Last week was fall break. We had no plans – no playdates, no excursions, just lots of lazy pajama mornings and slow-paced days. On Monday, I woke up with a migraine headache. I’ve gotten these since I was eleven years old, to varying degrees of intensity and frequency. The commonality is that my vision is obstructed and I feel nauseous. Thankfully, my parents were able to take the girls for the day and I spent our first glorious day of break miserably in bed.
I may take out my stress in headaches; Bea takes hers out in sleep. She’s always been prone to night terrors and restlessness. Over break, with the ability to breathe and unwind, she was unable to sleep through the night. Yes, we had a week of pajama days but they weren’t as restful as I was envisioning. They stemmed from exhaustion and lethargy from interrupted sleep and inability to rest.
In Mending the Divides, Jon Huckins & Jer Swigart end the book reminding us that peacemaking starts in our own homes, with our own families. I have a really hard time being loving, gracious, and peaceful when I’m running on a week of sleeplessness. I’m selfish and looking for conflict.
As we’re finishing up this month of looking at Micah 6:8, I’m realizing that doing justice starts with seeing the big picture in my own home. Bea isn’t waking us up out of vindictiveness. She’s a five-year-old who needs her safe parents in the middle of the night. Loving kindness means choosing to not respond sarcastically to Frank when all I want to do is drink a cup of coffee in silence. I live in a family who wakes up ready to go, while I love to ease into the morning. Kindness is a choice I can make each morning before any coffee has been made. Walking humbly looks like not needing to be right. When Bea wakes up from a restless night, she’s loud and screechy and tired, which manifests itself in a surplus of energy. It’s grating and I just want her to understand that she is the reason the morning is rough. But where does that lead? What good does that do?
I want this verse to be a commissioning – a great call to living BIG and well in this world. The reality, like so much of the Bible, is a call to live small, in our own homes and lives. How can I listen well and live as a peacemaker with strangers if I can’t even practice this with my daughter?
I suppose that is the most humbling part of this. Seeing that all the learning and reading and writing do nothing unless I can shift my thinking and behavior with the people I love most.
How do you practice peace in your day-to-day life? Which do you find more doable – the big practice of peace or the mundane practices?
This post is Day 30 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the Backyard Justice. You can find the entire series over at my Backyard Justice page.