thirty one days ago we thought this was about us and our words. hehehe... thirty one days later we know this was about you and your words. when we see you in harris teeter, when we see you at soccer, when we see you while walking george, when we get emails from you...YOUR words move our souls and bring us peace. YOU are the peacemakers. thank you for telling us your stories. thank you for making us feel like we are not alone in this. thank you for your encouragement, support, and love. we love you too. ridiculously.
01 | none of this matters if things are not right with your people.
02 | the joneses are not actually happy.
03 | the people and the stories make a house a home.
04 | the most stressed out and least peaceful people are the ones who watch the news.
05 | go first. don't wait for the other person to change. it doesn't work that way.
06 | make do with what you have, you don't need more stuff.
07 | when we put each other first, there is peace.
08 | focus on the solution, not the problem. this is the path to peace.
09 | love for the one who does not love you is God's love and it conquers the world.
10 | peace comes when we realize that we choose our thoughts and we decide to change them.
11 | whatever you think people are withholding from you, give it to them.
12 | peace is not so much the absence of struggle, but the presence of love.
13 | if your goal is to win the argument, then you've lost the relationship.
14 | the darkness upon you is flooded in light.
15 | make your home tell your story.
16 | bright light and wide open views feel simple, clean, and peaceful.
17 | have something meaningful, beautiful, or natural everywhere you look.
18 | never underestimate your ability to change everything.
19 | find the funny in every day.
20 | even in hell on earth, he made me laugh. this is why we are still together.
21 | if you want your children to be peaceful, be peaceful.
22 | art is anything that moves your soul.
23 | moments that matter don't just happen. we have to fight the status quo to make them happen.
24 | there is nothing peaceful about lost keys and lost shoes and lost lawn mowers.
25 | believing in others before they believe in themselves is a peace on earth sort of thing.
26 | be at peace with good enough.
27 | have only what you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
28 | peace is a choice we are free to make even when everything sucks.
29 | it's wicked hard, but believe you can change things.
30 | there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
31 | some days we choose to be love. some days we choose to be hate. every single day, we choose...
camden wears shorts long into winter here in charlotte.
but it's gotten chilly and he's gotten taller.
he came home from school yesterday and announced "mom. i need pants."
30 minutes or so later we left the mall with 5 pairs of pants.
sitting in panera slurping soup we talked about God.
cam: do you think people really hear God talk to them?
me: good question. what do you think?
cam: i don't think that people really hear God talk to them like "hey camden, get the chicken noodle".
me: well, i know i've never heard God tell me what kind of soup to get.
cam: yeah, me either.
me: you know how sometimes you just know something though?
cam: yeah, i guess. what do you mean?
me: like down deep in your soul you just know to do something or say something or whatever?
cam: like what?
me: like when we were leaving the store just now and you were so happy with all your great pants and your new sweatshirt and i complained about how much everything cost...i just knew i made you feel bad and i ruined a fun night. i just knew that i hurt you. i just knew to shut up about things that don't matter (we have enough money, you don't ever have to worry about that). i just knew to stop talking, look you in the eye, say how sorry i was, and kiss your handsome face right there in the mall. i just knew to love you and make peace.
me: maybe when we just know to love people and make peace...maybe that's God talking to us.
tim and i come from a world of right and wrong.
the path to peace was only for the few fortunate souls who got it all right.
so we spent most of our lives trying to get it all right.
and then we had children.
cole and camden taught us that we are not in control,
we don't know the answers,
and love is bigger than we ever imagined.
we created life. life that did not ask to exist. we know down deep in our souls that there is nothing big enough, bad enough, or ugly enough to cause us to turn our backs on this life we created. we would die for them. asking nothing in return. and then we would die for them again. and again. forever.
so the path to peace for the fortunate few no longer feels so peaceful. right and wrong no longer feels easy to know. all we know down deep in our souls is that we would follow them into the dark...
