The Thief of Peace

I woke up at 4:00 a.m…. worried.  It eclipsed the peace and quiet of the pre-dawn.  In fact, after a little reflection, I believe that worry may be the perfect opposite of peace.

This morning, when I think about creating a peaceful home…. I wonder what I can do to make my home worry-free.  There is obviously more to it than just resolving not to worry….  A lot can be accomplished by not creating things to worry about in the first place.

I’m as guilty as anyone of creating volatility in my life.  We’re all supremely good at deluding ourselves, and once we’ve deluded ourselves, a little confidence is all it takes to spread that delusion to those you love.  Going after the birds in the bush makes all the sense in the world when someone tells us that their wings are broken.  So we abandon what IS true for what we BELIEVE to be true.  And we will find every fact, study and piece of evidence available to cement our certainty.  Don’t get me wrong…. Certainty serves us well.  Without it, we would never make a turn, never change anything, never go anywhere.  But….

Looking back, most of the troubles I face today are troubles that I put here….. by counting on tomorrow.  I may call it “leveraging myself”.  I may call it “investing in my business” or “investing in my future”.  It sounds responsible.  But more often than not, that certainty is an illusion.  We are always up against the unknown, and believing anything more is a lie.

Jesus tells us to not worry about tomorrow… that each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

The question then becomes, “How do we get the most out of each day without gambling away our tomorrow?”  I’m not just talking about money here.  I’m talking about our time, our relationships and every other resource we’re blessed with.  Yes, it might make sense to spend a dollar today to save $5 tomorrow.  But how do we know the difference between a gamble and a trade? Between a waste and an investment? What happens if the $5 tomorrow never comes, and instead you just owe another dollar tomorrow?

The difference is acting on things we are most certain of… versus acting certain on most things.  Wisdom. Discernment. I am certain that nothing happens outside of God’s sight, and I am also certain that He expects us to learn, grow, think, do and become as we lean on Him.

Just some food for thought.  As for me, when I consider “leveraging myself” or “investing in my future” I intend to ask myself, “What potential worry may I be placing on tomorrow?”, ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then step into contentment with today.

Clutter Free Mind- Managing Stress

What causes stress?

The stress you feel in your life is a direct result of LOOSE ENDS. Things you’ve started and haven’t finished will bog down your spirit and you can quickly become stressed out and overwhelmed… and it can stop you from accomplishing much of anything.
We start 100 things at once and think we’re great multi-taskers… but our attention gets so split that what we’re really doing is just creating stress for ourselves.
So let’s start cutting back on the stress before we get too far into our weeks!

1) Make a quick list of everything you’re in the middle of- started but not finished- incomplete “cycles of action”.
2) I bet their are a few things on there that you should just say “no” to… Unnecessary clutter in your life. Delete them! Don’t let them hang over your head and your heart.
3) Identify the things you can quickly wrap up, and get them done NOW.
4) Schedule time today or later this week to give 100% of your attention to each of the other things on your list so that you can put them out of your mind for now, knowing when and how they will get handled and off.
5) Delegate! Anything on the list someone else can do for you? Delegate it! And put a time on your calendar to follow up and make sure you can cross it off your list.
6) Start a habit of handling everything as it comes at you instead of adding it to a daunting “to-do list”. Keep your to-do list as short as possible. When life throws something your way, handle it immediately. If you can’t do it yourself right away, then delegate and schedule a time to follow up…. or schedule a time for you to handle it as soon as possible.

Going back and looking at things several times takes so much of our time. Whether it’s looking at a sink full of dishes half a dozen times before you finally load the dishwasher… or if it’s thinking over and over again about a call you need to make to a client….. the only way to get rid of the stress is to get it off your list. 

Here’s to tying up loose ends and handling life more proactively!

 

I’ll be writing more blog posts on specific ideas to close cycles, tie up loose ends, be pro-active and create peace of mind under the blog category “Clutter Free Mind”.

Practical Collections

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I long ago gave up on bothering to keep matching sets of anything…. because pieces inevitably get lost and broken.  For me, it’s part of having an “uncluttered mind” because it allows me to not just tolerate, but embrace imperfection. It makes me easier to live with, and is one less thing for me to get upset about.

Never again will I host a dinner party with eight guests having matching silverware and four of them using plastic (because someone left a fork in the car, took another to their dad’s house, thew one away by accident, and one ended up in the laundry….).  Things like that used to make my eye twitch and make my head feel like it was going to explode.  Aesthetics are important to me.  Beautiful things bring me joy, and I like to create pleasing environments. It brings a smile to my face.

I would buy a wonderful set of a dozen matching glasses, and I’d be lucky if I wasn’t down to 11 by the time I make it home.

Then come five children….

Now try a dinner party:  I can find 5 nice glasses from my set of 12.  I can easily locate a red Elmo cup.  Now do I take the lids off of sippy cups?  Or buy a new set of glasses?  You see the insanity.  A serving dish left at a friend’s house, a coffee mug used for a pencil holder… I don’t see how anyone could possibly keep a complete set of anything for more than a week.  I have a theory that complete, matching sets are created to simply drive mothers to insanity.

ENTER COLLECTIONS.  Oh my!  An answer to prayer, food for my soul, a creative outlet, a fulfilling hobby, and the cheapest shopping therapy you’ll find: all wrapped up in one little solution.

My everyday dinnerware?  Blue ironstone, mostly floral and pastoral…. but I have a few Japanese pieces in there to fill out the collection for now.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s old or new, as long as I love it.  It coordinates if I say it does.

My fine china?  A mix of whatever odd pieces I find and love at thrift shops.

Champagne flutes, water goblets, silverware… Heck, even my wardrobe doesn’t match.  They all just coordinate.

I love having collections that aren’t clutter.  Home feels a little more cozy.  I can let go of just a little bit more and let my mind be at ease.

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