Saturday, March 12, 2011

3.6.5. Peace

When my son was cooking we thought about a "quiet birth". The thought is that when a baby is born the experience can be quite traumatic, so a peaceful serene birth and instant skin to skin contact can set the baby up to feel more secure from second one. First impressions are everything, right? So we considered it and then laughed. Out loud. Between my husband and I, and both sets of parents (Well, really excluding Brad's dad. He is a quiet man unless sports are on.) we felt that might be giving out sweet boy the absolute wrong impression of us. It's amazing to me that we are not Italian somewhere. We are a loud large family. Peaceful birth - out. Peaceful life?

Before you have kids, you adult conversations and general way of life is entirely up to you. If you're telling a funny story and you're loud, oh well. Sometimes it makes it funnier. If you're mad and you're loud, oh well. It gets your point across. Right? At least that is what you're adrenaline tells you.

Well over the past 3 years I have noticed that not only are we loud, but our son and daughter are too. Let me clear up that they are not the tantrum in the grocery kind of kids, and they don't scream in a quiet setting (save their infant stages... who can blame them?). My kids laugh loud, talk loud, whisper loud, cry loud, and on and on. The one major problem with all of this is that being loud doesn't really promote LISTENING!

I've been thinking about it for a while, and seeing other mom's who exhibit such a peaceful nature, I find myself wondering how they developed that. Not everyone is born with a peaceful disposition. Not everyone is "still" in the waiting. Not everyone is quite when they get happy or angry or anything in between. I can't understand people who are ducks.(as my mother would say: Be a duck. Let it roll off of your back.) I was raised to know right and wrong and it irritates the fire out of me when someone else acts like they don't know how to treat another human being. I was taught to listen and I can't stand when people don't listen to me.

So it has really been on my heart to try and commit myself to not raise my voice in an attempt for a more peaceful environment for my children. Of course I'm going to cheer loud when daughter uses the potty, but I mean in a negative way. Towards ANYONE. I tend to take on too much at one time so I feel that this is a very lofty goal. I can't get upset if someone cuts me off endangering my babies? I can't get upset when I ask my husband 20 time to put the kid's shoes on so we can leave? I can't get upset when my 3yr old looks me in the face and does exactly opposite of what I ask him to do?

My best and only remaining friend from my single semester in college and I had lunch yesterday. I could barely get a word out. My voice is gone. This hasn't happened since I was 16. The conversation came to be about being content and peaceful. Right there. Smacking me right in the face. "Hello Courtney, This is your GOD speaking. I've turned off your voice. I've been trying to tell you for a while now that you need to work on yourself a bit."

When I got home from a most refreshing sunny afternoon lunch I had no choice but to whisper to my children. At first it was so easy. They were so happy to be out on the back porch in the sunshine playing on their slide that hadn't been put together since December. It got a bit difficult trying to communicate about coming inside, but I noticed something amazing. The quieter I was the more they struggled to listen to me. I was no longer white noise my son was tuning out, but rather someone he was concentrating to hear and understand.
Later my husband and I got into a somewhat serious discussion about finances,(You know the deal. Never fun unless you're someone who has hit the lottery.)and I began to feel emotional. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't physically raise my voice. I had no choice but to speak softly to him. So after seeing the direct results of what I believe is God's new assignment for me, I am going to hold my self accountable to 365 days of peace. I'm hoping that trying every day will make it a life changing habit for me. Hopefully if I can lay my loud reactive nature at his feet, I can come to a better understand of my favorite verse. It is on a beautiful painting gifted to us by my parents, hanging in our room.

Psalms 37:7 "Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him." 

Here is to you: May you be still, calm, quiet when advantageous, and PEACEFUL!


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