I hate you!

Screamed not from a stranger or a fan of an opposing team when you scored on them. No. Screamed from your child, directed at you.

My friends are entering the phase of having teenagers in their homes. Not all teens go through an “ugly” phase, but for those who do. It tends to be U.G.L.Y.

And no matter how many rationalization come with it (He was dumped by his girlfriend). And no matter how true they are (Her math teacher really IS a poor teacher). It hurts and sows discord in both heart and hearth.

Peace

I’ve worked with many a family in transition over the years and my number one prayer for them was Lord, may your spirit of peace rest on this family. May their home be infused with your peace in this time of transition. Amen and amen and amen and amen.

If only chaos, anxiety, and discord were relegated to the land of teenagers. It might be easily seen there because of the self-assurance and size of the “child” combined with the still oh-so-developing brain. But it’s in all our homes and lives to varying degrees.

I’ve written before about one of my favorite sayings from Paul, Grace and peace. And how we each need grace from God SO THAT we can have peace in our relationships with each other.  Our relationships are to be marked by peaceful interactions.

Passing the peace wasn’t a part of the tradition I grew up in, instead we “greeted our neighbor.” I dread the moment every week – I get it is personal preference here. Is it more holy or appropriate to greet or pass? No. The difference, for me, comes on a soul level. When I greet, the ‘near introvert’ in me cringes. I find random “hellos” to people I don’t know, meaningless (I find, not it is) and I can’t wait to sit down or sing or do just about anything else, even leave.

When I pass the peace, my soul engages. On the surface it seems trite. Touch a hand and say, “The peace of God to you.” But I don’t have to know a thing about a person and they don’t to know a thing about me to know that we all can use more peace. When I am looked in the eye by a soul I don’t know and am told, “The peace of God with you.” So it is. And when it’s a soul I know and love deeply, all the more so. The peace of God with me.

Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.” I like that.

Today, let’s be peace passers. Peace passers who look to that the day will come when hate will not be screamed at us.Instead, will be infused with peace and anxiety, discord and chaos will not be our story.

The peace of God to you.

31reminders from EdenAll the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, it’s easy! You can subscribe now by entering your email where it says “Jump into the Mess.” Only two more reminders.  Amy

Remember:Lovesatisfactionextravagancefreedombelongingrecreationtruthtrustpuritysubmission and powerunitykindnessblamelesswith abandonacceptancecelebrationfaithgenerosityjoypurposeempathyrhythmshopeelationesteemhealthy, peace. (Yup, still have the formatting problem :))

Leave A Comment

  1. Mark Allman October 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I think discord frightens all of us. I think we get concerned that things will get out of control and we long for peace. Sowing peace is awesome Amy.

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      Amy October 31, 2013 at 6:17 am - Reply

      Mark, your comment has got me thinking … what’s your take on “fake peace” (I know, HUGE question). I’m just thinking of those who are so concerned that things will get out of control that instead of working through something, they choose fake peace. By fake peace, I mean that it looks like peace on the surface, but it is anything but peaceful in reality.

      • Mark Allman October 31, 2013 at 9:12 am - Reply

        I will think and write some more but I think the short answer is that I think fake peace is dangerous. I think this attitude of avoidance works for a while for those people but at some point they will break and then all hell will break loose and their response will be way out of proportion to whatever drove it at that time even to the point of doing some very harmful things. It is dangerous in other ways too as what it tries to save it ends up destroying. To avoid conflict in the name of peace as opposed to working for peace by working through issues does a lot of harm and it is deceptive too. Real peace is where issues at hand are dealt with calmly and to a point where the parties involved agree with the alternative they come up with.

        • Kristi November 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm - Reply

          I’ve been the one who has tried to maintain fake peace on more than one occasion. All this does is sow internal discord. In order to maintain the “peace” I hide, deny, and surpress how a feel and who I am so tht others are at “peace.” What then happens is in trying to keep the peace I am anything but peaceful. Others can often sense it. Therefore, we are all on edge. No peace.

          • Mark Allman November 5, 2013 at 6:48 am

            Kristi,
            You are right Kristi. At one point in my life I thought maintaining peace was virtuous; that whatever bothered me I would not speak out. This is one of those cases where what I tired to save I destroyed and that was a relationship that meant a lot. I did not want to rock the boat. Although I was not at peace I thought keeping peace in the relationship could be achieved by me letting things go. Eventually all the little things I was not willing to work through chipped away at the relationship to the point of almost destroying it. There is tremendous value in working through issues. It gives an opportunity for all involve to hold out the truth so reality can be dealt with and not some facade that does no one any good. Not only does peace come out of this but also trust.

  2. Martha Lester October 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Okay – so I am now mulling over “grace to you and peace” and thinking a little more deeply about peace in everyday interactions. Thinking about what Mark said in the above comment too about how discord is frightening in the sense of things getting out of control. When I reflect on discord, it seems that often emotions are heightened and strong – often scary to people. As I mull, I am wondering about the “messy” situations or relationships in life that don’t seem so in control and how change/newness/messiness can still have peace simultaneously? Makes me think of the Prince of Peace being present and inviting Him into the messes. A smile does give peace doesn’t it, or a touch of the hand, so many little things…

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      Amy October 31, 2013 at 6:21 am - Reply

      Martha, great questions?! I think that those messy situations CAN have peace and maybe some tension. The challenge is that many folks don’t have the relational skill set to truly be able to engage. OR the long view on things — we want (me included) quick fixes. This challenges me to be sure that I’m continuing to grow and develop myself and turn all the more quickly to The Prince of Peace than to my own strength.

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