(Inside: Finding peace in chaos sometimes seems impossible because of the constant demands of motherhood. But finding peace in the midst of chaos can bring you so much joy and here’s how to get there. )
Do you ever just want everything to stop? You desire so much to soak in the beauty of this motherhood journey, the role you so deeply desired, but there are the constant dishes, changing diapers, and picking up – how does a busy mom actually “be still” long enough to actually find peace and joy in the chaos?
Constantly stopping during the day to “soak in the beauty” seems impractical. Then if we stop, we feel guilty because we’re moms and if we’re good moms we should always be doing something that serves our family, right? (Oh negative thoughts, you are so good to us…)
I decided to play around with this “be still long enough to find peace and joy in the chaos” idea to see if the world keeps spinning. I assumed it wouldn’t, but risked it anyway…
In March, while I was on spring break from teaching and home with only my three-year-old, I intentionally paused numerous times throughout the day to be still and see all the goodness around me.
Day one was a complete failure. I actually had a little anxiety about if I was being still enough or being still correctly. It took me a whole day to convince myself that there wasn’t a right or wrong way to be still. It was more about mentally being silent, noticing my surroundings, and opening my heart to what God might press on it.
Here are some moments I’ve had…
While walking to the zoo with my youngest, gentle spring snow was falling.
I saw beauty in my youngest reaching out his hand to grab the thick, warm snowflakes
When I compared myself to someone else and fell short, I stilled my mind.
I had to do this several times before God gave me soothing reminders that He created me differently than others on purpose. My thoughts, my actions, my path will not always look like other people’s choices and it’s supposed to be that way. God directs me in my unique path, not to necessarily follow other people’s journeys. This thought grew peace in my heart as I breathed in the love of the Holy Spirit and out the ugly beast of comparison.
When I looked out the window, I inhaled deeply and stilled my racing mind.
I noticed how pretty the trees were swaying in rhythmic motions to the caressing wind. Why do I not notice how lovely God’s beautiful creation of earth more?
As I read a book to my oldest, he leaned his head against me, and I felt blessed.
How many more years do I have left of him resting his head on my shoulder?
One son had a hard day.
We talked as I tucked him into bed and I noticed how cute he was snuggled deep under his covers, looking up at me with his big blue eyes and freckles that skipped across his nose. I stilled my mind and I felt so much love in that moment, even amongst the challenges of parenting.
When I was nervous about something, I mentally stood before the Lord.
As I meditated on how big God is, I felt His presence calm my heart.
When I was having an over-the-top stressful week, I paused in a state of survival to catch my breath.
Goodness was reflected in my husband’s actions. Without me asking after work, he jumped right into helping me – pausing to notice this felt therapeutic. I have a good partner, and I’m thankful.
When my youngest needed me in the middle of the night, I lay on the floor next to his toddler bed, wide awake. I prayed about something bothering me.
I felt Jesus speak to my heart, not really with a solution, but with the kind of peace that His presence brings.
Some days scream by and I hardly have time to eat my meal, and other days seem to more naturally beckon me to be still.
But either way, it doesn’t matter – there are no rules to this. I just know, when I still my mind, I’m more fully present. It’s as if the shades are taken off my eyes and I can see all the goodness around me. That is until my toddler spills his milk plunging me back into reality.
But, between those chaotic moments – there is so much beauty – sometimes, we just need to be still and see it.
Finding peace in chaos. Read more in the self-care and inspiration for moms series.
Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!
I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she has been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”
Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…
God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”
For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care and other inspiration for moms.
Self-care and Inspiration for Moms
INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
7 Christian Meditations for Busy Moms Just Like You
60+ Encouraging and Inspirational Best Books for Mothers
Need Hope? Look for it – Hope will Always Come Back to You
Momma, Go for Your Dreams! Let Faith Overcome Your Fear
SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Moms Need a Break and Good Things Can Come of It
Good Parenting Skills: The Single Best Thing Parents Can Do
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.