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 (NIV)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
I have learned so much this past year from life circumstances and changes in our household. We have experienced sudden illness, death and occupational changes. Our oldest daughter and her family moved in next door and our youngest daughter and her family moved in with us while they’re on furlough for a year. Our quiet and simple little farm, with my in-laws in one house and my husband and I in our house settled into our “empty nest” routines, has become a vibrant, energetic action-packed farm with six adults and four under four littles! Between the joyous chaos, there is always a diaper to be changed, a nose to be wiped, a meal to cook, dishes to wash, clothes to launder…
I’ve been flooded with memories and a renewed awareness of the busyness and stress that families with young children experience. The hour before the evening meal can be extra challenging when everyone is tired, hungry, demanding and/or crying as you are preparing dinner. (I vividly remember that overwhelming feeling from 30 plus years ago – some things you just don’t forget!) And then after the eating comes “the hyper hour” when the kiddos get an extra burst of energy that you, as a parent, wish you had; and all you want to do is shuffle them into bed as quickly as possible after baths, jammies, reading books and prayers so you can get a little peace and quiet.
The above verses have become more applicable and meaningful this past year. Our life may not always be simple and stress-free, but if we keep our focus on the Lord and not our current circumstances, we are filled with peace, joy and gratefulness for all He has done for us. We are all re-adjusting and settling into our new lifestyle and routine. And when people ask how things are going and if we feel stressed, my husband and I respond yes, but it’s a happy stress.