Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's a trade-off.

In my mind, bedtime should be an easy, orderly affair.   Everyone goes upstairs to put on their pajamas.  They all take turns brushing their teeth.  Everyone gets a drink and finds a stuffed animal to sleep with.  One child picks out the music to play while falling asleep.  Brian prays with them, and I kiss them goodnight, cover them, and go about putting Alaine to bed in a quiet house.  

The fact is that the reality is quite different surprises me almost every night. 

The chaos that is our refrigerator
After dinner last night, our house turned into a rodeo  The kids were horse and rider.  Sometimes the horse was imaginary.  Sometimes the horse was someone else.  There was lots of squealing and hollering and running through the house.  I did a lot of, "Don't you know you aren't supposed to run in here?" and "Please quiet down.  The neighbors might hear you!"  Noise and chaos don't always sit well with me.  I like books stacked neatly  and not scattered on the floor.  I  also like pictures in a row, but I'm learning to leave my refrigerator door alone.

I regress.

So then it was time for bed.  Owen brushed his teeth in 20 seconds flat and Brian had to send him to do it again...twice.  Benjamin pooped in his diaper...for the fourth I had to change him again.  Alaine was rubbing her eyes and trying to fall asleep, but I didn't want to put her to bed because I knew the hoopla would wake her up.  Brian was calling through the house asking whose turn it was to pick music.  Gavin and Owen started swinging for the bunk bed rails, saying that they were monkeys.  Maddie decided she needed a different something to sleep with...and, oh...she had forgotten to get a drink.  Finally, kisses were given and lights turned out.  Alaine had gotten her second wind and wasn't sleepy anymore so I took her downstairs to start the laundry while Brian took a shower.  In the meantime, the boys had a fight over the covers and one yelled, "You're a robber!" to the one who was hogging the blanket.
whispering secrets

It is nights like these that makes me wonder if all my work as a mama is paying off.  Shouldn't these kids that I spend every day shaping, training, and molding be a little more orderly?  Shouldn't they know this routine by now?  Shouldn't they be able to sit still?  Shouldn't they shush when I'm talking?  Shouldn't they settle into bed without a ruckus?

Then I remember earlier in the day when Owen sat in the floor with Alaine, holding her hand and whispering in her ear.  I remember when Gavin and Maddie helped me dry the dishes and then said, "What else do you need, Mama?"  I think about Benjamin bringing Alaine a pile of toys every morning and the rush to the door when Brian comes home every night.  I think of the get well cards that are made every time someone bumps their knee or has a stuffy nose. 

Sometimes obedient and well-trained and loving doesn't always equal quiet and orderly.
Sometimes I need to remember that kids are kids, not little adults.
And sometimes I need a reminder that being neat and quiet takes a back seat to raising Godly people.


  1. Thank you for this sweet reminder... Sometimes all my stress and weariness from the day comes out in frustration and impatience at the end of the day. I often just brush off the guilt by saying that they were being silly, disobedient and were deliberately taking FOR-EVER!

  2. I love, love, LOVE you!! I'm so glad you wrote this out! I'll be sharing it all over the place today!!

  3. Very encouraging, thank you!

  4. This post spoke volumes to me! Great thoughts and wisdom.

  5. Glad to see your opening up here a little.
    I tried for years to get you to open up.When we would visit I felt
    like i was always carrying the conversation
    if I didnt pry the conversation out of you we wouldnt talk almost
    at all for the entire visit .
    Why do you keep a friend for 8 years at arms length barely
    letting them get to know you ?Ive learned more about you
    from reading your blog than from talking to you
    You said you feel better when your out of the house and talking
    to people... then why dont you do that ?
    Its only hard when you dont do it ?Go somewhere with a friend
    or by yourself it really is ok.
    Or join a church so you can fellowship with lots of people and have a sense of community for your family.
    Let the people actually around you in Kristin and you'll be much happier.
    God didnt intend for us as mothers to be secluded and alone!
    And treat the few friends you have better than you treated me please!
    You need real friendships, thats why I introduced you to the mom down
    the street from you ,so when we left you and the kids would have
    some companionship .
    Theyre great people ,let them in if they want in. Let them get to know the real you .
    You cant live your life in a box its not good for you or your kids.
    I pray blessing over you and revelation of the wonderous plan and love God has for you.
    Your one time closest friend .

  6. As I read the previous comment, I thought of this quote by Amy Carmichael that I "happened" to post on my blog this morning.

    If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me;
    if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself;
    if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve,
    then I know nothing of Calvary love.

    You don't need to answer the criticism or defend your choices. You just need to call on His Calvary love.


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