In pursuit of a different way

I love how sometimes exactly what you need falls right into your lap so to speak. As I was preparing for another school year I came across some words that so resonated with something deep within me that I could not let them go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know ,I know that’s crazy!! In today’s day and age it is unbelievably easy to over commit. There are endless amazing possibilities at your or your kid’s fingertips.  You can learn about or get involved in any number of incredible things! Then there is the constant distraction of what I like to call “the little things”. With the ability to be continuously connected to social media, editorial fluff pieces, and 24 hours a day streaming capabilities we can keep ourselves entertained by nothing forever. Special diets, Pinterest, Multi Level Marketing businesses, and the internet full of picture perfect mom blogs  have placed before us an endless amount of ideas and opportunities to “make our lives better”! Now most of this is not inherently bad, but it truly is possible to have too much of a good thing! Before long these good things turn horribly bad and we have lost our contentment in our own life and peace in our home.

In the past couple weeks, I have had multiple conversations with friends, old and new, about how stress is overwhelming them and they are just needing a break. As they shared with me how they are feeling and how much this stress is affecting their health and overall well-being,  I can’t help but think that we are in desperate need of a new way! The American Psychological Association has been running a survey since 2007 to measure how Americans are doing with stress. What they are finding isn’t pretty. With every new year, people’s stress levels are increasing and each new generation is showing up more stressed than the last. The use of prescription meds like anti-depressants and sleeping aids have been on a dramatic rise. People are not well and stress, which is truly a lack of peace, is a huge contributing factor. When we are in a time crunch, feeling overwhelmed, or running from one commitment to the next we make less than stellar choices. When it comes to the food we eat, how little we are exercising, the small amount of quality time we are giving to those that matter most, or not taking time to meditate and rest we are choosing stress over peace and selling ourselves short!

I hate when this happens to me or the ones I know!  I long for peace within me and in my home and I desire that others have this peace as well! In my life, I have seen that saying yes to almost everything and giving in to constant distractions has done a lot more harm than good for me and my family. In order to bring  about the peace, I desire I am going to have to say no. I am going to have to structure my days and my life in a way that leaves space for rest, for quite, and for the simple pleasures in life. I am going to have to look at all the incredible things I am blessed with and be content. Even more than that, I am going to have to be content in where God has me and my family and who he has made us to be. When I cut things back to what is truly essential and put my and my families energy into what is most important- loving and serving God and others- then there will be peace.

Now I know that all sounds like a wonderful sentiment, but what does this look like practically? Well if you are looking to see how I am applying this to our homeschooling check out what I shared a few days ago here. In regards to the rest of our life, the rest of my life… honestly I don’t really know! For right now when the kids or I are feeling stressed or I start to sense the tension rising in my home I am going to stop and ask myself “What do I need to cut out to have peace?” and take steps to apply what I have discovered. I hope you will join me in this practice and I pray that it helps to bring you peace as well!

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