(3 Ways to Harbor Peace)
As I sit at my writing
desk, I sip my warm echinacea tea and watch the snow fall gently out my kitchen
window. The Pumpkin-Pecan candle from Bath & Body flickers, bringing a
delightfully sweet aroma to my home here in Montana. The air is chili this
December as the white lights of Christmas illuminate our kitchen window frames.
Even though I do live in a small town a few miles south of the Canadian Rockies
I was lucky enough to find an older farmhouse for my children and me to live
in. I love the nostalgic feel of old farmhouses. The high ceilings, wooden
floors, and the oversize square kitchens. It’s perfect for my two youngest
children and I. My older two children are grown and out in the great big world
on their own.
I am at peace here.
I have not always been at peace. There was a time of devastating brokenness
that took place in my heart, marriage, and family many years ago. I was
married for over fifteen years. The first seven were good until the hurricane
of adultery ripped through our home leaving a pile of instant wreckage. I made
it through that storm, and I have now come back for you. No one should be left
in that haunting state of brokenness.
I want to share with you how I found moments of peace in the eye of that
hurricane. When I was going through that tectonic shift in the plates of our
marriage, I found little split seconds of peace. If that is where you are,
completely rejected during this time, I want to walk alongside you and share
with you how I made it through that violent uproar.
As I started sewing this morning on a vintage-inspired apron my mind started
wondering and I could not stop thinking of all that I needed to say to you. So,
I put my business on hold to write you this quick letter, whoever you may be.
It is time to pack up the pieces of your life and keep going.
You can keep going.
Trying to find peace in the hurricane can feel impossible, but it can be
The first thing I would encourage you to do is to make time for yourself.
I know that a thousand emotions are coming out of every part of your being
(sorrow, rage, disappointment, feelings of neglect, rejection, and hopelessness
among many others) but do not neglect your need for self-care. Remember to eat.
Remember to bathe.
You are worth taking care of.
I know that you may not feel that way right now, but you are. Your husband
may have rejected you, but you and your children desperately need you to be
somewhat healthy. You and your children’s world has or is fixing to turn completely
I remember when my husband and I separated we lived a few blocks from our
children’s school. In the mornings I would walk the children to school and go
straight home and soak in a bubble bath. Our children and I stayed in our small
3-bedroom house in town while my husband moved in with his father. We had a
claw foot bathtub, and I would light my candles and pour the aromatherapy
‘Stress Relief’ milky liquid into the running bath. The smells of eucalyptus
and spearmint would calm me, and I would sink into the bubbles for at least an
hour. Somedays I would continually keep adding hot water and stay until I was
wrinkled. I was enrolled in our local college and was taking classes online. I
was majoring in Marketing during this time, going through a separation and had
all four of my children at home. So, while they were at school, I would take
that time to take care of me. I would then do my college work online. If I had
a test, I would burn the midnight oil and take it while they were sound asleep.
Another thing to remember is to make sure you are drinking enough water and
eating a healthy diet. One of my main downfalls during that time was that I
would forget to eat and then when I remembered I would binge.
Another thing that helped me was right before lunch I would take a two-mile
walk. There was freedom and release in my daily walk. In the consistency of the
same route, there was a simple form of peace.
The second thing I did was surround myself with girlfriends.
Never underestimate the power of a true friend. I had the best girlfriends
who would laugh with me. They would love on me, help me clean my house, and
just shared this heartache with me. That was so incredibly imperative to my
recovery. I do not think that I would have made it through that time without my
girlfriends. They popped in unexpectedly bringing gifts, a hug, or just a smile
and would spend hours with me giggling and eating chocolate brownies (Do NOT
forget to eat chocolate)!
We would laugh together, pray together, cry together, let our children have
play dates together, and simply do life together. All my girlfriends were
married so it was easy for me to stay out of the bars and stay out of trouble
plus my moral compass would not allow it. Our families had been friends for
years before this time of separation.
A few times we even had Italian Nights together. We would all make delicious
Italian dishes, come together, set the table, laugh, and have dinner with our
children and their husbands.
Make sure to stay connected to your girls they can help your heart feel
lighter and at peace during this hard time.
The third thing is to be gentle with yourself.
Laugh at your mistakes. Forgive yourself for not always being a good wife.
Release yourself from taking full blame. Love the good, the bad, and the ugly
parts of yourself that makeup who you are.
Give yours a break.
You are going through a death. The death of your dreams your marriage and
your family. Life will never be the same after this. You will see this time as
a deep mark on your timeline. You will refer to your life before and after this
time and that is ok.
You are going to be O.K.
You will make it through this. You will see the light at the
end of this tunnel. You will wake up someday with a smile spread across
your face simply because you love your new life. Your children will rise and
call you blessed. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow but if you choose
to keep going and keep healing, that day will come. I pray over you now the
peace which surpasses all understanding and that it would be yours. I pray that
you will find it in the simple things in this life…
I pray that you will find it in hanging the freshly bleached sheets on the
clothesline, in the sound of your children’s laughter. You will find it in a
devoted friend’s hug, the morning sun kissing your face as you savor your fresh ground coffee. I pray you feel it in the goodnight hugs from little arms
wrapped around your neck, a slow winter’s snowfall and the taste of old-fashioned
Christmas cookies. You will find it in the snuggly wool socks by the
fire on a cold winter’s night.
You will see this in one of these sunrises.
You will find this good life. You will heal. You will dance and you will
live again but until that day comes find your peace in the simplicity of
Let peace rest upon you, my friend.
All my love,
(Angela B. Bowland author of More Than a Mud Flap)