Tranquility doesn’t come to dwell in my spirit accidentally. It takes a conscious decision and deliberate effort. It takes a mind renewal (Romans 12:2). Begin by praying for God’s help in this renewal. Pray short prayers in the midst of those chaotic times and pray long prayers in those times of quiet reflection and Bible study. Pray specifically for those issues that bring stress to your life. Pray for wisdom in eliminating unnecessary schedule eaters. Pray for unity in your marriage as you work toward tranquility in your home. Pray that material concerns will always take a back seat to spiritual priorities. Pray every morning. Pray every night. Pray all day. With God’s help, you can ironically shout to His glory with a gentle spirit in the midst of a feministic culture.
Fabric Softeners…for the fabric of your soul.
Although every woman must stop and take a good hard look at her life, determining what measures can be taken to make life more peaceful and quieten her spirit, there a few spirit softeners to which I can attest in my personal life. These are certainly not Biblical injunctions, but they are a few things for which my husband has learned to be grateful.
1. Soft background music playing in the house through our days.
2. Fragrant candles burning when the husband/kids come home.
3. The family all present around a dinner table without the TV on.
4. Bickering banished. Children are separated and punished consistently for this infraction.
5. Time invested in home keeping. (organization, cleanliness, warmth, nurturing foods, kind notes in lunches, hot cocoa on cold days, etc…)
6. Regularity in bedtime, getting up time, family Bible time, etc… RITUALS!
7. Traditions at holidays that uniquely belong to your little family unit.
8. Refraining from discussing important decisions or issues during PMS
9. Regular husband duty for children. (Once a week or every two weeks, the husband takes the kids and Mom gets to have just two hours at the park, the mall, antiquing, or with a friend.)
10. An occasional night with the phone off the hook or letting the answer machine take all calls. No computer or TV on these nights.
11. The schoolwork rule: All school assignments must be completed before children are allowed to watch any TV or be on the computer at all.
12. Playing the Quiet Game. If all else fails, this works for at least a few minutes. It works especially well in the car. The driver is the judge and everybody else must remain as silent as possible for thirty minutes. The winner get a quiet prize, like a puzzle, a word search book, or even a drink at the next drive through restaurant.
13. The goodbye rule. When someone is leaving the house, everybody else gets a personal, look-in-the-eyes goodbye. This promotes harmony and reduces the possibility that someone may tragically leave this life in the midst of a situation of unresolved conflict.
Written by Cindy Colley. Originally printed in Christian Woman Magazine, Gospel Advocate, Nashville, TN.