Pursuing Peace

Pursuing Peace
I had a major, earth shattering breakthrough yesterday. 

Seriously. I cannot remember the last time I felt so moved, so spoken to, so touched by my Maker that I am still just in awe. In fact, I don’t ever think I’ve felt the Lord speak to me as clearly as He did yesterday.

So, what life altering message did I receive? I am glad you asked! But first, some back story.

I am full time working momma. I work in healthcare as an Organizational Development Consultant which is a fancy way to say I help boost the organization’s culture and related efforts through activities like personal development, team building, leadership, and other related venues. It’s a fun and rewarding job, but a job that can be quite draining as well (like any other job out there!). I am also a wife and momma bear, two roles that are nearest and dearest to my heart. My sweet husband is a 1 st grade teacher who also works part time at a local Sam’s Club to help pay our bills and reduce our student loan debt. My son is 1.5 years old and is ALL BOY…climbing, wrestling, running, yelling from sun up to sun down.

With all that being said, some days, my work life overrides my personal life. Overshadows. Pummels. I am not saying that I work long overtime hours all the time, because I am blessed with some work from home flexibility. What I am saying is my work life often gets the best version of me…leaving the not so great and loving parts of me for my home life. I give a lot of my best attitudes, emotions, and efforts at work and then give whatever is left over to my husband and son.

SO. NOT. COOL.

Especially considering that what is left over is rarely sweet, loving, and patient Kelly. And on the nights I am left to pilot alone with Noah while Joe works….it pains me to say that sometimes I am just spent and I act accordingly. Honestly speaking, I am never proud of when that version of me makes an appearance. It is just ugly.

Instead of even making an attempt at managing my emotions in a healthy + productive manner in those moments, I tend to be impulsive, rash, impatient, and, to be frank, just nasty. I would much rather lounge on the couch, binging on TV, then making the effort to pick up a small mess or spend time in the Word. I waste precious time doing nothing to “better” that point in time and make myself feel all the good feels.

My husband feels it. My son feels it. And I sure feel it too.

Fast forward through a chaotic and messy and emotionally-not- intelligent month of May to the very last day of the month: May 31. It had been awhile since I had regularly read my Bible and even longer since I just sat wholly present in the presence of Jesus. I had just put my son to bed and the TV was calling. No, not calling, SCREAMING at me to sit and bask in its glow. I willingly obliged, but shortly after felt a tugging on my soul to turn it off and read my Bible.

I am proud to say that in that moment I listened because I had spent the better part of the month ignoring it with the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mindset. I opened my devotional and was directed to Matthew 5. BAM. That is the moment that God opened up my heart and mind and sent me a message I just couldn’t ignore.

For those of you who are not familiar with Matthew 5, it is the chapter in Matthew that includes all of the “blessed are those” statements. It’s one I had heard 10,000 times and one I thought I had understood and appreciated it.

Well, I was wrong.

Particularly about verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” I always took this verse at face value. Peacemaker = someone who avoids and discourages conflict. BOOM. Done. Easy enough. Considering how much I hate conflict of any kind, I thought I had that verse in the bag. Kelly = Son (daughter!) of God.

Not so fast.

Truth be told, I am failing miserably at being a peacemaker. Just because I am not actively involved in conflict or around one to play peace keeper doesn’t mean I am off the hook, nailing that “blessed be” statement and reaping the benefit.

What I realized yesterday is that being a peacemaker is S O M U C H M O R E than just avoiding conflict. It is about actively creating it. Seeking it. Fostering it. That is why the word maker is tucked so gracefully at the end.

Because to be a peacemaker, you have to MAKE PEACE.

Looking at my current state and based on that new insight, I realized that I have not been a peacemaker. In fact, I’ve been destroying it.

With June starting on a bright and sunny note, I am committing to be a peacemaker in all areas of my life. Not just at work, but home too. For me, this new and refreshed perspective on peacemaking looks a little something like this:

  • Focusing more on God and less on my social media and other worldly distractions.
  • Living intentionally with purpose and mindfulness.
  • Nurturing my marriage with Joe by being quick to give encouraging words, actions, and compassion.
  • Engaging wholeheartedly, patiently, and gracefully with my son.
  • Honoring the importance of routines for my family (like nap and bedtimes).
  • Giving my all to keep structure, order, quiet, and cleanliness at home (which is not to say that messes are bad. In my case, this is an issue because I have the time to do those activities, but choose to waste it on meaningless dumps, aka Netflix binges…NOT a responsible use of my time. I am also not saying downtime is bad either. I just want to be more active and aware that living in a constant state of clutter + disarray is not an act of peacemaking.).
  • Paying more attention to the influences and messages that come into our home.
Being a peacemaker is a way for me to see purpose and beauty in the day to day, mundane tasks that seem to be ever-consuming and annoying. It’s a way for me to bring heaven to my home, a way for me to honor God in the little things.
...I am forever changed.
Peacemakers MAKE peace; therefore, I will make peace.

Words by Kelly Kamps