no matter how they live
no matter who they love
no matter how they vote...
we know we might be wrong. very wrong. but our truth is, peace that passes understanding filled our souls when we finally gave up trying to get it all right. we agree with frederick buechner...
there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
this is one day of a 31 day series about living in a peaceful home.
click here to read the rest of the series.
peace be with you,
people are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
forgive them anyway.
if you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
be kind anyway.
if you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
if you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
be honest and sincere anyway.
what you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
if you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
be happy anyway.
the good you do today will often be forgotten.
do good anyway.
give the best you have and it will never be enough.
give your best anyway.
in the final analysis, it is between you and God.
it was never between you and them anyway.
- found written on the wall in mother teresa’s home for children in calcutta...
or so the legend goes.
please don't hear us faking like it's easy.
it's wicked hard.
our friends are the first to tell us we sound all pie in the sky, too good to be true, living in la la land ish
but they are also quick to say...
believe you can change things.
believe you can make things better.
believe you can love coming home.
because you get up everyday and make the choice again to love...
yourself, your mate, your family, your friends, your home, your life...
and do it all over again.
- found written on the wall of our facebook by kim peterson.
who knows us well and loves us anyway.
you gotta swim...
even when he leaves you.
even when she hates you.
even when you get fired.
even when the puppies are gone.
even when your child is hurt.
even when your parents disapprove.
even when you leave all you know and love.
even when your furniture is crappy.
even when somebody else gets the job.
even when they reject you.
even when you feel fat.
even when you are not the favorite.
even when the kids make a mess.
even when they do not accept you.
even when the money is gone.
even when you don't make the team.
even when you are late.
even when they delete you on facebook.
even when big bad ugly things happen.
even when you are falsely accused.
even when your kitchen cabinets are ugly.
even when they judge you.
even when nobody believes in you.
even when everything sucks.
peace that passes understanding is yours to choose.
this we know, because this is our story.
great minds throughout history agree….
by christina britt lewis and timothy dean lewis
photography by angela statzer
our home is uber open. literally and figuratively. you can see the kitchen from everywhere. we find peace in having only what we know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. even on the kitchen countertops. so we installed an outlet in the pantry for the microwave, the printer, and the phone chargers. we keep knives and utensils in a drawer. and we don't own a toaster. the broiler toasts just fine. i would show you the pantry, but you would hate me. so i won't. it's better this way.
fish sculpture carved from a can of coconut milk by artist, tatum. he’s been featured in coastal living, but occasionally makes an appearance at metrolina and sells his sculptures for next to nothing. he always manages to tell a little tale too. ask him about when a manufacturer from china called him and asked to mass produce his work. before hanging up on china he yelled into the phone “I’M AN OLD MAN!” ...
useful and beautiful. we think...
baby cole pointed out the dining room window of our new home in new hampshire and said "moooo". we praised him for knowing what a cow says as he continued to point and moo. we finally looked up from our chicken or whatever to see what he saw. a moose. A MOOSE! in our front yard while we ate dinner. this moose head reminds us of where we come from. it makes us happy and tells our story...
as i never shut up about...collecting things is fun and fills your home with happy memories. make your home tell your story. make it feel like you. so when people come they leave knowing you better, just from being in your home. the corks are as much a game as they are a collection. you know how everybody always sits at the kitchen counter? "toss the cork" gives them something to do aside from eat all of the pistachios. they also nicely fill that awkward space where wall meets cabinet. and now i'm singing this. but anyway...this is like 10 years worth of corks. just so ya know.
so the juicer is a great example of something that is relatively ugly but completely useful. we use it all the time and it's a heavy pain in the neck of a thing. if i put it in a cabinet i would stop juicing. and that's the only way i can get kale and beets and all sorts of other things they don't even know are in there, into my family...
camden's feet. i painted them. don't look too closely. and no, the child does not have deformed toes...
i like how george matches the floor. ombre dog? now i've said too much...