire way to success, no direct route to growth. The path we walk can be prickly at times, stressful at other times and occasionally nothing seems to go according to plan. However, even in the midst of this, we can choose to be grateful for our lives, our children, our homes, our work in or out of the home, our partners, our extended family and our friends.
If these things are not going according to plan, then we can just be thankful that we are alive and therefore there is hope.
Choosing even in the midst of havoc to focus on good things can help create peace within. It can remind you that all is not bad, everything is not going wrong. It keeps things in their proper proportions allowing you to remain in control of your feelings and your responses.
At the moment, spring is in the air and the daffodils are beginning to erupt, new life is all around us; Just thinking about that can bring peacefulness. The cycle of life continues always – there is death and darkness and then there is life and joy. Whatever life brings, it will pass.
Join me in choosing to feel peaceful rather than stressed, grateful rather than resentful and thankful instead of angry. (Or at the very least, remind me when I seem to be losing my peace!)