Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peace on Earth

Aaaah... The Christmas season is upon us. Joy to the world. Peace on earth. Goodwill to men.

Sometimes, though, I feel like I'm still waiting for that joy, peace, and goodwill to make it to our house.

I'm kidding, obviously. Except for the peace part. I can't remember the last time our house was peaceful. With three kids, two adults, and a dog running around this place, peace is hard to come by.

Last week we traveled 13 hours to visit family in Louisiana. The kids did very well in the car on the way, and the week spent with family was wonderful. It was so nice to actually have help with the kids, and watching them interact with Nanna and Pappy was priceless.

But the trip back home to Valdosta - Oh. My. Word.

It was the Worst Trip Ever.

Vivienne screamed for a total of three hours. Yes, I said three hours. Three solid hours of baby screams. Super fun. And during the third hour, Jonah decided it would be fun to sing and yell as loudly as he could. For the whole entire hour. And no amount of diversion, bribery, snacks, or discipline would shut him up. I thought Peter was going to park the car on the side of the road and run away. And frankly, I wouldn't have blamed him. I've never been so happy to be back in Valdosta, just so I could get out of the torture chamber that was our mini van. Being an adult is everything I dreamed it would be...

Thankfully, Brie is fairly calm, mostly independent, and quite helpful because I'm not sure I could handle three little kids all at once. And although Jonah has some issues, we are usually able to anticipate his needs before it turns into a full-blown crisis or a major meltdown. Usually.  Not always, but let's not go there today.

But Vivienne. Whew. I think we are in for it with her. She is precious and adorable but she comes with an ATTITUDE. I'm amazed every day with her. She is strong-willed, headstrong, and moody. If we can only harness these qualities for good...

I see lots of prayer time in my future for this one...

Let's just say that Vivi is a girl who knows what she wants. For instance, she recently decided milk wasn't for her. What the heck? Milk was Brienne's drink of choice till she was 7 years old, and it's Jonah's go-to comfort drink. But no, little Miss Vivienne has to throw me for a loop by refusing to drink milk. We finally decided to switch her to vanilla soy, mainly because she's so tiny and we figured she could use the extra calories. Plus, she likes the taste of it. (Who wouldn't?) But here's the thing - she will no longer drink it if someone is holding her. She'll only drink it while sitting on the floor by herself. And only in the morning and in the late afternoon. She is my last baby and I would really like to rock her, but she's having none of that. What is this mutiny?

And let's talk about walking. She's been able to walk for a while now but she refuses to walk by herself. Instead, she constantly wants someone to hold her hand and walk her around. She'll scoot around on her bottom and say "Alk. Alk." until someone finally gives in and walks with her. Sometimes, though, we'll catch her walking on her own and when she sees that we've noticed, she immediately sits down and whines for us to "alk" her. Seriously?? She is a mess.

But then again, aren't we all a mess?

Even if we don't actually scream and throw tantrums, aren't there days when we really want to? And I don't know about you, but sometimes I just want someone to hold my hand and walk beside me, knowing they will be a steady hand that keeps me from falling.

There is Someone who wants to be our Rock. Jesus Christ. And as I reflect on this Christmas season, I am reminded of a precious baby sent to earth to be that Rock. A baby that grew up, walked alongside others, and willingly chose to give His life. For you. For me. For me. Why would He do that? Why? Because He loves us more than we can fathom.

The story doesn't end with His death, though. Christ rose from the dead and conquered death so that we could live with Him forever. But we have a choice to make. Will we believe in Him? Will we choose to trust Him in our chaos? Will we follow Him and allow Him to lead us through this life? It won't always be easy, and there will be tantrums, screaming, and all sorts of difficulties to go through. But with Christ, we can have peace.

And peace sounds really good to me right about now.