By way of simple introduction, my name is Heather and I am married to my amazing musician husband. We have four beautiful and spunky children that I care for in our little corner of the universe, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.
With the first week of school under our belts and the second week of classes well underway, I feel like I am already fighting little brush fires and trying to keep them from turning into forest fires. A few days ago my youngest daughter overheard two of the little neighbor girls making plans to play dress-up together later that evening. Before I realized what had even happened, my tender-hearted little cherub was out in front of our house screaming “It’s just not fair—I NEVER played dress-up with Ashayla!”, shaking her fist at the sky and scaring the Skittles out of a little preschooler. Within moments, all three girls were going through a RAPID, vicious cycle of tears, apologies, scrambling for swings, flashing green eyes and trying to upstage one another. In the middle of reminding my four year old to use gentle, healing words instead of hurting words I was reminded of a gentle, healing word that the Lord spoke to me several years ago.
My husband and I were living in one of the most tumultuous times that our union of twelve years has endured so far. God was preparing us for a dramatic transition in our lives. During that time we met with opposition in every avenue of our lives: home, work, church, extended family, friends, auto… it all went downhill. Our relationship was tested. One afternoon God spoke to me, “The peace maker is blessed.”
I quickly dismissed what I had heard and thought to myself, “Yes, yes… I remember all those guys who were blessed… the peacemakers are the children of God.”
Without chiding, I felt like God was drawing me back to his word, “I didn’t ask them to keep the peace.”
In the middle of my chaotic day, I pulled out my Bible and sat down to reread the 5th chapter of Matthew. That word, peacemakers, just kept jumping out at me. When I looked up the original Greek definition it read, “a peacemaker bravely declares God’s terms which makes someone whole”.
God’s word spoke to me clearly that our mission isn’t to shush little complaints, it is to bring them to resolution. It isn’t to ignore conflict and hope that it goes away; we are to confront conflict with humility and grace to make peace. In making peace, we are bringing wholeness and healing to those around us, and often to our own lives. Confrontation is often uncomfortable but the peace that it can bring reaps two tangible rewards: restoration to wholeness here on earth and the incredible, undeserved priviledge to be adopted into the kingdom of Christ as a child of God.
As we move forward in the school year, I am encouraging my children to make peace with their classmates and with their siblings. I pray that peace would reside in my home and in the lives of my children and that the oil of unity would flow from my husband and I, down to our children, and into the lives of those that God has called us to bless.