"I just want some peace and quiet!"
"Can you please stop fighting so we can all have peace?"
"I do NOT want arguing in this house. I want peace."
"Turn down the tv and give us some peace and quiet."
"Stop wrestling. Stop pestering. Stop arguing. You're disturbing the peace."
"Go outside if you want to act that way, so we can have some peace!"
And sometimes ... when all the kids are quietly occupied ... I sigh and inhale the peace and the quiet. I breathe deeply and appreciate the calm.
But you know, that is always temporary. Because soon I'm going to be pushing kids to find their shoes and put them on so we can get to church. It won't be long before another argument breaks out, or the tv gets turned up too loud, or a race breaks out around the loop that is my living room, dining room, and hallway. I will lose my cool. Kids will lose their cool. We will snap at each other, and Steve will come home to find a frazzled family getting on each others' nerves.
Today I read this sign. It was a gift from my sister and brother-in-law 2 years ago, bought at Hobby Lobby. It hangs by my front door. I placed it there purposely as a reminder, but I haven't really looked at it lately.
This time when I read it, I thought of the noise of my home, the battles with willful children, the battles between selfish children, and even the battle within myself to be patient. Conflict is going to happen in a family this large. But that doesn't mean there can't be peace. It may not be the serene music, quiet relaxing type of peace ... but there can be PEACE if I am resting in the presence of God.
Lord, forgive me for looking at circumstances, and others, to determine if there is peace in my home or not. Please help me to seek YOUR peace, true peace, each and every day. Even more, let your peace flow through me to my children, your children. Help them to see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in me. May grace, mercy, love, PEACE flow through me to them. Even when I'm tired, the house is a mess, I forgot to thaw meat for supper, we're running late, and the kids are not behaving well. Even when finances are tight and I'm worried about things they don't even understand. Peace is in YOUR presence, not in my circumstances. Amen.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
"To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 1:7
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:3