I thought it may be time for a little update on how peace is coming along in our house...
I have to be honest and say that:
life has NOT gotten any quieter
life has NOT gotten any less crazy
there have NOT been many less tantrums or fits
there have NOT been any less potty accidents on the floor
there has NOT been any less laundry
there has NOT been any less running
there has NOT been a lot more sleeping
there has NOT been any less tears
but, I also have to be honest and say that:
there has been a lot of laughter
there has been a lot of "swinging" on the swings
there has been a lot of wrestling
there has been a lot of crafts
there has been a little bit of baking and cooking together
there has been a lot of walking to and from the mailbox
there has been a lot of gardening
there has been little more resting and relaxing
there has been a lot more grace...which has led to a TON more peace!!
I have had a lot more peace in my heart and my life...I know that it's because God's grace is making a change in my heart. I'd always been a girl who could "pull herself up by her bootstraps"; a girl who had it all together; a girl who was easy going and could weather anything- but ya'll...I could NOT handle these four kids. I was drowning and all the while trying to save myself- trying to somehow come up with some peace from God on my own. I don't think I "got it" until I read a book "Give Them Grace" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I realized that it's not about what I do- it's not about how great of a mom I am- it's not about how much I read my Bible- how many Bible verses I memorize- it's not about how much I work at discipline- or my marriage...it's about resting in Jesus. Taking His yoke upon me and learning from Him.
I've been loving Lamentations 3:21-24, lately:
"But this I call to mind, and there I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore, I will hope in Him."
I love that the Lord is my portion- He is my strength, my comfort...my everything. I actually have no goodness, no ability to be a good mom, no peace, no patience, no mercy, no consistency in my parenting on my own. God's mercy and grace covers me. God's faithful love fills in where my abilities hit their end. God's grace covers my sin- God's grace keeps my kids safe from dangers I don't see. God's grace holds my children in His arms and His hands when I'm at my whits end and don't wanna hold them. God's mercies are new every morning, no matter how many times I screw up one day- there's enough mercy and grace for the next day to be something new and different. I don't have to live in the past, God's forgiveness and love is bigger than that! I have found great peace in trusting God with my children and my parenting. I have found great peace in extending grace towards myself and my children- with being real about our struggles and the fact that my house is never clean, the laundry is never done and probably laying around somewhere, the floor is a mess, the toilets are probably dirty, and at any given moment there may be a kid having an accident on the floor (and if they're not, they're probably leaving their underwear on the floor somewhere) and a mommy getting irritated, feeling overwhelmed and begging God for some patience to make it through the next few minutes. And being real about my kiddos and their shortcomings. I haven't stopped sinning and screwing up- just like they haven't and won't ever. It's a lot easier to be at peace in my heart when I see my kids screw ups and mistakes and fits and tantrums as more than visible signs of my shortcomings and mistakes as a mom. They're just more chances to shower my kids with grace- to bring glory to God in another situation and point my kids to Jesus and the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. It's a lot easier to have peace in my heart when I don't make it all about "me", but all about the God I serve. I can glorify God in mopping up spilled milk on the floor. I can glorify God through the broken tears of a weary mom.