The Peace Day Challenge
For the last few days on the blog we have been talking about seeking peace and living in peace, and I have been hinting about my Peace Day Challenge.
See the bottom of this post for links to previous posts on this topic.
So, what is the Peace Day Challenge?
I challenge you to spend one day practicing peace.
In your heart.
In your home.
In your relationships.
We are called to peace, to be peaceful.
This was discussed in a previous post called Peace Day Challenge, Part 1: We are Called to Peace.
So, why am I doing a peace challenge?
Because I think that most of us don’t even know what it is like to exist peacefully.
All we know is pushing, and striving, and drama, and stress, and racing to the next appointment or activity.
A Peace Day allows us to stop fighting, stop struggling, stop trying to fix everything in our lives, every last problem and allows us to just be.
It teaches us to be peaceful in the chaos.
In spite of the chaos.
God can use that chaos for our good, as I have mentioned in my previous post called Peace Day Challenge, Part 2: Even If the Healing Never Comes: Choosing Contentment which is my testimony about how far God has brought me in being content and seeking peace in Him regardless of my circumstances.
God can use that chaos for good, so why are we constantly freaking out about it and fighting it?
If you feel like a hamster on a wheel, constantly running and pushing and trying and never getting anywhere and just getting angrier and more frustrated, this post is for you, and I challenge you to try a Peace Day —a day of peace.
The whole world won’t fall apart if for one day you stop the rat race.
I am giving you permission to take one day off to seek peace.
To practice peace.
We take one day a year in the USA to practice being thankful –or at least that’s what I think it’s for even though some people think it’s about football.
Couldn’t we take one day a year and practice being peaceful?
One day to stop the rat race and just learn to exist in a peaceful way.
Most people have never learned this.
And, I never would have if my health didn’t force me to stop.
You’re seeking to have peace in yourself: an even voice and calm presence –focused on God’s goodness.
You’re seeking peace in your relationships: no getting upset, yelling, being frustrated, etc.
Now, this will need to be a day when you are staying home.
I’m assuming that you’re a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom because that’s a large part of my audience.
If not, this might be harder to implement, but not impossible –it will just require a little more creativity and forethought on your part.
Pick a day when you don’t have to go anywhere, and I am giving you permission, for just today, to only do what brings you peace and what you can do peacefully.
This day –Peace Day– you don’t have to do anything that makes you stressed out.
Believe me when I say that those stressful things will still be there tomorrow.
Do whatever you need to for you to be peaceful.
Just for today, imagine that you are sick and don’t have to do anything.
Your 2-year-old will not be permanently damaged if you distract her instead of punishing her and addressing an issue just for today.
No one is likely to die if you have peanut butter and jelling sandwiches or cereal for dinner.
A long time ago, I decided that if I couldn’t do something without yelling —without being peaceful— I wasn’t going to do it.
My testimony before my children is way more important than any task that needs to be done today.
Your testimony before your children is so much more important than any task you need to accomplish today.
Important Steps for Your Peace Day:
1. Acknowledge that God is in control of everything: the good, the bad, and even the ugly.
Nothing happens apart from His will –either ordained or permitted will.
So, you can rest in Him.
Knowing He is in control and choosing to trust Him brings peace.
2. Surrender your day to God.
What happens today happens because God allows it to happen.
So, if you don’t have the energy, or the focus, or the time, then you are not expected to get it done today.
God never expects us to do things we are incapable of doing.
Either He will give us the power to do it, or He doesn’t expect it to be done.
No matter what happens, the goal is to still be singing God’s praises when you put your head on your pillow tonight.
The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
I have to admit that the idea of still being willing to praise God at night after a hard day parenting did not come from me.
It came from my friend Ellie who made an offhanded comment that this was her goal.
I went home and cried because I knew that I was not ending my day willing to praise God for whatever had happened no matter what happened.
And, I was determined to change that.
She probably doesn’t even remember the conversation.
But I will never ever forget it.
Today, you want to practice quietness, peace.
Don’t let any situation take away the strength you have when you’re peaceful.
Do you know the Biblical definition of meek?
Also, “An attitude of humble, submissive and expectant trust in God, and a loving, patient and gentle attitude towards others.”
I like the first definition best.
You know the opposite of quiet strength?
Freaking out and yelling.
I’ve had my fair share of freaking out and yelling days.
You can read about one such incident in this post: The Great Cookie Incident of 2013.
3. Focus on the positive things in your life.
It is very hard to stay peaceful if you are thinking about all the things that you think are going wrong in your life.
As cliched as it sounds, counting your blessings really does have a positive effect on our hearts and attitudes.
Even in the hardest of circumstances, you can be grateful that God has promised to work everything out for your good eventually, that He will finish what He started, and that He is working behind the scenes in ways you cannot see and cannot understand at this minute.
4. Realize that any trial or struggle in your life that is not within your control to change is within God’s control.
Make a conscious decision to not resent this because this is what God is doing in your life to deepen your faith.
Surrender these situations to the Lord and say “Thy will be done,” just like Jesus did.
God calls us to endure hard things sometimes, but no more than His son endured for us.
If there are situations you can change, pray that the Lord would give you wisdom and patience to address them prudently.
If not, pray that you would have the ability to surrender the situation to God.
I have a whole post about this topic entitles Things in Outside and Inside My Control.
5. Focus on relationships over efficiency and productivity.
Remember how much you love your children.
Swing them around the kitchen if they are little enough.
Dance around the living room with them.
Smile at each of them.
Hug them each at least once today.
Tell them you love them and tell them why.
Choose to find joy in them today.
When your husband comes home from work, give him a kiss and tell him you are thankful for him.
You are practicing things that lend themselves to a peaceful home.
6. Only do what you can do and still remain peaceful.
Here’s where I might lose some people, so bear with me.
If an argument starts, find the most peaceful and defusing resolution.
If something stresses you out, put it off until tomorrow or find a non-stressful alternative –such as listening to praise music to calm yourself.
Everyone’s different and what stresses them is different.
For instance, before my adrenal issues, I could sing a solo in front of 400 people and hardly get nervous, but I would freak out trying to do the math for our budget.
If watching TV or reading a book is all you can do today without freaking out, that is okay.
I am giving you permission –-for today— to only do things that don’t stress you out, that don’t make you upset and lose your peace.
We will talk tomorrow about what to do about those things that do stress you out.
Your testimony is so much more important than what you think you need to get done today.
(Shhhhh…. I will tell you a secret: I think you should be doing most of these things every day, not just on Peace Day. But, more on that tomorrow.)
So, how peaceful are you, really?
Let’s find out!
I was a lot less peaceful than I thought.
I challenge you to take one day off to practice being peaceful.
If you accept this challenge, post a picture or post on my Facebook Page or use the hashtag #biblicalpeacedaychallenge on your wall, and I will be able to see your photos (if they are set to public).
I would love to hear how this challenge helped you!
This message will self-destruct —just kidding.
Christians in former times understood the value of peaceful existence –a value which we have lost sight of in our fast-paced society and a value I am actively trying to regain.
Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace… If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. – Amy Carmichael
I am praying that you will find peace amid the chaos.
Remember: Jesus was still the King of the Universe even in the storm when the disciples thought everything was out of control and that the storm had won.
He still hasn’t surrendered His throne.
So, you don’t need to surrender your peace.
Hold it tight!
Here are the posts in this series. I will add the links as I publish the posts.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these:
Independentism: The Negative Effects of Self-sufficiency on Women in the Church