Just a few minutes ago I was standing in my dark pantry, quietly unwrapping my last Lindor chocolate, trying to enjoy the soft delicate milk chocolate before my children found me and said 'I want one', 'I'm hungry', 'What can I do?' ... Luckily I could have a quiet chuckle to myself about how absurd it was to hide from my family and eat a chocolate but it did make me realise how hard it is to find peace sometimes.
Recently in Sunday School and Religious Instruction we have been singing 'I have peace like a river, I have peace like a river, I have peace like a river in my soul'. I love this song but I can't say it truthfully applies to me. For a big part of my teenage years and most of my 20's I had very little peace, I was searching for something and I did not know what it was. Soon after giving birth to our first daughter I found God and I found peace, since 2008 I have loved Jesus with my whole heart and just writing it makes me smile. However I am still searching. There is so much more God has to offer me and for a million reasons I can not quite grasp it. It is an ongoing journey, and my challenge is to find peace, not be constantly frustrated by my inability to fully comprehend God's promise to me and all of mankind.
Some of my most peaceful moments are watching my children, whether it is trying to do long jump for the first time, to finish a puzzle all by themselves, dancing their little hearts out in the annual dance concert, singing in Sunday School or sleeping peacefully in their beds. During these moments my heart feels completely at ease, completely captivated by their brilliance and beauty. However, the mess they make, the continuous questions they ask, the food and drinks they need, the number of clothes they wear in one day all of these things do not bring me peace. I can sometimes feel suffocated and very angry that my whole life revolves around serving them, what about me? I need to find peace in every aspect of being a Mum, not just in the perfect moments.
I have been blessed that I was born at a time and in a country where every child has an opportunity to be educated, I was fortunate enough to go to university and obtain a degree and I have had a number of really enjoyable and rewarding jobs, that enabled me to be creative, productive and be recognised and appreciated within my community. However, I am left feeling incredibly frustrated now because I don't know how to combine working in a meaningful and enjoyable job and being a good mum and wife. I don't work at the moment and keeping up with cooking, shopping, washing, cleaning, homework, gardening and still having enough energy to be emotionally available and kind to my family and friends is a struggle. I can't see a solution. Instead of just enjoying this time at home I panic about what kind of job I will ever have in the future that will not cause our family unnecessary stress.
To add to this I feel so guilty that I don't feel peace all the time. I read books and blogs about it, I pray about it, I am sure I bore my husband to tears talking about it, but none of it changes the fact that most of the time I do not feel peace like a river in my soul and I don't know how to change that. I will continue to practise thankfulness, because I am truly overwhelmed with the abundant blessings in my life, but I just hope I don't have to wait till I get to 90 to feel peace here on earth.
Do you feel peace like a river in your soul?