Promote peace at home with simple strategies that prove—peace is not the absence of crazy but the ability to find calm in the midst of the chaos.
In my older age (I’m over 40 now), I find I crave peace. But as a busy mom, peace is hard to come by. My dear friend Joanne Kraft (author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids) calls moms like me “Marshmallow Moms” (it’s OK, I’m not offended. She and I laugh about it often!) because we’re willing to do whatever it takes to bring peace to our surroundings and situations.
But the thing is, my quest for temporary peace has long prevented our family from finding the true and lasting peace that comes from the Spirit. That’s the kind of peace we’re learning about this week through Minno Church at Home and it’s what I truly want for my family.
Maybe during this season of extended days . . . weeks . . . months at home and wondering what on earth you are going to do with the kids all summer long has made the promise of peace seem laughable . . . impossible! Maybe you are being tempted to give up and live in chaos because it seems to be the only way. Me too! But there’s a better way and if peace is a fruit of walking with the Spirit, we know exactly what we need to do to access peace right now and always.
Philippians 4:6-7 says,
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Simple Ways to Promote Peace at Home
I want to create and promote peace as a family so we’re making changes and finding peace in the process. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and praying about peace lately and I’m sharing some of the ways we’re working toward more peace in our home. When we find peace on the home front we’ll be able to carry it with us wherever we go and share it with others!
Start with YOU
“When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” There’s a reason this saying is so popular . . . because it’s funny, and it’s true. As the heart of the home, we mamas need to make sure we’re keeping our tank full. I know it’s hard to find the time (and let’s be honest, energy) for self-care but it’s absolutely necessary for moms to find peace themselves before they can promote it in their home. This means, taking care of your physical and emotional wellness as well as finding life-giving hobbies, activities, or creative outlets.
What’s one thing you can do this week to take care of YOU?
Meditate on Peace-Filled Scripture as a Family
Colossians 3:15 says as members of one body, we are called to live in peace. This verse is talking about the Body of Christ which starts first and foremost, at home. The living and active Word of God is the most powerful, peace-producing tool we have. Read peace-related verses during your own quiet time or together as a family. Some of my favorites include: Isaiah 26:3, John 14:27, Hebrews 12:14, Psalm 34:14, Romans 12:18, 1 Peter 5:7, James 3:18, Philippians 4:7, Psalm 29:11, Romans 14:19, Matthew 5:9. Write one or two verses on index cards and place them around the house as a reminder to pursue peace.
What one scripture can you meditate on this week to promote peace in your heart and home?
Take it to God in Prayer
Remember the old hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus? Its timeless lyrics are a reminder to take our thoughts and worries and fears to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
No pool open this summer? Tell Him about it. Ask for new and creative ideas for what to do with the kids. Wondering how you are going to work from home without camps or childcare this season? Share your worry and petition the Lord for provision—whether that be a helping hand or the grace you need to do it all well. While you are at it, use this as an opportunity to talk to your kids about prayer and why we should always bring our worries to Him. Oh, what peace we often forfeit all because we worry before going to God in prayer!
What big worry can you carry to God in prayer right now?
Create a Peace-Promoting Atmosphere
I’m going to be honest, this one is a tough one. Kids = clutter. Kids = chaos. It’s just the way it is, especially when they are little and especially while we are stuck at home. But as much as we can, we’re simplifying our surroundings and possessions; we’re clearing the clutter in our lives so we spend less time managing stuff (and activities) and more time enjoying it all. This is an ongoing process and depending on your personality and lifestyle, it will look different for you than it does for me. According to your unique family, home and needs make an effort to simplify your space, find new strategies and clear the clutter of your calendar by saying “no” more often and focusing on what matters most. I know . . . this is SO HARD with kids who want to have and do all the things. But it’s so worth it. Pray and ask God for ruthless grace to clear the excess and focus on the priorities so you can enjoy peace as a family.
What one thing can you remove from your home or calendar this week to promote peace?
We were created for community but at the root of our discontent and stress is usually a relationship. When our marriage is tense, our home lacks peace. When the siblings are fighting and we’re angry that they can’t get along, our home lacks peace. A little nurturing effort goes a long way to promote peace in our surroundings. A lingering conversation with our spouse . . . a few extra minutes reading aloud at bedtime . . . When we invest in each other, peace-filled love flows abundantly in our midst.
What one thing can you do this week to nurture your family relationships?
Resist the Urge of Urgency
Have you ever wondered why everything feels like an emergency? This is a product of our culture and our inability to resist the urge to do it all NOW. This weekend my husband and I began dreaming about a kitchen remodel and I found myself feverishly searching the internet to plan it all immediately. We’re months (maybe years) away from seeing this happen but I felt a stressful urge to figure it all out. Maybe this isn’t the best example since there is an element of excitement involved. There’s nothing wrong with being excited but excitement mixed with impatience often robs our peace. Thinking we have to make it happen or do it now often comes from our fear of missing out (FOMO) and almost never leads to a wise decision. Very few things in our life are actually urgent. When we take the time to slow down and enjoy the moment or take our time to make the best decision, we can resist the stress-inducing urgency and instead, enjoy the process.
What is one way you can slow down this week?
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3 NLT
For moms and families, peace will likely never be the absence of craziness. But we can find calm in the midst of the chaos with a little intention and a whole lot of grace. I’m committed to help my family seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14). Will you join me?
Want to teach your kids about God’s peace that passes understanding? Join us for Minno Church at Home this weekend as we look at this fruit of the Spirit.