We can often long for a more peaceful life. :) When people come over to the house, words I hear a lot are that my home is so peaceful. I don't think it's just my decorating...I think my home and my life in general tend to have a peaceful spirit about them. In light of that, I was praying and asking God about what I could share that I do that helps bring more peace into my life. So below are six simple things he put on my heart. Enjoy!
1. Two-way conversations with God: Every day I try to have a real conversation with God. Not just study the word, not just pray about all the things I need but really talking. I tell Him what's on my heart, I ask Him questions about things and I try to take time to "hear" what He has to say.
2. Clean - but not everything! I have a schedule that helps me divide up the cleaning. For perfectionists, this system may be a challenge at first since technically "everything" is not clean all at once...but for me, it's the best way to have a generally peaceful, clean and put together home. During the weeknights, I am spending 30 minutes or less doing the night's tasks. The items that take longer I do on the weekends. So for example, when I dust I'm dusting the entire house, when I'm vacuuming or sweeping then I'm doing it in every room...so there's no switching cleaning supplies/tasks. Anyway, below is my typical schedule:
- Monday - clean bathroom sinks, tub & toilets, empty trash (my trash day is Tuesday mornings)
- Tuesday - Dust furniture & clean mirrors and glass around house & bathrooms
- Wednesday - Kitchen deep clean, except the floors, & clear off eat-in bar (especially of mail)
- Thursday - I have dinner with a good friend so - free night!
- Friday - Straighten up all three bedrooms
- Saturday - Cat maintenance (nails, hair, teeth) & laundry, change bed sheets
- Sunday - vacuum whole house, sweep & mop if needed
3. Love somebody: Each day I try to love up on somebody. It can be just giving a little encouragement or help to someone. Jesus was always loving up on people...and I want to follow in his footsteps. John 15:12, Matthew 20:34, Mark 6:34, John 11:5
4. Make my bed: My trick with this is a simple comforter and two extra pillows with shams. I wake up in the morning, toss the sheet and comforter up, place all the pillows on the bed and *key angelic music* it's done. I don't go for perfection...I aim for neat. It's peaceful to come home from a long day to a room that doesn't look like I rolled out of bed and left in a whirlwind.
5. Purge & be transparent: I fail all the time and I have victories too. It helps me to talk things out, purge my feelings and my sins, share my joys and victories...really in general just let people in and let people know me. It's so important to be real about what's going on in my life. I try to practice this daily and sharing my life this way brings me a lot of peace.
6. Extend myself grace before bed. A great quote that reminds me to give myself grace at the end of a long day is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays."
Those six little practices have really helped me in the past 10 years to bring more peace into my life. I hope that if you are not already doing them, that you will give them the "old college try."
Peace, be yours.