That was the challenge for last week and boy was it a challenge! You'd think in this season of good cheer and hope that living a week as an intentional peace maker would be a breeze. You'd think the kids would be nothing but peaceful when they were showered with gifts and sweets for seven days straight.
You'd think. But no.
Living peace at Christmas was tough. Family commitments, crowded houses, tight time lines, lots of sugar and little sleep made an already unnatural concept seem completely unattainable. By Boxing Day (December 26) we were totally undone and Mr. Awesome and I realized that we needed to regroup - desperately - so we hunkered down in my parents' guest bedroom and had a family meeting.
We discussed the meaning of peace and why discord can so easily sneak into our relationships. We explained to the kids that Jesus promised to leave us peace because He knew that life has the tendency to be anything but peaceful. They seemed to 'get it' and I was optimistic ... for about 37 seconds. That's how long it took them to walk from the bedroom to the family room and start arguing again.
This time it didn't take a thirty minute conversation to quell the flames of irritation. This time all I did was walk into the room and ask, "Are you going to choose to be a peace maker or a peace stealer?" Immediately Mischief piped up, "A maker!" and the other two reluctantly agreed.
There were many more moments of chaos and stress during the week but having the term 'peace maker' become part of our family vocabulary made it easier to work through squabbles. With all of us understanding the meaning and importance of peace and the offer of Godly help to find peace, we were all on the same page and well ... that's a start at least.
Personally, studying peace this past week has been a much needed tune up. I have felt out of control and angry for weeks but the more I focused on the meaning of peace the more my anger, discontent and frustration melted away. The more I opened my heart to goodness, the more goodness I saw.
We're not done with peace. We are going to continue to pursue it but to our pursuit of a life of peace we are going to add this week's challenge ...
Week Two: Be Prayerful
Make a list of people you can pray for, people beyond just our family ... you can list people you know or people in far away places that might need prayer. Put the list in your bedroom and remember to pray for them each day.
1 Timothy 2:1
I urge you then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.
1. What does 'petition' and 'intercession' mean?
2. Why do we need to pray for people and be thankful for them?
3. Can you think of a time when praying helped you?
4. Make a list of a few people to pray for, you can add to the list later if more people come to mind.
The greatest gift we can give to others is our prayers.