ocean-sunrise

Have you seen the video of the dad who took his child on a roller coaster ride? It was a scary roller coaster, as most are. Just watching the video had my heart pumping faster. The child squealed. Was she thinking it was fun or was she scared? Maybe both. Gripping the sides of her seat, she swayed with every turn and held on tight when the roller coaster plunged and took corners. What she’d forgotten was that she was sitting in a laundry basket on her daddy’s lap watching a 3D roller coaster ride on TV. She was so caught up in the image of what was before her, she’d forgotten that her daddy had her and she was safe. 

Do we ever forget that our Daddy has us and we’re safe? Yes. We mamas often get plunged into fast crazy days with an occasional slow curve. About the time we get comfortable, we’re flat of our backs heading up another obstacle. We can never see around the corner to the next day, but we often fear it. Where do we mamas “get off” the roller coaster ride of anxiety? How can we latch on to the reality that our Father is holding us in the palm of His hand? 

6 Steps to Peace on the Roller Coast of Life 

Peace Step 1:  Take 5 Minutes to Be Alone with God

We mommas can believe the lie that we don’t have five minutes to ourselves on any given day. That can be true if we let our children control our day. But it’s not necessary or healthy.  When you carve five or ten minutes into your day to be separated from little hands reaching for you or someone texting you, you’re on the track to inner peace. 

Step one, figure out how/when you can get those 5-10 minutes. Ask God to show you. If your kids wake up at 6:30, can you set your alarm to 6:20? Do you have mandatory “quiet time” where everyone has to get on their bed and rest or read for at least ten minutes every day? (no electronics)  If you answer, “no” that you can’t get your kids to do that, then now is the time to start.

If you have a child living under your roof, you get to make the rules. You and your children need to learn how to be quiet and separate from anything that plugs in so you can plug into God.

Jesus said God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Do your kids and yourself the greatest favor by placing value on silence and solitude with God. Tell your children that you are going to spend time with God reading your Bible and praying; that you want and need to be with Him.  Provide your children with faith based Christian books they can read or look at during their rest time with God. This is a key step to peace. 

Peace Step 2:  Focus on God – Journal Your Praise

Have you ever water skied?  One of the first things I was told when learning to slalom was to focus on the tip of my ski. That way I could balance. If I looked around at the waves, I couldn’t keep my balance. The same is true of balancing our day and skiing through it successfully. We need to focus our eyes on God. 

Journaling helps you do this. Every morning, focus on who God is.  For instance, you might focus on His love and write His character trait, “Loving.”

Why write it in a journal? When we write something on paper, it signals to our brain “this is important.” It makes us more gratefully mindful that God loves us and our children. This is an important step to maintaining peace. A growing and mindful appreciation for who our Lord is calms our nerves and increases our inner peace. 

Peace Step 3:  Pray for Your Needs and for Your Children

Ephesians 6:18 tells us, “With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” We’re reminded In this verse of the importance of praying for our children. Our children’s lives are at stake. Praying for our children is one of our highest callings. 

For years part of my journaling has included listing a character trait of God, then I list my husband, myself, and children and pray that character trait over each person.

Through the years, my journaling has led to much intercessory prayer that has been life changing and life giving. I have such a heart to share with others very intentional steps on journaling, more about that later!

Peace Step 4:  Thank God for Answered Prayers

Being a mother means being “on” constantly.  Whether it’s the unexpected illness or the child who forgets they have a science project due until the night before, life can seem like a side slinging roller coaster. Our eyes may be focused on what’s ahead to the extent that we fail to focus on answered prayers. Does God care if we thank Him for answering our prayers? Yes.

Luke 17:11-19 records Jesus healing ten lepers, but only one returned to worship Jesus and give Him praise. Jesus noticed. He said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they?”

Let’s not be a mother who forgets to thank Jesus for what He’s doing in our families. Jotting down our prayers in a journal gives us a record of our prayer requests so we can quickly look back under a child’s name, see answered prayer and write, “Thank You, Lord!” 

Peace Step 5:  Keep a Gratitude Journal

Do you suffer with anxiety or have a negative outlook on life? Are you discouraged? Studies show that people who keep a gratitude journal are more optimistic about life than those who don’t. By writing in a journal you have a reminder of how God has answered specific requests, and you can use it as a place to daily record that for which you’re thankful. 

“Pretty weather so we could go to the park.”

“Joey got well in time to go to the birthday party.”

“Cassie slept through the night.”

“Great sermon!” 

At night before going to sleep, I think back on the day and record that for which I’m thankful. Not only does gratitude increase our overall happiness, it also has a positive affect on our health.

Peace Step 6:  Keep a Short List of Unconfessed Sins

I have a friend who lost 50 pounds. Think what it would feel like to carry an extra 50  pounds all day and night. Most of us would agree it would feel great to lose an unwanted 50 pounds. Yet many of us carry the weight of sin. It’s a heavy weight in our soul. It’s a burden. It affects how well we sleep. Sin affects our countenance. Unconfessed sin affects our mood and our patience with our children and others. 

If we want to live in peace with God and others, we need to shuck the weight of sin.  In honest confession, I pour out my heart to God asking His forgiveness. I journal my request that He strengthen me to stand against temptation. I write out Bible verses so they’ll be hidden in my heart and renew my mind. 

Yes, we can be like the little girl who was on the virtual roller coaster and who gets so absorbed in what’s ahead that we forget Who is holding us.  Or, we can daily “take five” to focus on who God is, journal our prayers, thank God for His answers, journal our gratitude, and confess our sins. 

{If you would like to know more about my “very intentional steps on journaling” I mentioned earlier, I invite you to learn more about  Prayers of My Heart journaling and join the #PrayersOfMyHeart, #AttitudeOfGratitude motherhood movement by visiting me at my website. I’d love to hear from you!}