… 5 Keys to Inviting Peace and Joy In
When my boys were little (not that they’re all that old at eight and six) I went through a season of learning one of my job descriptions: establishing an atmosphere of peace and joy in my home. Hubs would be at work (sometimes deployed or away on a training exercise) and the boys were busy. Some days, it was difficult to get the Word in and the dishwasher sometimes didn’t get touched until lunch. Occasionally, it would still be full by the time hubs got home from work. Not after a deployment, obviously. No way, this dishwasher gets run daily (at least!).
Kids or no kids, married or single, maybe establishing an atmosphere of peace and joy in your home came easy. I have had to work at it but I found some things that helped me and I’m going to share them with you.
1. Praise and Worship
I try to keep praise and worship on a lot. When the kids were little, I would sometimes play worship on YouTube. To this day, the boys love the songs we played back then. My eight-year-old actually falls asleep every night to some of them. Putting praise and worship on shifted the atmosphere. Also, TobyMac. For real. The kids love listening to it and it is astounding how fast their moods can change with a bit of Toby. Those albums might not be labeled praise and worship but they’re super anointed.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
Psalm 92:1-3 ESV
2. Get Devotions in Somehow
Maybe a few verses, a chapter or page from Jesus calling (including the verses). For a season I found it hard to read (ya, I know I’m a huge fan of reading, but even avid readers go through times when their minds are tired and weary)—I got a version of the Bible on audible and started listening. If you’re a mom with littles, read them from a picture Bible. It will boost your faith too. Find a way.
As this habit forms, your perspective might just take a shift. I know mine did. And these shifts have to happen in you first.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 ESV
3. Reach Out to Someone Else
One of the best things I did was looking for others who were in need of fellowship. That’s a bit harder in a pandemic. But back then, I would invite ladies over, or reach out to fellow moms to meet at the park. The more I have connected with other women I realized we all have struggles. We all have something we’re pushing through. And the more I saw what others were going through, the more my perspective changed. Community is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, there’s a pandemic that makes the community thing difficult depending on where you live. You might have to get creative. As I found ways to bless others, the more joyful I became. And it’s a lot easier to set an atmosphere of joy and peace when you’re walking in it.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Luke 6:31 ESV
4. Make a Choice
Maybe it’s easier said than done. But a day at a time, make a choice to set an atmosphere of peace and joy. Be goofy. Tackle a task you don’t feel like doing. The more you choose joy, the more you will walk in it habitually. Make a list of things you are thankful for and speak them out to the Lord. It’s amazing how thankfulness shifts things.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6,7 ESV
5. Get Fixed Up and Tidy Up
When my kids were babies there were days my husband would come home from work and I was still in my jammies. I know I’m not the only one. Yep, I’m looking at you mama. No judgement, though. At all. But I did find that the days I got dressed, got even semi fixed up and tidied the house right away—those days were easier for everyone. Plus, you can be way more spontaneous and go to the park if you’re ready to go. It helped me, anyway. Now, my kids are in school and I head to the computer to write most days once they’re off. Not gonna lie, sometimes I have to ignore the laundry pile so I can get through my writing to do list, but the habits I started when the kids were little have stuck. And there’s a lot of us working from home these days, so I think this is very relatable to many.
I don’t so much have a scripture for this one (if you can think of one send a comment my way), but this one might work:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
Proverbs 31:25 ESV
You can totally have strength if you’re in your housecoat still at noon . . . maybe less dignity, though, if you have to answer the door for *insert embarrassing situation* and are wearing your nighty with your hair wild and yesterday’s mascara still holding down the fort. But, hey. We’ve all been there, right? (Please don’t leave a comment saying this has never happened to you. For the dignity of the rest of us, you know?)
Summin’ It Up
No matter your situation—kids or no kids, single or married—you have the power to shift the atmosphere in your home or workplace or wherever you are. Peace and joy are sometimes a choice. And sometimes having them is baby steps. But once you have them, you just might do anything to keep them.
The Apostle Paul managed to find joy and peace even in prison (see Philippians chapter 1, for example). I was at a low point when I started stepping out doing these five points. Being thankful and choosing peace and joy changed my life and our home.
If you’re in a low point and are struggling with depression, please reach out to a professional if you haven’t yet. A pastor, a counsellor, your doctor.
How about you? What are some things you do to change the atmosphere in your home to glorify the Lord? I’m going to share a worship song, but please comment further down.