I don’t know if you’re like me, but I find myself often waiting for the stars to align and everything to be in its right place to take a deep breath and feel this fantasized, but truly desired feeling of peace. But, if you’re like me, you have learned simply through living life, peace isn’t always easy to come by these days.
If you have lived for more than one day on this earth, you know very well that there are few, if ever any, perfect seasons of life where we feel like we can finally breathe and experience the true feeling of long lasting peace. And if you have walked thru a season where you do live and breathe peace, you probably know that though it may come easy here and there, it just doesn’t seem to last that long. I promise this is not a depressing post by the way:) Just stick with me a little longer.
This week has been one of those weeks where I can’t seem to catch up on anything in my life. I have re-washed whats in my washer at least three times. Every day I get home from work, I start the dryer to de-wrinkle the clothes that have been in there for a week because I’m just certain today will be the day I will actually get it all folded AND put away! I can’t get to work on time to save my life. I slept thru my alarm, well, lets be honest here, I hit the snooze button ten times this morning and woke up 15 minutes before my oldest son had to be at school. Y’all, I literally bribed him and told him if he could find a way to brush his teeth, make his bed, get dressed and out of the door in 10 minutes I’d give him money for his money jar. If you’re a mom, I know I’m not alone on this one! Every day I set my alarm to get up early to have my quiet time and work out and clean the house from the night before. And every day I shut my alarm off because sleep is just so much more appealing than anything else at 5am! I mean, I haven’t been able to finish one single cup of coffee this week before I leave for work because I can’t get it together! All of that to say, yeah, its been a week.
And the truth is, if we are all being honest, thats just the way life goes sometimes. So, per usual, I left the house stressed and frustrated, doing breathing exercises on my way to work to keep myself feeling somewhat calm…and then I had this thought.
Peace isn’t given. Its chosen.
Let me elaborate. As a Christ follower, I am very aware of what the Bible says in Philippians, “Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience Gods peace which transcends anything we can understand.” So in context, this verse articulates peace as something that is given as a result of submitting our concerns to Jesus. Peace is the result of an exchange of our worries for prayer. But what I mean by peace is chosen and not given is this: Peace is offered to us but its our choice if we want to accept it. Its our choice if we want to cultivate it. Ultimately, peace then is a choice. Yes, God gives us peace. But we have to choose to not just accept it, but to also allow it to infiltrate our lives, our circumstances, our moments of frustration, and everything in between.
I’m probably the only person on the planet that still watches Seinfeld…haha, I grew up on that show and for some reason it just stuck with me. But there is an episode where George’s dad, Frank, coins this phrase “serenity now.” Throughout the entire episode, any time someone or something starts to stress him out, he pauses, throws his hands up in the air and yells, “SERENITY NOW.” The episode is hilarious, but it proves this thought to be true, that peace is truly your choice. Every moment of every day we have the free will to choose peace. Regardless of what life looks like, regardless of what is happening around you or even in you, we have the power to choose peace.
There have been some seasons in my life where I feel like my default is just naturally peace. I’m not saying that boastfully at all, its just sometimes it comes naturally and sometimes I have to work hard to maintain it. This season of my life, moving to a new city, starting a new job, making new friends, its much more challenging than I had anticipated. And I’m learning a whole lot about myself in all of it. I’ve learned that for some, they take life one day at a time. But for me, I have to take life one moment at a time. And that doesn’t sound glamorous, or probably even admirable, but thats just where I’m at. And I’m okay with it.
As I was driving to work this morning, like I referenced earlier, I was so frustrated and felt totally defeated and it was barely 9am! But I had this revelation that I’m writing about now. Peace isn’t a result of everything being perfect in your life. Peace is the posture you choose to take in the middle of lifes imperfections. So in this moment, in whatever moment you’re in, I encourage you to choose peace. Keep choosing it. Don’t wait until things feel right to be peaceful. Because the truth is, just like any habit that we form, the more you make peace a habit no matter what life looks like, the easier it becomes to resort to it.
So today, in this moment, I am choosing peace. I’m choosing to take a posture of peace. Not because my life is in order. Not because my kids are perfect. Not because my marriage is without fault. But because I choose to accept it. I accept that things are hard and sometimes messy and not always easy. But in all of it, the peace that is offered, I choose to accept that too. It’s easy to worry, to be anxious, to be stressed. Sometimes I think we allow those feelings to reside within us because we don’t feel deserving of anything different. But we all deserve to live in peace…peace with ourselves and with others.
So with that said, I encourage you today to choose peace. It doesn’t mean that everything is just going to magically feel peaceful in your life. It just means that in the middle of it all, you choose to remain at peace with it.
Hope y’all have a great day!