I have this coaster next to my reading chair, where I sit and pray, where I journal and dream, where I ask questions and search for answers.
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
The biggest compliment anyone can give me about my home is that it is peaceful. And I work hard to make it so, for my sanity, and that of my family, and the people that pass through. I do this by lighting candles, having fresh flowers, and gentle music, and eliminating clutter as best I can.
But let’s be honest, while these things help, they are just surface things, which can sometimes assist in creating a mood, but which rarely change a mood.
Because the reality is that I can have the music going, the flowers placed where I can see them and the candles burning, and I still turn into screaming banshee mother, or grumpy frazzled wife.
Creating peace is not just about the ambiance and atmosphere of my home, although that helps. It is about taking the time to quiet myself throughout the day. It is about insisting on quiet rest time for the sake of the sanity of the whole family. It is about taking the time to transition intentionally from a difficult phone call to dealing with excitable children. Most of all it seems to me to be about slowing down, doing one thing at a time.
There is a verse I love in the bible that says “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). And I love this verse because it tells me what I already know. That peace does not just happen; I actually have to search after it. I have to create a way for it to arrive. It is elusive and I have to pursue it.
How many times do we sit down finally with a hot cup of tea, or a glass of wine at the end of the day and sigh, only to have a little head peek around the corner scared of the dinosaurs or needing the toilet (again). That is when seeking peace is a choice; and pursuing peace becomes an active thing. Because that is when I have to decide that peace is “in the midst of all the noise, trouble and hard work”.
And so the signs I have placed around my house remind me that, just like the little touches of lighting the candles and cutting the flowers, the bigger task of creating peace in my heart is well worth the effort.