I just finished a book titled A Testament of Devotion by Tomas R. Kelly. In this book Thomas spoke freely of how to connect, spirit to spirit, to the Creator. His words were so lulling so peaceful, that when I would finish a section, I would feel at peace with the world. In his first chapter, Kelly states, “Protestant emphasis, beginning so nobly in the early Luther, has grown externally rationalistic, humanistic, and service minded. Dogmas and creed and the closed revelation of a completed canon have replaced the emphasis upon keeping close to the fresh upspringins of the Inner Life.” In recent years, I have struggled to have a meditation and devotion time be a consistent part of my life. As a mom of four, it seems like I don’t even have time to pee, much less the take time in daily devotionals. So yeah, maybe I am a product of that line of thought–that doing is more important than meditation with the Spirit.
I must confess that I long for that inner peace and joy from being in tune with the Spirit that Kelly spoke of. I read such authors as Kelly and Wayne Dyer, hoping to obtain that peace. However, I really want a book to tell me how to obtain peace while a toddler is yelling, “mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, momma, mommmmmyyyyyy . . .”
“Nothing. (giggle) I love you.”
Sweetness laced with frustration. All this happening simultaneously while I am trying to cook dinner and carry on a conversation with my oldest daughters. Are all these peaceful of spirit people, do they have all this stuff coming at them? I don’t know anyone who could keep inner peace while being pulled mentally and emotionally in 20 different directions. Except Ann Voskamp. I think she may be on to something. The rest of us are struggling with “praising Jesus one minute and screaming at your kids the next.” (Lysa Turkheurst, Unglued).
So I do. I keep the house clean and raise my children; try to be a good wife and mother and a woman of God all in the same breath. I am normal. But I desire a relationship with everyone around me that is beyond ordinary, including my creator. I just don’t know how to accomplish that. Maybe I am expecting too much from myself at this stage of my life. I don’t know. I just feel like I am falling short. But then there is grace. Grace from God and Grace from those around me.
I am rambling, so back to meditation and living life fully. There are a few things that help me to be at peace and feel more connected to my creator. I will share them with you:
1. Get up before the kids and have time with God. Read scripture and pray or journal. This is soooo hard for me, but it starts my day with peace, which spills over into the rest of my day. I literally have to go to bed as soon as my pre-schoolers do in order to do this.
2. Get organized. It amazes me how much physical clutter around me translates to emotional and spiritual clutter. I stay at home with my children, and I am trying out a schedule for us. So far I am really liking the results. It is a work in progress. I just have to careful not to make everything into a “check off the to-do list.” I have to remember to enjoy the moment.
3. Simplify. It seems like something is going on in our life all the time that we “must” attend. A birthday party, a sleepover, extra curricular activities. This is why Shabbot is so important. Take time to rest. It is okay to say “no” sometimes to request.
Those are my tricks. What are your tricks for finding inner peace? Please share. I really need more advice than I am giving.