Thursday, December 20

Is a peaceful home unattainable??!

With 4 screaming kids who think they need 3 meals a day- RIGHT NOW, twins that are learning to walk and climb (and not always doing so well- as evidenced by the numerous bumps, bruises, and one huge fat lip), toilets that always seem to be dirty, laundry that often spills out of the laundry room, dog hair that piles up in the corners and threatens to take over the house, food that clings to the walls and our faces and hands with abandon- my life seems to be anything but peaceful. But, since I've caught my husband circling the block a few times doing what seemed to be a pep talk to himself- trying to gear himself up to come in the house...I am feeling the need to bring some peace back to my home, or maybe I'm just desperate to have my husband come home ;) (just kidding- I haven't actually observed this, it's just what I would do, if I ever caught a break and busted out of this joint) :)  In all honesty, I want my kids to feel at peace in our home, I want my husband to want to come home- to desire to come home, I want to desire to stay home. I want our home to be a place of comfort- a safe haven from the world around us, a place where it's safe to be yourself and to let your guard down, a place where you can cry and laugh with abandon. So, I've been studying and praying and asking and talking and gaining advice and taking some steps towards gaining some peace in our house this next year. 
It seems almost easier to narrow down what peace is not, rather than what it is. 
Peace is NOT:

1)superbly clean...Proverbs 14:4 says, where no oxen are the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox...and I think the same can be said of children. a clean house would be awesome, it would be nice to be able to keep up with the laundry, but that's impossible with these beautiful children in my house and I'd never trade a clean house for these precious ones!!
2) rigidly schedule...Proverbs 16:9 says, a man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps...I tend to not be able to make a schedule without getting all rigid and irritated if God directs my steps in other ways!

3) filled with sleep, unfortunately  (or fortunately, because i don't think there's going to be an abundance of sleep here for years to come)..Proverbs 24:33,34 says, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of your hands to rest; so shall poverty come like a prowler and your need like an armed man...too bad it doesn't say that if you don't get enough sleep that night you can be grouchy and do nothing all day...

4) allowing your children to run wild and undisciplined...Proverbs 29:17 says, correct your son and he will give you rest yes, he will give delight to your soul...I often feel like I am the "fun-sucker" if I make my children obey the rules and I feel bad, but that's not what God's Word says- it says that if I do discipline then I will have peace and rest!!
I'm still working on what a peaceful home means for us, but there are 2 things that I know for sure, 2 things that I'm actively working on:
1) Time in the Word is key...Psalm 119:165 says, Great peace have those who love your law and nothing causes them to stumble...I can't predict what my kids are going to be like when they wake up, how much sleep I'm going to get, how destroyed my house may look at the end of the day (ok, I can generally predict that one- VERY destroyed) or what the next year or even day will bring but what I can predict is that if I know the Word, put into practice the Word and teach my children the Word- we can have a peace-filled home. A home filled with the peace that will surpass all understanding; regardless of what the world has going on around us!
2) Diligence is key...Proverbs 27:23 says to be diligent and Proverbs 31 is filled with a woman who diligently provided for her family and clothed them in dignity and created a peaceful abode for them to reside in. I know that I need to diligently work at creating peace in my home. I need to not slack on my housework or laundry and take a break or ignore what's going on around me because I'm too wore out and tired. I need to keep going and keep at it so that my family can reap the rewards of a house of peace. That's not to say that I'm not going to take breaks, or rest and relax, because as nice as the mental hospital sounds at times, I don't think that ending up there is a good way to create a peaceful home for my family. It doesn't mean that I won't play or create with my children- in fact, it means that I probably will do more of that. But, it does mean that I need to figure out what it takes to create peace in my home and diligently work at keeping it-regardless of how I feel or how much energy I have that day!

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