Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peace Like a River

Here is what my house sounded like on Sunday…

Littlest Little: “Aaaahhhh…” (Translation: 3 week old crying and passing gas)

Biggest Little: “Aaaahhhh…” (Translation: 2 year old tantrum)

Coach: “Aaaahhh…” (Translation: “What did we get ourselves into???”)

Me: “Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh…..” (Translation: Sleep deprived and overwhelmed mommy tantrum)

This weekend did not feel like much of a weekend. I woke up Monday morning, exhausted at the thought that it would be 5 more days until my next opportunity to take a nap. This parenting 2 kids stuff is not for the faint of heart. My house is a wreck, and in perfect irony my landlord will be popping by for annual apartment inspections sometime this week. My 2 year old is reverting to pre-potty trained days, only this time instead of wetting her pants she is peeing on objects in our house. WHAT????!!! Is she marking her territory? I thought one of the perks of having a GIRL was avoiding the obsession to pee on things. My baby lost her umbilical stump a week and a half ago and I haven't found it yet. There is a partial umbilical cord floating around somewhere in my house. True story. My landlord will probably find it on her inspection and banish us forever. I haven’t slept in three weeks, I can’t remember if I took a shower in the last 3 days, and sometimes I think my husband would rather just stay at work than come home to, well, this.

Now please understand, I know that this is a stage. That this will pass. That one day I will look back and laugh.

Today is not that day.

Today is the day that I want peace. Peace in my house. Peace in my heart.

Problem: When I was having my mommy tantrum on Sunday, some things came out of my mouth that were pretty revealing. Jesus said that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, and well, He pretty much knows what He’s talking about. As I was in the middle my tearful and very self-centered rage to my poor husband, I cried out, “All I want is a peaceful home. I do everything I know to do, and I still don’t have it!”

I do everything I know to do…

Hmmm. As soon as those words left my mouth, God gently but firmly brought to my mind the sermon I had heard just hours before. The one taken from Numbers 6:26, the one that undeniably claims that THE LORD (repeated 3 times in those verses for emphasis) is the One who grants us peace.

I have been desperately trying to create peace, as if it is up to me at all. But it’s not. Get it through your head, Jana. It’s not up to you.

Here is the truth about peace:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Maybe God is blessing me with chaos right now in order to teach me that I cannot create peace in my house; I cannot dictate my circumstances to provide peace for my family; and I cannot gird up my own strength enough to remain peaceful in my heart. When all of my best and worst efforts fall flat, what remains to be done?

Stop trying.

Instead, start trusting.

God gives peace. Trust in Him.

Abide in Him.

Love Him. Pursue Him. Seek Him. Because He Himself is our peace.

I can truly tell a difference on days when I let go of my circumstances and instead set my mind on things above…because while the mind set on the flesh is death, the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. The days when I stop trying to create peace and instead simply experience the peace that comes from being justified by faith.

Because even when my infant is crying and my toddler is urinating on my wallet, I am still a beloved child of God, and if in that moment I can set my mind on what is true and honorable and right and pure, then there is a peace that passes comprehension, that I can never conjure up on my own, that will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."