What is The Peacemakers Project?
Welcome to The Peacemakers Project! TPP began as an idea while standing at my kitchen sink last January. I could hear my kids arguing during bath time for the millionth night in a row, my husband (bless his heart) was losing his temper (and justifiably so), and I was yelling at all of them from the sink….all while on the verge of crying over my dirty dishes. It seemed that the chaos of daily life had a chokehold on my family, and my home had become anything but a sanctuary. I knew that changes needed to be made, and I knew that, like all change, it probably should begin with me. The idea kept coming back to the subject of peace. As the year progressed, this idea grew, and I began formulating a goal, a plan, and finally, a project. Summing up this venture into a tidy little paragraph has been a goal of mine for months now. As it turns out, I think it may be easier to introduce you to TPP with a short list of what this project is not.
What’s not in a name?
First off, I feel the need to say that I wholeheartedly love and respect the English language – and have made every attempt to ensure that at least the title of The Peacemakers Project is not grammatically incorrect. I struggled for days with the decision whether or not to add an apostrophe to the word “peacemakers” in the title. After all, it would seem that it is my project, and I am attempting to become a peacemaker in my life, and therefore, it is a possessive term and needs an apostrophe. But, alas, ’tis not so. This project is not just about me. This is about teaching myself and my family how to find inner peace, how to peacefully interact with the world around us, and ultimately how to inherit every blessing promised with the phrase, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”. Here, the term “peacemakers” is meant in the plural sense, especially as the scope of this project widens and begins to include a larger audience. Therefore, in the end, the apostrophe was most decisively and purposefully omitted. So, there you go (and I’m hoping against all odds that I didn’t make some glaring grammatical error in that paragraph while waxing poetic about apostrophes).
The Peacemakers Project is not the end, but the means.
I am not now, nor will I ever claim to be an expert on the subject of peace. I am very often anxious, nervous, frustrated, and on the verge of losing my temper. I am – just as this blog is – a work in progress. TPP is meant simply to be an exploration into a subject that has always proven fascinating, yet elusive to me. This one topic has been a goal of mine for so long that I was willing to devote an entire year of my life to studying it. From books I’ve read, to art I have seen, insights I have had while building bridges with my family and friends, and quotes and music that have encouraged me along the way, TPP will (hopefully) capture it all. My goal now is to share that journey with you.
Whose not a hipster? Me!
My last admission to you is this: I am not cool. It’s the cold, hard truth. I lost my cool factor somewhere between 2006 and the present, amidst episodes of cleaning up vomit at 2 a.m., singing off-key lullabies, wearing maternity pants at Thanksgiving (you know, a year after I had my third baby), and literally breaking a sweat while wrestling four small children at church with my husband. Cool went out the window a long time ago. I make no pretenses about that. But I do want you to know that it has taken me nearly one full year to build up the courage to publicly share exactly how uncool I am. How I do yoga in my closet every morning to keep from yelling at my kids, for example. Total nerd. I have been terrified of sharing all of the nerdiness that makes TPP what it is. But I had a rather touching insight while volunteering in my daughter’s Art Masterpiece class last month. I saw a small quote on the wall attributed to Anne Tucker that simply stated, “All art requires courage”. While I hesitate to make the inference that my amateur writing could or should be called “art”, I was deeply impressed by that small plaque on the wall and I have made it my own personal mantra. The only reason I share that is because I think we all have something to offer if we are just willing to put it out there, no matter how vulnerable it makes us. I am not perfect. I am not even close. But, you know what I am?
I am trying.
And that’s what TPP is. The Peacemakers Project is a collection of insights: a yearlong study dedicated to the topic of peace, and what that looks like in an otherwise ordinary life. From parenting, marriage, and keeping my home from looking like an episode of Hoarders, TPP is a peek into the life of one woman that is simply trying. It’s nice to meet you. Now let’s get started, shall we?
The Olive Trees – Vincent van Gogh