Family · Parenting

The Search for Peace in a House of Seven

It’s funny for me to look back on some pictures. Like this one for instance…

I was babysitting, which put the number of kids in my house at 7 kids under the age of 7. And I remember running around like a crazy woman…changing diapers, solving toddler fights, then running back to the kitchen , where I accidentally stepped on a piece of Lego, while making a camp-sized portion of mac and cheese. I shrieked in pain and hobbled to the bathroom to get a bandage and as I looked into the bathroom mirror I literally fell down laughing. I looked like some frazzled woman off of a reality T.V. show called “The Crazy Bunch.” For some reason I thought that I couldn’t hold this humor all to myself, so I took a selfie and I have this memory of one of the many crazy days I’ve lived through (which I probably would’ve completely forgotten about had I not chosen to laugh in the chaos)!

Wait? Did I call this post “Peace in a house of seven?” Ooops…my mistake, it should be called “Laughing Hysterically at the Chaos” or “The Day I Finally Lost my Mind”… because at some point I had to realize that Joy and Peace weren’t just going to happen. Actually just the opposite: I was going to have to make them happen.

And sometimes it meant laughing when I felt like crying… or when my kids embarrassed me so badly I just wanted to disappear. Or taking a picture of the moment rather than running from it.

Because while we love to share moments like this:


In reality our lives look far more like this:


Or this:


Or this…


Or this…


Or this…


After years and years of searching for this peace that I felt we must be somehow missing… I’ve realized that in a family of seven – five children, two (sort of) adults, peace could not be found in behaviour or rules. No amount of scheduling or discipline could achieve peace. All the nap times, quiet times and the movies in the world could not bring peace.

Peace can only be found in my very own heart when I say, “Ok, this is really really crazy right now but I’m actually going to laugh instead of doing whatever it is that I really want to do (yell, cry, run into a room and hum with a pillow over my head).”

Because the peace that Jesus gives isn’t about circumstances.

Otherwise Jesus himself wouldn’t have had peace! His life was full of many LONG days of ministry, disciples that were constantly arguing about who was the best, huge groups of people crowding around him so tightly that he couldn’t even walk through towns, judgemental Pharisees who were constantly criticizing him… and many other troubles. But he was a man who had abundant peace. In fact he was so overflowing with peace, that he freely gave it to others:

“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

And if I am claiming to be his follower, it my right to claim this peace, because he gave it to me!

But is it really that easy? Honestly, yes… and no. Yes, because it’s YOURS – you can have it, all you need to do is seek it.

And No because our flesh screams when things aren’t peaceful… we want to fight for more control, for more quiet, for “me” time, for order.

Yet peace in my life has most often been found when I just let go. I say, “God, this is honestly too much for me and I’m giving it to you. I cannot carry the weight of my children’s decisions on my shoulders for the rest of my life… they’re in your hands now. I can’t change them when they’re fighting so badly I just want to throw them all in a box and ship them to Timbuktu. I can’t change the way my toddler demands HIS way and it comes with screaming FOR HOURS. But you can, God, and they’re in your hands.”

And suddenly I realize, all these things I was worried about weren’t in my control in the first place. Letting go was simply admitting that I couldn’t control these things and instead of holding onto them, they were now in the hands of Someone who CAN do something.

I’m not saying it’s easy to choose peace… but it’s possible. It’s possible for me to see a damaged floor in our brand new house from my kids dragging furniture around the house and stay calm…because I can see it as an opportunity to show grace.

I can laugh when I go out shopping with a big piece of blueberry in my teeth or my fly zipped down, only to see it afterwards because really, I can either stress about it, or laugh with the rest of the world.

And I can laugh when I look like a crazy housewife and my house looks like it went through a topless blender.

And so can you. 

Just remember to take LOTS of pictures and please share them with me, so I can share in your laughter! Because in 45 years when the silence is so loud your ears hurt and “peace and quiet” actually means loneliness; when you’re shaking the dust from those doilies on your coffee table… you’ll look back to those pictures of muddy children in the spring time, smeared makeup and frizzy hair morning snuggles, and kids all screaming in the family picture and you’ll smile because those memories will be filled with peace.

2 thoughts on “The Search for Peace in a House of Seven

  1. You got it!!!! Yes right from the stepping on Lego to the dusty dead silence of an old Baba’s living room waiting to be needed :). And yes, of course you can’t take too many pictures , as that’ll jog memories of a life well spent ❣

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s