Half of my tribe is away on an adventure with Daddy, exploring downtown Atlanta. When an airline offers $1 tickets, you hop on that action no matter where or when they want you to go. At least we do.
So the other half of us are here at home. The 10 month old baby boy, two three year olds (my husband calls them the "Twin Terrors"…I 'm thinking we might need to come up with a softer nickname.) and myself.
How is it, that these three littles kept me on my toes all-freaking-day yesterday, even more so than when my six are are home together?
One of my kidlets, who shall remain nameless (but whose names sounds strikingly similar to Nursie), was a pill 90% of the day. I actually refer to that as being "a turd", lovingly, of course. She fought me on every little thing, she stirred up trouble with the other three year old constantly.
I told a friend last night, "It was one of those days where a child seeks out attention, even if it's the negative variety." Sigh. Those days are just exhausting, and they usually come when you expect things to be peaceful and easy.
I had three less children yesterday after all. It was supposed to be a cake walk.
Well, maybe not a cake walk exactly...but easier for sure.
Instead, it was a draining day.
Big family insider scoop: the more children in the family, the more *some* problems are diffused.
How does on earth is this possible, you ask?
My older children, (ages 9, 7 & 5) help distract, redirect and lighten up my little ones frequently. They see a younger one who needs help and their gut reaction is to lend a hand. They can sense that a storm is brewing and they creatively encourage calmness (or at the very least happy wildness). They do all this pretty much as second nature.
Yes, sometimes I ask, or beg, or yell from the other end of the house for them to "Please help a Mom out!"…but so many times, it's self started, self directed…it's just who they are.
Now don't hear me say my three oldest children are up for sainthood, cause that's not reality. They too create their fair share of strife…sibling squabbles are the tool God is using to refine me (and by "tool" I mean fire). The bickering, name calling, hitting, teasing…it's an area we work on daily. All day every day.
Somehow, someway, however, the truths about peace Dustin and I are speaking into their ears are soaking down into their souls. My children's hearts are being shaped, ever slowly, into people who help make peace.
I can see that right now more easily, because in their absence, we are missing their peace making skills.
It is usually in someone, or somethings absence that we are able to clearly understand what that person or thing brought to our life.
Sometimes, losing something or someone benefits our health…we are better off.
Other times, we realize what a gaping hole that something or someone has left behind…we are better because of it/them, but now our life is lacking that unique aspect they brought.
Even though this is a quick trip my children and husband are on, and Lord willing, they will be home late tonight, tucked into their beds…they are gone right now, and we are missing them.
I am grateful for that longing, because I can more accurately see a gift they bring our family that I was taking for granted. They are far from perfect children (and those don't exist anyway), but good grief, they are stinkin' amazing at being the big siblings this crazy crew needs. Our older three are digesting the truths we are imperfectly, but consistently putting before them…that peace making is the way of Jesus, and the world surely needs a whole bunch more of us pursuing that way.
We are Matthew 5:9 people.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
I kinda dig The Message wording…
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."