This morning I read chapter 14 of Romans.  This really should be a weekly reading for every believer.

A twice a day required reading for a pregnant woman.

If we all really put into practice the teachings of this passage, our relationships would be transformed.

I am sitting here typing this in my 38th week of pregnancy.

If anything is an enemy to the words of Romans 14:19…it is a woman’s hormones.

“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”(Romans 14:19 ESV)

I think those who know me best, would classify me as a generally peaceful person.  Now…those same people who know my core know that I have never been afraid to speak up loudly when I see injustice…but in those times I always hope and pray that my pursuit of justice is intertwined with my pursuit for peace.

Enter hormones.

I remember early in this pregnancy I taught me 8-year-old and 10-year-old about hormones…

Let me set the stage for you…

I was in my first trimester of pregnancy.  My body chemistry was in overdrive as it was preparing a place to grow a tiny human in my womb.

It was a normal day running errands in the minivan.  A rather typical sibling rivalry was brewing in the back of the van…

Almost out of nowhere, my blood pressure skyrocketed and out of my mouth came a loud, “Stop it!!!  Shut up!!!!  Not another word until I tell you it is okay”

This is anything but normal for me.

I immediately knew I had blown it for the 100th time that week as a mom.  Tears filled my eyes.

I had silence in the van alright.  But the result was two kids trembling in the back of the van.  I had silence, but not peace.

Then without thinking I just started talking to them,

“Okay kids.  Your behavior was wrong.  But my response was wrong too.  Let me just tell you something about the next year….When a woman is pregnant there are these things in her body called hormones that help make the baby.  The hormones also for some reason make a woman more emotional where she cries a lot more.  And what you saw just now….hormones can make a woman very cranky and turn into something that resembles an angry bear.”

“So, just be warned….you never know when the bear might come out of momma.  That doesn’t make it okay….I am just giving you a warning.”

A week passed.  Long day at work.  Sibling rivalry in the van.  Tough day of homework.  Joe did something that irritated me when he got home.  (it was such a big deal that I don’t even remember what it was….he probably forgot to fill up the water pitcher or something huge like that).

The bear came out again on all three of them, and stormed out of the room in tears.

I sat on the couch in tears.

Frustrated that sibling rivalry exists, teacher’s assign homework, my husband doesn’t love water as much as I do, chips can’t be considered a health food.

Frustrated at myself for blowing my top.

Peaceful heart…where did you go?

In a few minutes around the corner comes my tender-hearted 10-year-old son.  He wraps his arms around me and says, “Hormones, right momma?”

Just what I needed to bring peace to my heart.

Joe and I exchanged a sweet glance, and I smiled and said, “Yes, son. Hormones.”

Romans instructs us to “pursue what makes for peace.”   I have learned that peace only comes with pursuit.  And peace must come to my own heart before I can pass along the peace to others.

This passage teaches me that my words and actions should have the purpose of “mutual upbuilding.”   Whether with my spouse, an acquaintance, my kids, or a coworker….the goal is peace.

As Christmas ads begin to flood my mailbox and TV and the colors red and green begin to color my world….hormones or not…

“Let there be peace on Earth….and let it begin in me.”

And a, “Your welcome” in advance to my future daughter-in-law out there….your future husband will be well trained on the biology of hormones in women.