With a brand new baby about to join our family, I want to be intentional to make our home a peaceful one. I really don’t know what to expect with a newborn. I’ve read a lot of advice from other blogs and listened to a lot of mom stories, but having a baby seems like one of those experiences you have to have for yourself. Every baby is different and will bring a different dynamic to each family. Welcoming a new member to the family will require an adjustment period. Even when we got a puppy there was an adjustment. I don’t expect everything to be perfect and I don’t want to set our family up for that kind of high expectation. However, what I do want is to be proactive about keeping a peaceful home.
I want our home to be a place where my husband can’t wait to come back to after a long day at work. I don’t want him to dread coming home or prefer to stay at work. I want our home to be a place where people feel welcomed, comfortable, and loved. I was watching a Joyce Meyer sermon on Youtube the other morning and she was teaching on peace. She was teaching how Jesus left his peace with us.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
So why can it be so difficult to find or maintain peace in our lives? Or how can one thing come along and suddenly shake away the peace we had? Her advice to have a more consistently peace filled life was to first make a list of the peace stealers in your life. Then take actionable steps to deal with them.
I asked my husband to also make a list of what his peace stealers were. I knew I was reaching with that request because Dillon is not a list maker and does not get any kind of thrill out of a good list the way I do. In fact, we only came up with 5 for him. And I thought of most of them. Where as for me, I easily came up with about 20 and decided to narrow it down.
10 of My Peace Stealers – In No Particular Order
Especially if the dishes are older than one day. Dishes do not take that long to wash. If more than 30 minutes of TV was watched and there are two day or three day or four day (yikes!) old dishes in the kitchen, then time was not the problem, laziness was the problem.
Being Late To Church or Skipping Altogether
I won’t let myself be late to work, so I hate when I allow myself to be late to church. It’s not okay to be late. I get annoyed when people come in late during worship and I have to move to accommodate them. If I’m in the middle of a great worship song, with my eyes closed, and my hand raised, the last thing I want is a tap on the shoulder breaking me away from that moment and asking if I could move so they could squeeze by. I’m glad they made it to church, but worship is as equally as important to me as the sermon. I definitely lose my peace when we are late to church.
Skipping church altogether also steals my peace for nearly all of Sunday. The enemy never wants us to make it to church and it can feel so easy to sleep in and make up excuses of why not to go. But I need to go. It fuels me in a way no other thing can. I love going to church.
Too Much Screen Time
Whether it be TV, computer, or phone. Or all three at once. (yikes again)
Listening To A Complainer (Myself Included)
Complaining is a huge peace stealer for me. I’m not talking about the occasional vent/advice session, but more the constant complaining that leads to no solution. I feel so drained after listening to someone complain or if I’m the one doing the complaining. I’ve gotten pretty good at telling myself to be quiet.
Gossiping/Negative Talk About Others
Even if it’s true, I shouldn’t repeat it and I always regret it immediately. I can feel myself turning so ugly on the inside.
Getting Overloaded With Advice
I am really learning how to put my faith in God and trust that he is with me each step of the way. It completely steals my peace when advice starts coming my way because it usually does not match up with my new motto of, I’m going to trust God to get me through each step of the way. I don’t need to know all twenty steps anymore. I can’t prepare for everything, nor do I want to.
Not Being Firm In My Beliefs
This goes back to caring too much what other people think. I’m much better at this than I was before, but I still need to work on not letting others influence my actions.
Ignoring An Assignment From God
When I know that I know that I know God told me to do something, say something, stop something, etc… but I keep putting it off I have minimum amounts of peace. Whatever the assignment may be, whether it’s as simple as stop watching that show or as big as start a blog, until I obey, I don’t have as much peace as I know is available.
Most likely a few other things on my peace stealers list have come into play for this to become an issue.
A Cluttered “Sorry About The Mess” Home
When people come into our home, I lose so much peace if the first thing out our mouths is, “Sorry about the mess.” I want a home that is constantly ready to take in guests and I want my husband to know he can always bring people into our home without fear of what it looks like that day.
5 of My Husband’s Peace Stealers – In No Particular Order
Spending Too Much Time Inside
My husband does not do well if he has been stuck inside for too long. He needs to get out and go do something.
Not Spending Time With Friends/Family
He’s an extrovert, so he needs people to get refueled. I try to remember this and be encouraging when he goes out with friends. The husband I get back is charged up and more full of life.
Toilet Paper Backwards
Apparently I put the toilet paper on the wrong way. I didn’t realize there was a right way. Either way, it rolls and gets the job done, but I can try and figure out which way he prefers.
Letting Bills Go Two Months
I’m in charge of some bills and will occasionally let them go for two months if there’s not a late fee. A bad habit that is easy to fix.
No Free Day
Dillon’s alarm wakes up him Monday – Friday around 4:45 A.M. He really likes to have at least one day on the weekend where he doesn’t have to live by the clock.
After looking at our peace stealers lists, I’m seeing a lot of potential peace problems with a newborn. Free days and no dirty dishes sound like things of the past for a while. But that’s why the lists exists. We can recognize what each other may need to feel a little bit more at peace during this transition for our family. I know that if I see my husband losing it, he may just need to go out somewhere and recharge. If he sees me losing it, and notices the kitchen exploded, he can attack the dishes until we have a clean, workable kitchen again.
With that being said, having a newborn is going to completely redefine our lives. One of my goals as a new mother will be to not miss out on the moments because I too distracted by the other stuff. I want to be a Mary not a Martha. So even if all my peace stealers come at me at once and the kitchen is messy, we skipped church, the floor is hardly walkable with all the clutter everywhere, and people come by and have no place to sit, I still have access to peace Jesus left with us. It’s up to me whether or not I choose to embrace peace in the midst of chaos. I can focus on what is good instead of letting my peace stealers run my life.
What are some of the peace stealers in your life? Are there things you can do to change them?