Recently, I’ve realized that my blog name can be a little misleading, as some may think I am saying that I never have a chaotic or bad day and that I am only highlighting the good and either ignoring or not admitting the bad, which is totally not my intention. I began this blog in hopes that I can help others find their peace in both pleasant and unpleasant stages in their lives. My goal is always to uplift and encourage others - helping them see the light in a dark world.
I recognize that life is full of people, circumstances, and elements that are just plain stressful and chaotic. In fact, I have noticed that since I began this blog, my peace has been tested far more often than before. I recognize and understand it’s an attack of the enemy, as he does not want me to spread God’s word or to encourage others. That is one of the reasons why I keep writing and sharing positive vibes. The attacks are proof that what I am doing is making a difference in the lives of others. That means so much to me.
Our present individualistic climate screams, “It is all about me, me, me!” But I am here to help you get through those unpleasant moments in life through words of encouragement and in hopes in helping you find and maintain your peace.
Here are some things I have done that have helped me maintain my peace when things are unpleasant or when I feel overwhelmed.
Accept and acknowledge that what works for you and your family may not be best for another family. Do what works for you and do not let the opinions of others determine how you should handle things. Far too often we let the opinions of family, friends or others get in our ear about what they think is best for us. As a result, some may feel pressured into doing something that doesn’t necessarily work for their household out of fear of being judged by others. I am here to tell you that you cannot concern yourself with the thoughts of others. As long as what you are doing is in alignment with God’s word, and it works for you, do what is best for you.
Prepare as much as possible. The night before work/school/summer camp, etc. iron your clothes. (Or if time permits, iron your clothes for the week on a Sunday. Getting all of my ironing done on a Sunday always makes my week go a lot smoother.) If your children are old enough, allow them to pick out their clothes. Make lunches and pack your gym bag. That way, all you have to do is pick up your things and go! You will be surprised at how much time preparing everything the night before will save. Each time I don’t set time aside the night before to prepare for the following day, I always regret it, as I often end up running late and having to rush, which leads to me feeling anxious. No bueno.
Set your alarm for work at least 30 minutes earlier than the time you have to wake up the children. You may even want to give your children an extra 15 minutes in the morning to allow them to wake up slowly, to find that missing shoe or missing toy that they want to take in the car for their ride to school/summer camp. Every morning that I don’t build in extra time for these items, I end up having an elevated heart rate, which I am working on changing. It is so not healthy. Setting aside that extra 15 minutes for miscellaneous items will make almost any morning run a lot smoother.
Accept that life is not perfect. Not only that, we as humans aren’t perfect and cannot be no matter how hard we try.
The other day, I forgot to send my son an extra pair of shoes to summer camp to change into after his creeking experience (walking in the creek to search for living creatures) and guess what? He ended up not being able to walk in the creek. Normally, I would have felt like a bad mom or a failure because he missed out on an experience. And I would have felt judged by the teachers/staff, but that day I decided to suck it up. I reminded myself that it was not the end of the world and that this would not be his last opportunity to play in the creek. In fact, my husband has been telling him that he is going to take him to the creek behind our house, which may even be a better experience, as moments like that with parents are usually the most unforgettable. And even without an extra pair of shoes, he was able to go down to the creek, throw rocks into the water and see different creatures that live in the water. I can guarantee you that his favorite part of the experience was throwing the rocks because that is what 6 year old boys like to do. He still had a ball. So me stressing would have been for absolutely no reason at all.
I have also realized that while I have so many things to do all the time, sometimes, I just won’t be able to get to everything and that’s okay. I have developed a new mindset where I am more focused on making memories and spending time with my loved ones rather than ensuring my house is spotless at all times. Sometimes we won’t be able to clean the kitchen or fold the laundry as soon as we take it out of the dryer and that is okay. Sometimes he just need a break. And we need to enjoy our family and friends while we are all still here. Life is so short.
Thanks to a college friend of mine, I recently adopted a new way of thinking. She is also a wife, successful career woman, and mom of three. When I asked her how she does it all without getting overwhelmed, her response was, “In life, we are constantly juggling multiple thing. Sometimes we are going to drop the ball and that is okay”. It doesn’t make us a failure, it just makes us human. The way we recover from those dropped balls in addition to maintaining a cheerful heart and a positive attitude is how we perfect our peace.
