Monday, October 25, 2010

Give Me Peace

The first time you ever decide to "drop by" my house for coffee (or cocoa if you prefer), you will quickly learn a few things about me by merely looking around:

1.  The majority of the walls in our home are painted some variation of beige. 

Tan, ecru, champagne, willow, mocha creme.  Except the kitchen.  The kitchen is red.  Very red.  Deep, rich, 14 coats of paint to finally reach the correct level of "ruby" red.  It inspires my cooking.

2.  I like quotes. 

There are times in life when certain quotes, sayings or phrases have wedged themselves into my brain.  These kind of quotes are the ones you see and say to yourself, "Wow. That really makes sense in my life" or "I can totally relate to that."  A little creativity goes a long way at my house!  Quotes in the brain turn into vinyl wall art.  Just this past week I applied a new wall collage which I made with the help of - who else - a wonderful Etsian named Tawnya!
You can check out Tawnya's Etsy shop here: 

The quote says: FAITH:  Seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is the darkness ahead.  (Pics of my finished wall quote at a later date....)  

Two other quotes you will find on the walls at my home are: 
  • Breathe . . . you are home.
  • Did you think to PRAY?

3.  If the house is really clean, you are in the wrong place!

We generally survive on a level of disorganization at our humble abode.  Considering there are three grown adults, three teenagers, two toddlers and a baby living under our roof - consider yourself lucky if you can get make it in the front door without being asked for help reaching the juice, whether you like Batman or Spiderman better, what you know about American history between 1900-1915, your knowledge of Jersey Shore, would you like to buy Boy Scout popcorn and do you know anyone who babysits?  (Yes, that last one was a trick question - We mostly eat babysitters for supper around here...)

4.  We have published Family Rules.

What?  You don't believe me?  Try breaking one of them and I will pull the framed copy out and read them all to you.  They're pretty basic rules, most of which people learn at an early age: Words are not for hurting, hands are not for hitting, be respectful, use your manners, be responsible, if you make a mess clean it up.  Oh yeah, NO WHINING tops the list.  Sadly, it comes crashing down to the bottom of the list countless times a day too.  We do the best we can.

Speaking of learning things at an early age, it was probably around kindergarten when we started being given those golden nuggets of knowledge.  Those all important tidbits of information that would make us or break us.  If we had really understood how much easier life could have been if we had just paid attention to that information when it was given to us, we would be so much smarter and would have undergone so much less pain and heartache through our journey of life.

Things like:

~ Share everything.

~ Play fair.

~ Clean up your own mess.

~ Don't take things that aren't yours.

~ Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

~ Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

~ Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

~ When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

~ Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

~ And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

This isn't a complete list, just a few of my favorites.  When we were in kindergarten we were young and impressionable; our minds were moldable, our spirits were free and we were fearless. What a great time to impart wisdom on young minds!

I occasionally ponder the realization that not only have people forgotten the wisdom of days gone by, some people just plain don't care about these things anymore. Maybe today is a good day to look at the world through a 5-year-old's eyes and ask ourselves a couple of questions...

Have we been living by these tried and true rules?

Do we expect more from others than we do from ourselves? And if so, why?

Do we understand why there is no "I" in teamwork?

Do we practice these rules on a daily basis or just when it is convenient?

WHY do some people require a certain amount of drama in their lives on a daily basis?

And last but definitely not least - why is it ok to expect these things from small children and not hold ourselves to those same standards?

. . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ . . .

For those of you who have, or have had, teenagers living in your house at any point in time, you may be able to relate to this:  Occasionally the selfishness and inability to consider that others exist in the universe simply astounds me.  For those of you who do have teenagers, may God Bless your soul and sanity.  For those of you who know someone with a teenager, please pray for them.  Keeping the peace in a household where teenagers live is not an easy task.  There are hormones involved, friends, boy/girlfriends, cell phones, and let us not forget the all-important underdeveloped frontal lobe of the brain.  The frontal lobe controls the reasoning aspects of your brain.  As evidenced with 96.8% of the teenagers I know, reasoning is not an exercise that happens frequently throughout the "normal" teenager's day.

We all do our best to "keep the peace" in our home lives and some days it just doesn't happen.  Those are the times we need to allow ourselves to step back, let go and let God.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called
the sons of God. – Matthew 5:9

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