Have I got a treat for you this month, and I am so excited to write these series and bring it to you all! I was thinking about this month, the month of March, the month of Lent and the month of St. Patrick and it really led me to meditate on peace and what peace means within the context of homemaking, parenting and creating a family culture.
What does it mean to have a peaceful home? Is it the absence of conflict? Actually, for me, it is not the absence of conflict. I do not count it as a good day when there is no temper tantrum, no yelling, no fighting per se (of course that is nice when those days happen!) But I guess what I am saying is that for me, peace is the ability to maintain my center whilst these things are happening. Does that resonate with anyone out there?
I got this cute email from a mother who said something to the effect that I seemed calm and centered and asked how she could attain that. I chuckled, because I remember when my oldest was two and a half (and also heading into those three’s!) and I didn’t feel calm or centered. I remember being unsure of how to handle two children. I remember all those feelings, and I remember feeling as if I had very little support. That is why I started to write this blog because now I am at the point where I feel I do have something to give back. I have figured out some things and for the most part, I feel do feel centered and calm, at least with the parenting part. This doesn’t mean yelling never happens, anger never happens, or I never feel as if there isn’t enough of me to go around. It doesn’t mean I don’t worry about my children, or sometimes wonder if the job I am doing is “enough”. But what it means is that for the most part, I can take that and work with those feelings in a more positive way than I ever could before. And you will be able to as well! Come follow along with me this month and let’s talk about these issues!
One thing you may want to have for this month is just a blank Main Lesson book or a sketch pad or just blank paper and some art materials that you like, whether that is colored pencils or other things, just so you can jot down questions and your ideas.
For today, I want you to really think about how you feel about peace.
- What would a peaceful home look like to you? What would it sound like? What would it smell like? What does a peaceful home mean to your spouse? Can you talk about this together?
- Is peace for you the absence of conflict? Is it never having a raised voice? How can you look at peace from different angles or viewpoints?
- What makes you feel centered and peaceful? Is it reading, art, painting, knitting, exercising? I see attached mothers who feel guilty about taking any time “alone”, and sometimes we can feel “alone” with a sleeping baby on our back :), but it is not wrong for you to need an hour to do something that nourishes you!
- Where is your prayer and meditation time? Whether your path is Christian, Jewish, Islamic or other spiritual traditions, I urge you to carefully think about creating a path this month that will nourish your soul. If you are atheist, how do you work with this within your beliefs? Can you draw or journal about this? Pull out a calendar and put time in every day to do these spiritual things. Make that date to go check out a place of worship if that speaks to you. Find the tradition and path that moves you!
- Living with small children is physically demanding, it is repetitive. Children are immature, they cry,they are noisy, they do things! On the other hand, children bring a lot of joy, much laughter, they say and do funny things. How can you reconcile these things to have peace in the midst of the noise and mess?
In parting for today, in honor of St. Patrick’s day, let us remember the prayer attributed to him:
May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
Peaceful days and many blessings,