Every once in a while, I get to have a couple of hours “alone time” when my husband is able to watch our one-year-old son. I would carry a cloth bag with a notebook, pens, high lighters, books, sometimes a laptop to go to a café or the local library, where I could sit, muse, read or write. It’s something I do over and over again simply because I love it. It’s my way of relaxing and connecting with peace.
Usually, I feel refreshed and recharged after a couple of hours being away, and ready to take on the world. Sometimes this pleasant feeling lasts for one or two days. Sometimes just for a few hours until my baby decides to play the nonstop-screaming game, or my husband did something that’s far from what I prefer. Then, the precious newly-found peace would leave me all over again, as if it is just a temporary state.
One day, after I was losing it again just about one hour after my glorious “peace searching”, I thought, “This is not right!” I felt guilty, worrying about how my temper could negatively influence my family, especially my son.
I didn’t grow up in a peaceful home. Instead, my home was full of emotional dramas. My parents loved each other and loved me, but they didn’t know how to give their child a peaceful home. The deeper I dive into my domestic life as a mom and wife, the more I become aware that the ways my parents, particularly my mom lived out in their family life made a great impact on me. Unfortunately, a lot of them weren’t healthy. Until today, I could still hear in my head the angry yelling or the harsh words of my childhood from my mom, especially when I’m upset about something, which urges me to respond in the same way… It’s truly a shame that I hate to admit. I don’t blame my parents nevertheless. They did what they knew the best.
Despite this, ever since I became a mom, I determined to give my children something different. I read about how important it is to provide children a harmonious home for them to grow mentally and emotionally. Children simply thrive in a loving, peaceful, drama free household. So I started to dream that when my children grow up and start their own family, what they remember from their parents would be something kind, loving and true; that the voices they hear in their head would give them courage and wisdom; that their life would be cultivated by peace and love.
I used to think of peace as some state you experience when you are in a quiet and delightful environment, like in a clean living room, a stylish café, library or being surrounded by nature, where you could relax and enjoy. When I was single and had a lot of time, I could easily have a clean cozy room all for myself or go to places I love to find some peace I needed. But now I’m married and having a child, as much as I try, I just can’t have the same amount of freedom or time as before to get myself in places like that for the sake of peace.
However, If the peace I experience only depends on the environment I’m in, does that mean I’m doomed to not be able to enjoy as much peace as before? Does that mean I will always lose my cool when my child keeps screaming for no reason? Can I unlearn what I saw my parents doing growing up? Can there be a kinder voice for me to follow? Can I really give my children a peaceful and loving home where they can thrive and form life-giving memories of their parents?
I’ve read my Bible enough to know that there is Hope. Christ came to the world to redeem the brokenness of us human. True peace, the lasting, mind renewing, life-changing kind of peace is a gift from God. It can’t be found in this world, not even in an tidy cozy room with a candle lit and full of cushions. Jesus said, “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. ” ( John 14:27)
There is, in fact, a truer voice for me to follow. It’s the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is always with me. Every time when I’m about to lose my temper, no matter how good the reason seems, He has something to say to me. Something that will keep me and the ones I love safe in His peace. I just need to choose to pause, listen and obey.
Therefore, keep remaining in the soil of His peace where there is and will be more life sprouting for you and me.