How Can I Create a Home Where Peace Resides?
“I’ll see everyone back here at one o’clock after lunch,” our workshop trainer instructed. I quickly gathered my pocketbook and bolted out the door towards the spot my husband of 22 years and I had agreed to meet at break time. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged with joy like we had not seen one another for days instead of hours. I feel the same joy when I’m at home and I hear the garage door go up or see my husband’s car in the garage when I pull in.
My daughter is a senior in college and I know she is headed home for the weekend. At work, I try to finish everything that I need to as quickly as possible so that I can be home when she arrives. When she comes through the door, I wish I could still pick her up and swing her around. “Do you want to go with me to look for a dress for the wedding reception?” she asks. How blessed that we still want to do things together, even if it is as simple as my holding her things so she can try on clothes.

“Do you think that you might get to come home tomorrow after the workshop that your professor recommended?” I ask my son who is also a college student at a different university than my daughter.
“Yes, I am a little homesick so I probably will be home,” he responds. “Are you almost home?”
“I just walked in the house.”
“What’s Koi (our dog) doing?”
“She’s on the staircase. She can hear you because I have you on speaker.”
“Mom, go to the kitchen breakfast bar.”
I walk to the kitchen and see his camera bag. “Ooow!” I scream, “you’re home, where are you?”
“I am with a friend,” he replies happily.

My heart leaps with joy once again! After twenty-six years of marriage and twenty-two with our children, we all still love being together in our home and outside our home. Whenever and wherever we are together, it feels like home.

I would define our home as a safe place, a haven where unconditional love prevails. I reflect on this blessing and ask myself what is it that brings this sense of comfort and peace in our home?

The Big Picture
My thoughts go quickly to “forever relationships.” I keep the big picture in my mind. This picture includes the image that God has blessed my husband and me to come together out of His love for us. I revel and honor that out of all of the billions of people on Earth, He created a special bond between me and another person. And from that marriage, He further blessed us with our children.

When we are given special gifts and someone takes the time to do unselfish things to bring care and show love to us, I believe we should cherish these gifts. When we cherish something, how do we treat it? That’s the same way I believe we should treat the people in our home. A home where people cherish one another yields peace.

How Can I Keep the Big Picture?
(1) I accept responsibility for the peace of my home.
Responsibility comes with the decision to make a home. First, I decided to marry my husband, and we moved into our first one-bedroom apartment. We didn’t have much more than our wedding gifts and the essentials for living, but we embraced our responsibility for our decision to spend the rest of our lives together. When I think about all the things in the past twenty-six years that were not perfect, I always do so in the context of forever. If I want a peace-filled forever, I need to make decisions that will cultivate peace. I choose to love first, and that means to be unselfish. For example, if my husband was later coming home than he promised, well, that is a small thing in the big picture of our entire lives together. Instead of pouting and arguing about how we are now going to be late for the festival at the park, I choose to hug him and say something like, “How was your day?” Then he can tell me about problems of the day, and the reasons for being late would come out. Because of the peaceful approach, we can still enjoy what is left of the time to go to the festival at the park, which is much better than non-peaceful options.
When my husband and I decided to have children that decision brought another lifetime of responsibility. I count each child a blessing from God. I remember the first time I touched my daughter in the incubator in the neonatal ICU with one finger on her tiny leg. I remember the first time I held my swaddled son and marveled at his long fingers peeking from his blanket. I chose to accept the responsibility with great honor to God. He has entrusted His children to my husband and me to raise them to be ready to serve Him in the purposes He has for them.
The big picture is that God created each person for His purpose God. I have to see the best that He has put in each of us so that we can realize the gifts we are to use for His glory. I have learned to enjoy seeing the best in my husband and children, and to talk about us among us. It’s like counting blessings. It warms my heart and theirs. When God is the center of the home and God is love, and we decide to focus on the care that God took to give us people to love and spend time with, we set ourselves up for the joy and peace He wants for us.

(2) I cultivate peace in my home
The joy that my husband, children and I feel when we are together and the desire to reunite with one another, is the result of making God a part of our thoughts, spirit, soul, and purpose. God is love, and love is unselfish; love is kind. Why wouldn’t we cultivate peace in our homes? We are a team.

I appreciate what God’s love has provided for us. This appreciation gives me a God mind-set. The God mind-set makes me caring towards my family.

This caring attitude toward my family compels me to be a communicator, one who listens and expresses openly.

Being a communicator makes me reflective about what I should say and not say. It makes me a thinker, thinking about how we can solve problems together. Reflective thinking opens my mind to what God has for us to do and to be, things we cannot yet see. It makes me principled in honoring the day my husband asked me to be his life-partner. It makes me remember the first time we brought our child home and the time God entrusted us with yet another.
To sum it up, having a mind-set of gratefulness and appreciation to God brings peace to our hearts and to our homes.