We've been traveling, skipping meals to build Legos, trying to find the laundry room floor (laundry should NOT exist the whole month of December if you ask me), wondering if that critical piece to that new toy really did get thrown in the trash, regretting the junk food we've put into our mouths... all the while trying to teach Jesus and not "stuff" to our kids this Christmas. Oh yes, and then there are the children to feed and the "Give me that back...that's my new toy..." conversations to interrupt.
We got home last night from our trip to visit our immediate families for Christmas. We had a fabulous trip, but by the time we got home, the two little ones were completely wiped. We got a good laugh out of listening to Chase slur his speech on the way home because he could barely keep himself awake.
Thinking we needed a day to recoup, we made a rare decision to have "church" at home this morning. Turns out it was a good time to address the selfish attitudes that had been looming in the house all morning. Tyler taught from Psalm 100 about having thankful hearts, and then camped in James to cover how our words to each other should be "peace-loving." The boys gave lots of great examples on how they could do a better job of showing each other a love that is sincere and unselfish.
"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." (James 3:16)
Just when I was ready to point the finger at my kids. Ugh. Don't you hate it when you're sitting in on a sermon and you try really hard to make someone else own the convicting take-away, only to find that it was meant for you all along?
It's one thing when disorder physically takes over my house. Uh, like now. When I'm so far behind on the regular chores because holiday activities have taken precedence. When it still looks like my house needs an intervention from an HGTV de-cluttering show. When my Christmas decorations are begging for someone to put them away, and the toilet hasn't been properly cleaned in weeks (wow, now you and all of internet-land know the disgusting truth).
But it's quite another thing to experience the disorder of the heart when I'm jealous and think of only myself. You see, I can't just shove everything into the laundry room of my heart and pretend like unannounced visitors don't even know it's there. Oh yes, of course God sees. But the disorder eventually leaks out to everyone around me too. And you know it's always going to come out in some nasty form that you'll totally regret later.
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 3:17-18 I want these words to describe our home this year. They are powerful words! I am convinced that as women, we have so much influence over the tone of our home; over these words that can turn into actions that can invade and take over the disorder of our hearts. Someone has to start the cycle. How incredible that the Bible says that "those who make peace" will sow a "harvest of righteousness". I'll take that over disorder any day.
Hmm... sounds like I just might have found my New Year's Resolution. Pretty sure the results will be more lasting than my annual temporarily laying off the junk food.
Praying that by His grace, this one sticks.