The past couple of weeks I have taken a short break from writing. I had decided to not spend as much time on social media actually and not writing was consequential of that. The reason I decided to take my social media accounts off my phone was because I had been complaining about how I couldn’t find any time to get everything that NEEDED done, done. Then I realized “Jenna you are being so foolish. There are 24 hours in a day and you work from home. You waste away your time when you could be more productive.” So that is when I decided to take a break. My social media accounts are still off my phone but I will be checking more often and of course writing more now too! Since becoming a wife and mom I have been on a discovery on how to create and maintain a peaceful home. I have talked about having a peaceful marriage and having peaceful children. You can also find more posts in my Peaceful Home. Peaceful Family. Peaceful Life. category. I have touched briefly on how we cannot achieve peace in our homes and with our families until we have peace with ourselves. It’s easy to say but is it really that easy to achieve? I believe that if you want peace in your life you have to put it in the forefront of your mind. Are you doing all you can to reach peace? If you have it are you doing all you can to protect it and maintain it? Peace in today’s society can be difficult to come by. There are so many different things pulling at us. Mom’s have several thoughts bouncing around in their heads. Jobs, education, our kids education, marriage, finances, devotional lives, extra curricular activities for our kids, to name just a few. There are so many others out there. I don’t believe that peace within yourself, your home, your family, or your life is something that just falls into your lap. You must really want it and you must work at it. But it is possible to grasp and very much worth it. So how do you reach this peace that I keep talking about? Does it really exist? Is it really important? Yes it does exist. Yes it is important. I have found several ways that I maintain peace within my home and family that I will share with you.
SPEND TIME BY YOURSELF
This one is tough. As a mom when do you ever get time by yourself? If you are anything like me your children and dog follow you straight into the bathroom and stare at you while you are trying to use the restroom. Or if you shut the door they bang on it. Motherhood doesn’t offer much time alone. That is why you have to make time. Get up earlier than your children. Spend time with the Lord. Get your exercise done for the day. Meditate. Eat a healthy breakfast. Or just sit in the silence of your home before it becomes chaotic. This is one that I typically struggle with. I like my sleep. I am not a morning person. But I make a concrete effort to get up before my children. Most days I can. When I do, I feel more prepared for the day. If getting up is a struggle for you but you can catch some time to yourself at nap time or after bed time, do it. Instead of worrying about what needs to get done at nap time, spend that time alone by yourself. Doing this will do more for your inner peace than you may realize.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES.
In today’s society, especially as women, there is a lot of pressure to do it all. But we cannot do it all. And when we become so focused on all we have to do it is then when you can feel your inner peace slipping. A few weeks ago I took a look around at my messy house, my schedule, the unprepared dinner on the counter, and I had a breakdown. I beat myself up about how I couldn’t do it all. It was just too much. There were piles of laundry. A dinner I didn’t have time to cook, bills that needed paid, and so much more. Then I realized I was getting my priorities mixed up and putting too much pressure on myself to do it all. My priorities will always be God, my husband, and my children in that order. Now, your priorities may look different than mine and that is okay. My husband and children come before any job I have or anything else, that is why I made the decision to stop working recently and also why I decided to home school my children. Money is great, it buys many things, but the time I have with my children I can never get back. We decided we could live on less if it meant my entire household was at peace. It is important to know your priorities. So ask yourself. What is important to you? Are you trying to do too much? When you decide what is important and what isn’t it gets easier to shrug the things that aren’t important off.
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.
