Sometimes, I wish there were cameras in my house that could document the events of a single day.
Like when my husband gets home from work and he asks me how my day was, and I make a sound that comes out something like "blecharggrrpllll" ...he looks at me like I'm probably exaggerating, and I wish for just a moment that I could show him a tape to confirm my articulate expression of the craziness.
The other day my youngest son poured himself a drink from a jug in the pantry. It wasn't juice, it wasn't coke, it wasn't water. It was olive oil. When he realized how nasty it tasted, he promptly spit it all over the kitchen floor.
Yesterday I walked into my bathroom and noticed that the toilet had been filled with an entire tube of toothpaste. I still haven't cleaned it up.
While I was taking a shower, the boys used the contents of our fruit bowl as baseballs to toss back and forth through the hall. They aren't very good at catching them, though. Every single apple now has a giant bruise on it, and I'm pretty sure I saw one apple laying underneath the bench in my entry way. It, like the toothpaste in the toilet, is still there.
My bathroom mirror has a half dozen fuzzy spots on it from a child attempting to "clean the mirror for me" ...with hairspray. Its a big mirror, so I just step to the side if I can't see in a certain spot.
There are multiple articles of children's clothing in my backyard, because something about playing outside gives my kids the urge to strip down to...nothing. Eventually I will have to go get the clothes and wash them. Eventually.
The kids took all the cushions off the couch to make a "jumping pit," and then they got distracted by all the stuff they uncovered under the cushions. It was almost snack time anyway, so I wasn't too concerned that they decided to eat the old chips and goldfish and skittles they found.
The boys took a very exciting and creative shower the other day, where they used conditioner to make the whole thing so slippery they could barely stand up.
My oldest son came into my room last night and said "Mom, there's something crunchy in my hair." I examined the spot, then leaned in to smell it...yeah, it smelled like a hot dog with ketchup. We haven't had that for supper in at least a week.
On our way to the grocery store, a child rolled down his window and tossed out a toy...onto the road...as if it was a totally normal thing that he does every day.
Truly, it boggles the mind, this day-to-day life that I have. I am a crazy person most of the time.
In the rare moments, when I am not giving myself a sore throat from shouting over top of the madness, I wonder if it will ever be peaceful, relaxed, and normal in my house. Will I ever go to bed WITHOUT a headache caused from clenching my jaw all day long? Will my house ever be clean for more than 5 minutes? Will we ever have an entire gallon of milk in the refrigerator for more than an hour? Will I ever NOT know the words to every single PBS kids song? When will I be able to stop saying the sentence "Go to the bathroom right now before you pee your pants." ???
Will. There. Ever. Be. Peace?
Yesterday I heard a single sentence that changed everything.
It was during a 5-minute-escape time, where the kids were left to their own devices while I made a reservation online, and during which they rummaged through the contents of a kitchen drawer and had a battle with rolling pins. It was in a blog that I follow occasionally, this sentence, and I was skimming through it, hoping for something to calm my tumultuous emotions.
Because I've been feeling pretty beat up the last few weeks. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Just a general wearing down, curled into a ball so when I get kicked it hurts less, crying for no reason whatsoever, snapping at my husband for stuff he didn't even do, impatient, isolated, hurt, sad...blecharggrrplll.
Then, one sentence.
PEACE IS A PERSON.
Time stood still, I'm telling you. My heart stuttered. My breath hitched.
I've been turning it over in my mind since yesterday, and I won't expound on everything Peace has been saying to me since then, because He will say something different to you, I'm sure. But, suffice it to say, all my searching, and hoping, and clenching my jaw, and yelling till my throat is sore, and STRIVING, is useless. Totally unnescesary, and utterly unsuccessful. I can't create peace in my house.
He's already here.
I just forget to look for Him.
I see the olive oil on the floor, and the toothpaste in the toilet, and the apples covered in bruises.
But I miss Peace. Because when I hear "Mommy, you're so pretty," I am too busy cleaning up to really HEAR Peace speaking to my hurting heart. And when I am asked "Mommy, will you snuggle with me?" I am too overcome with stress to recognize Peace whispering for me to stop for a moment and offer the love to my little ones that is freely given to me.
Peace is a person.
And He's already here.
We just aren't looking in the right places for Him.
Take a breath.
What does it mean to you today?