If These Walls Could Talk
Plan for Peace
I saw a post on social media the other day that showed the face of a confused little girl and said, “When you realize 2022 is right around the corner and you still haven’t processed 2019.” Maybe I’m the only one who can relate to that little girl, but I feel like 2021 came and went like the Tasmanian Devil. Our daughter is about to be seven years old. The Brothers are almost three. So much life happened in 2021 and I feel like I missed a lot of it. I want to do better in 2022.
Every January brings a time of reflection of the previous twelve months. What did I leave unfinished? What can I do better? What did I do that I want to continue?
Personally, I want to be better at putting away laundry. Most school mornings of this year have included last-minute chaos, digging through baskets of clean laundry, looking for those darn bike shorts for my daughter to wear under her dress or four matching toddler socks for the brothers, before we rushed out the door. I realize I did that to myself, and I am going to try to make better choices. I want to continue to be regular in exercising. I took a break when the brothers were babies and I have started to rekindle my love of running again. I also want to continue to make my marriage a priority and spend one-on-one time with my husband. Those easy but intentional decisions are the ones that bring goodness to my life.
Really, I’m a simple girl. For example, my favorite loungewear is a pair of very oversized gray sweatpants and a white V-neck t-shirt. I’ve tried to change it over the years, maybe a different color sweat pant or a different brand shirt, but it wasn’t the same. I have worn the same duo since college and even brought them on my honeymoon. I am who I am. Give me my Hanes and let me live! Simple. Easy. Comfortable. God has been too good to me for me to get in the way and make complicated what is comfortable and good.
Proverbs 12:20 says, “Those who plan for peace are filled with joy.” How plain and simple is that? Peace has a direct correlation with joy, friends. My goal this year is to be intentional in planning my peace so that I can be filled with joy. I want to promote peace so those around me can find joy. I am in the position, as a mother and a wife, to counsel peace in my home so my family can find joy. But how do I do that?
I have made a list of two places I can start…
- Saying, “No.” This is so hard for me, y’all. I am a natural people pleaser and the thought of disappointing someone puts a pit in my stomach. When I don’t say no and I overload my plate, though, I end up doing too many things at once and none of them are done well. I get anxious at the size of the to-do list I have created. I produce a mediocre product or response that deserved more than I gave it, and that is not fair to the person who asked me for help. Then, knowing I could have, and should have, done better creates more anxiety. It is a vicious cycle, and I am ready to get off that ride. Saying no might mean guarding my heart and removing or setting boundaries for people, places and things that bring neither peace nor joy. Saying “no” to gossip, insecurities, guilt or societal expectations is going to be hard, and I have got some work to do.
- Saying, “Yes.” Digging deep to find confidence to step out of my homebody comfort zone is important for me to model for my kids. To be honest, my daughter is the one who has made me want to find that confidence in myself again. At six years old, she has stood on a stage in front of her peers and prayed in a microphone for God’s love to fill this city. I could never do that, but she has just enough of her daddy in her to not worry about what others think. I want to be more like her. I want to say “yes” to getting my hands dirty for good and “yes” to making time to spend with people who encourage me to stay steady and be a better person. I also want to say “yes” to the simple things like taking the nap and eating the cake, to going outside to play in the rain puddles, or to letting the dishes sit in the sink while we play a game or go on a family walk instead. I have got some work to do.
The theme between the two is clear; I must choose. It is up to me to make the choice that will produce the outcome. After the brothers were born, I started giving myself more grace with things that had previously made me rigid and anxious. What started as hard work is now a new way of life and I have to say, it is so refreshing to be kind to myself. It is my hope that planning peace becomes a new normal after making the choices that may not be easy but will promote joy in my life. My peace may not look like your peace, nor my joy, your joy. So, my first assignment to plan, promote and counsel peace is this—make your list and get started. I haven’t figured out where the laundry fits in yet, but if I sort socks and fold towels in my sweatpants, maybe that will help.