The Journey Home

Friday, October 26, 2012

Learning in the midst of living....

"The art of life is learning how to turn and see a certain way...

I knit brows over kids yelling, and when did I start thinking serenity was something that I owned, that peace was something I had property rights to — and that I’d been straight out robbed if I lost a bit of peace and quiet? How can I lose it when I lose things as trite as a clean counter, a break, an uninterrupted moment?

And I touch the edge of things... —

Who am I to complain in losses — when what I lost wasn’t mine to begin with?"
~Ann Voskamp
Oh, this is me.  I crave peace.  What I never thought though, is that I also crave quiet.  Me, with the 5 crazy kids and the homeschooling and an 1800 square foot house.  Sometimes I demand it, quieting the screams and the squeals and the giggles and the running which causes the 6-pound white dog to bark incessently, but why do I do it?  Am I not stifling the stuff of a life alive when I do this?  Who am I to think that this is the season for quiet?  And why do I feel so unglued when I don't have it?  But reading this on this particular morning, God makes me pause and think.  I am sharing in a Bible study journey with an amazing group of raw, honest, open, authentic women for the next six weeks that is making us take a look at what causes us to come Unglued.  I think God is teaching me that it is this, this craving for serenity and the lack of it that makes me feel like I'm falling apart.  This is what causes me to explode when kids are fighting.  This is what fuels sarcastic remarks when the 8 year old who would rather live in a tree house and spend 99% of her time outside balks at doing her schoolwork.  This is what causes my insides to boil when the boy fights with the freckle-faced girl over the inconsequential and miniscule.  But when did I start thinking that "I'd been straight out robbed if I lost a bit of peace and quiet?  Who am I to complain in losses - when what I lost wasn't mine to begin with?"  Is it possible to feel the rest of God when the everyday is loud and chaotic and messy? 
I don't want to explode anymore.  I don't want to screech a lecture.  People, this parenting thing...this living life hard.  I don't get it right many times during the course of my day.  I give you full permission to ask my children who live with me 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  They see my ups and downs.  They hear the stern and disapproving voice.  They see the countenance, the furrowed brow and the tight lips.  God has been talking to me, teaching me, about the rest He offers to every single one of us, for a couple of years now.  But I did like I so often do:  took it to the extreme.  I took it to mean that rest equaled serenity.  I'm thinking now, though, that this is a quietness of the soul even in the midst of the craziness of raising this brood that He has blessed us with.  I know that this is going to be hard for me.  I know that I am going to have to lay down what I've tagged as "my right" and sacrifice what I want (serenity) to allow our kids to be what they are:  young.  impetuous.  crazy.  loud.  messy.  alive.  beautiful.  I will learn to live in the crazy and experience God's peace at the same time.  I will lay down my rights and let God supply my needs.  And I'm giving myself space to mess up and learn.  To let the Master wash over me with His grace in the midst of unglued moments.  To be happy with "imperfect progress" as Lysa Turkhurst calls it. 
38 years old and still learning everyday....