Learn to roll with the punches. Things are not always going to go as planned and that’s okay. Having the ability to adapt and to roll with the punches has allowed me to remain much more calm and peaceful. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I was one that person who would get so upset and frazzled when things didn’t go as planned. I wanted holidays (especially Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday) to be extremely special and magical - like something you would see in a romance movie. With the horse and carriage rides in the snow in Central Park and the sunset picnics on the beach while enjoying a glass of wine with your man…. GIRRRRLLLAAAA… Doing the most! LOL. And expecting the most.
There was even a time in my life when I would literally cry when things didn’t turn out the way I expected. My, have I grown. I am so grateful that I have learned to not have such high expectations and just to enjoy the present for what it is.
Letting go of the thought that you have to be in control. This is key to maintaining and perfecting your peace. No matter how hard you try, you cannot control everything. God is in control. Allow Him to be Him and let go. You will feel so much less stressed in the end. Trust that He knows what He is doing and that He wants what’s best for you. If you didn’t get the position you have been praying for, know that He feels as though you aren’t prepared for that role yet.
Feel the urge to control the family vacation? Stop it!!!!! You are causing yourself extra stress. You cannot control how your spouse is driving. You cannot control your annoying family member. You cannot control another adult. Let it go! It is not that serious. When you start to feel annoyed, just take a few moments to yourself to say a nice quiet prayer and to take some slow deep breaths. The first few times you try this approach, it may not work, but with practice and patience, you will be able to start letting go of that control you think you need to have.
Stop beating yourself up if you aren’t able to get something on your to-do list done. OOOOOO Chile! I am straight talking to myself right now as one thing that gets to me the most is this same thing. Being the overachiever that I am, every day (including weekends) I have a massive to-do list prepared for myself and when I don’t make a dent in the sucka, it burns me up. I am working on myself though. I know what it’s like that literally feel anxious when you are spending time with family and towards the middle of the visit, you start to get antsy because you are itching to get home and fold that basket of laundry that has been sitting in the spare room for a few days. Or when you literally get annoyed when someone invites you to a brunch on a Sunday morning because you feel obligated to go, but that is your church and meal prep day and adding a brunch to it, will ruin your ability to be productive and get a head start on what needs to be done around the house before the start of a new week. Can anyone relate or do I just have a problem? LOL. Please pray for a sista. I have my moments where I just don’t care and I will hang out with the fam and not think twice about unfinished tasks at home, but I only have that carefree feeling about once a month. Other than that, I need to be home getting my house in order. Clutter makes me crazy!
Here is my advice to myself and to whomever can relate. We will not be able to do all things all the time and that is okay. As long as we stayed focused and tried our hardest we have to allow that to be good enough. We have to pick ourselves up the next day and get back to it. I am also starting to realize that during the summer months, it is literally going to be impossible for me to consistently complete my to-do list because we literally have a minimum of two engagements each weekend, and again, I cannot do it all. Whew… this is going to be hard, but worth it. Making memories are far more important than a spotless house.
Stop comparing yourself with others! You have no idea what they had to do to get where they are. Things are not always as great as they appear to be from the outside looking in. That marriage may appear to be perfect, but that same couple could be facing domestic abuse, infertility or infidelity. Be grateful for the life God blessed you with and make the best of it.
Accept where you are in life. I don’t know about you, but after I earned my bachelors degree and masters certificate, I just KNEW I would be balling. And guess what? I’m not. It took years for me to accept that life is a lot harder than we think it is and that a degree does not guarantee a hefty income. Does it mean that I will never meet my financial goals? Hecks to the naw! Does it mean that I won’t continue to climb that corporate ladder as an educated black woman? No! But for right now, I choose to bloom where I am planted and I hope you will too. Remember that God does not waste an experience. You are exactly where He wants you to be at this very moment. Make sure you make the most of your current situation. If you are not currently in the job you were hoping to be in, network like crazy, work your butt off, don’t give up and be patient. You will get where you want to be in God’s timing. His timing is ALWAYS perfect. Don’t rush it or try to take matters into your own hands, as you may block your blessing doing so.
To sum it all up… to find and maintain your peace, try to go with the flow more, take time to do things you enjoy, get plenty of rest, be content with the beautiful blessed life God has given you and most of all, trust God’s perfect plan. Whenever I feel frustrated about a situation or am not in the best space, I turn all of my focus on God. I remain in prayer throughout the day and put on some shouting-worthy praise music. And of course you can open the Word and search for peace. There are a ton of scriptures that will help you whither the storm. Just like the scripture says, “[He] will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is [stayed on Him].” Isaiah 26:3 AMP.
Is there anything I have mentioned that you do to find and maintain your peace? Please share so we can continue to grow as women in Christ.