I haven’t quite yet gotten back in the groove of posting to the blog. In days past, I would chastise myself and create additional stress. It has been tempting to go down that road again. After all, I’m still that same girl-the one who likes to have a plan, get things done, see organization and order around me. I love a check list and checking it off! But… I have continued resting my mind on the word God whispered to me: PEACE.
Peace, it is truly elusive, so easily stolen from us as life marches on bringing with it new demands, new disappointments, new seasons. I have held strong to praying daily for PEACE and opening myself up to His direction. Late last week it dawned upon me to identify those moments in the day when I sense a lack of peace. As you might expect, a pattern emerged. That bewitching dinner hour. The time between late afternoon and dinner. Surely I am not alone. I can have conquered mountains, but in those few hours the weight of the world seems to fall upon my shoulders. The husband comes home with his day’s worth of baggage, the kids need help with homework, the taxi service begins, dogs need fed and/or walked, the household chores for the day await, and then there is that thing called dinner. No matter how well planned my day, week, even month, this time of day seems to be truly bewitched. My stress level rises, and the more I am asked to do, the more my mind seems to race to all those tasks I have failed to do, did half way or simply had hoped to do. Before I know it I feel drained and defeated. And sadly, too often that feeling stays right with me through bedtime. I have determined I need to focus on this area more than any other area. This time, this “area” of my day is my peace thief. So, as I approach my little mini retreat on January 31st (see previous posts about my Sabbath practice holding the 31st sacred each time it rolls around) I have begun to look for things I can change, let go over or begin to change the end of my day.
First and foremost, I have determined to end my day reading a devotional in bed and writing down blessing of the day. I am thrilled to be using “One Thousand Gifts: Devotional” by Ann Voskamp. She is one of my new favorite authors. Her writing is classical, almost musical. Her thoughts are deep, they are real and they are sometimes even raw. I wish I could say I had stuck to the plan, but frankly, I’ve let a few nights go by. Honestly, I’ve crawled into bed and fallen asleep. But thoughts of defeat I will not let enter. I will not quit. I will miss a day or two, get over it and carry on.
Second, I have made a few changes in some household routines. After reading several other blogs on parenting and motherhood I realized I too often do for my girls, instead of teaching them to do for themselves. Culprit number one: laundry. I have taught them how to sort. I have shown them how to do, but rarely have they had to. Not to mention, the only consequence for not bringing laundry down and sorting has been mom spending all Saturday catching up. Now, I realize I should be smarter than this, but sometimes the duties of motherhood seem to sap me of any cognitive abilities. Well, not now. No. There is a new plan in place. Mom does one load of laundry every morning (for me this happens about 5:30 a.m. before my quiet time). If you fail to bring clothes down and sort them so they make it into one of these laundry loads, you get to do your laundry all by your lonesome Saturday morning.
There’s no Third. Not yet. This journey to PEACE isn’t going to happen overnight. I am pondering and waiting. I’m not looking for a grand list of goals or legalistic list of rules. I’m just looking for God to show me where and when I fail to trust in Him. I’m asking Him to show me my weaknesses and help me work to become stronger in those areas. PEACE is not perfection. PEACE is knowing I have done what He has called me to do, He has prepared for me to do. It is knowing when enough is enough. It is knowing that my efforts can never match His efforts. It is knowing when to say “well done” and rest in His grace.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. … Be holy, because I am holy.” I. Peter 1:13,15 NIV