This goes along with knowing your priorities. Give yourself grace sweet mom. You do not have to do everything. Remind yourself of this when you start to feel overwhelmed. I tell myself often “we live in our home” when I start feeling stressed about the messiness around me. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow yourself a break. Allow yourself to forget about cooking dinner and just pop in a pizza instead. Allow yourself to have fun and give yourself grace when you don’t feel up to par. Is anyone perfect? No they aren’t. That is okay. What is perfect anyway if you don’t have peace to go with it? Your inner peace and your family’s peace is more important than a neat and tidy house every single day.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
What is it that you love? Do you love being a stay at home mom? Is it possible for you to do it? Then do it. Do you love working? Then work. Do you love to write? Then don’t waste another day and start writing. Do what you love to do. Being stuck in a career, or place, or area that you feel miserable at does not help you feel peaceful. I have heard that your “feelings don’t pay the bills” and that is true. However, staying at a job that you hate will add no value to your life. All it will do is make you more miserable. I understand that it’s not possible for everyone to do something they absolutely love but a concrete effort should be made. If you have to work try to work somewhere you like. If you can’t then try to at least find a hobby that you enjoy. Something that you love to do that will bring you happiness and joy.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
As mothers we put everyone above ourselves most of the time. But taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally is so important to your children and to the state of your household. Taking care of your physical health and making it a priority should be important for a few reasons. You are showing your children that health is important and they should be healthy too. Also, although accidents happen and you never know how long you will be on earth, when you are taking care of yourself you are doing your part in striving for a long and healthy life. Emotional health is also important. That is why I have been talking so much about peace lately. Taking care of yourself can help you achieve peace within yourself.
GIVE GRACE TO OTHERS.
Give those you love grace. Give grace to your children. Did your child spill her milk? Before you chastise her for being clumsy remember that accidents do happen to everyone and the likelihood of her doing it on purpose was probably slim to none. Give grace to your husband. Did he load the dishwasher in a way that you hate? Instead of nagging him try doing it yourself. Give grace to your family members. Do you not see eye to eye with your siblings or parents? Let them have their opinions and you have yours. You are different people after all. Give grace to your friends. Did your friend say something offensive? Instead of jumping to conclusions think about what your friend actually meant. Along with giving grace to those we love, we should give grace to everyone else. That person that cut in front of you while you were driving, give them grace. You never know, they may have just had the worst day of their lives. Maybe they lost someone they loved, or a job, or maybe they are rushing to the hospital. Give grace to the person who hurt you whether intentionally or unintentionally. Don’t hold grudges against them. Instead forgive. Every one of us are just humans. Everyone of us think differently, act differently, and have different opinions and thoughts. Give grace, give forgiveness, let the grudges fall away and you will start to see that you feel more peaceful and less irritated.
DON’T INDULGE IN GOSSIP.
Gossip is a nasty time waster in my opinion. It is a way people kill time and make themselves feel better. Do yourself a favor and stay away from gossip. Don’t indulge in it. Don’t hang around people who gossip. I always tell my youngest sister, if they are gossiping to you, chances are they are gossiping about you. What gossip does is takes someone’s reputation and tarnishes it, creates lies and exaggerations and steals your inner peace. Whether the gossip is true or not ask yourself this “is it any of my business?” When you indulge in gossip about other people your mind is taken off of your priorities and is put on a story about someone else that may or may not be true. Frankly, what a person that is not living under my roof does or doesn’t do is none of my business. When you steer away from this quicksand your life becomes much more drama free and more peaceful. It is well worth it.
SPEND TIME WITH GOD.
I wake up every morning and spend time with God. I enjoy this quiet time in his presence. I am reminded of his love for me and the sacrifice that he made when he gave his only son on the cross. I pray for many things but especially for the day ahead of me. This time with him resets me. It gets my mind ready for the day. It is a vital part of my day.
REMEMBER IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO.
Sometimes I think that we start to feel stressed out and lose our inner peace when we say yes to too many things. It is easy to feel pressured to say yes to everything that is asked of us but sometimes we just have to say no. That is okay. Your peace and the peace of your family is just that important. I am a homebody. There’s nothing I love more than staying home with my family and doing nothing except spending time alone with them. I try not to make mine and my family’s schedule too full because this time together is precious as well as important. My kids enjoy the down time and the time alone with me and my husband. My husband enjoys it. This is why I limit activities for my daughters. My 4 year old is currently doing two activities. She wanted to add gymnastics back in with the other two activities as well. Although I was tempted to let her, I said no she had to wait until she was done with one other activity. This is because I want her to understand the importance of down time and also because it is my job to make sure my daughter’s life is peaceful. What are some ways you can protect that peace for your family? Are you saying yes to much? Are your kids running ragged in too many activities? Remember it is always okay to say no.
Peace is so important. You cannot reach peace in your marriage or with your children until you have inner peace. I hope that you have found something helpful in today’s post that you can take away with you to help achieve a peaceful life and protect it.
Until next time!