Cultivating peace in our home is a daily practice. For us, it begins early each morning when soothing tones from the alarm wake us. Actually, the roosters currently awake us at about 4:30 each morning but we turn on the fan, cover our heads and nod off again for an hour and a half more of dreamland.
Waking before our children helps my day get off to a constructive start. I have time to dress and do my "glamour routine", think over the day, pray, take a walk, sip a cup of tea and prepare breakfast and have it ready on the table when hungry little bellies wake up.
The hungry bellies are allowed to get up at 7:30 when their alarm goes off. They are usually awake a little before that. Ideally, their clothes are laid out the night before (last night it slipped my mind). I make a special effort to greet them cheerfully and happily and tell them what a lovely day we have planned, even if it is nothing more than schooling and normal routines. Once the children are dressed, we sit for breakfast with candlelight and soft music playing. I've dealt with many years of the "wake up yuckies" with the kids and this method of slowly and softly greeting the day seems to work well for all of us.
Besides our morning routine, we bathe our day in prayer. Papa takes time to pray over the little ones before he leaves for work, blessing their day. The children and I begin our school day with a Bible reading and singing a song to go along with what we've read and praying for guidance as we learn.
Prone to the ill effects of stress on my body and being a worrier, I am slowly learning just to bring every little thing before the Lord and leave it there; essentially keeping a running dialogue with heaven during the day. My ulcer has gone into retirement and sincerely thanks me.
Shepherd Hill has a no yelling rule. Where it would naturally be easier to yell across the house for someone, raise our voices when a child disobeys, or use a harsh tone to procure obedience - we are working (yes, working, have not arrived) on cultivating a meek and quiet spirit. This being said, I often describe our home as "joyful mayhem" with our four small children. We have a lot of fun here!
As much as we make an effort to cultivate peace, it just wouldn't happen without Christ. This morning as I was praying, a list ran through my mind of how many things are up in the air for our family right now and literally how many things I have no control over. We have a second house that needs to sell and my husband needs to hire a full time long term employee, among other things. But, yes, our home is peaceful.
A small child just bumped his ear while jumping on his sister's bed and is wailing. But it will be okay. Boo-boos can be kissed and hugs given. Peace will return again!