Settle down, kids! You're supposed to be going to sleep. I remember saying that so many times when my children were young. They would go to bed and then proceed to talk and giggle, etc. At least they had fun and would finally settle down, although sometimes they took extra long.
It was the time of day my husband and I looked forward to when the house quieted down for the night, and we could just relax and have time to talk or read something together. It's awfully hard when our children are young to be able to just chill.
I remember sometimes thinking that I might as well never sit down, because when I did, that's when one or more of my kids would need something. If I was standing up or semi-busy, they were most often occupied, but the minute I sat down…
Of course when I made sure to give my children plenty of attention each day, everyone was in a better mood. Children are emotional creatures and they need to be reassured often how much they are loved. Often that's all it takes to help them settle down when they are wildly running around the house.
The #wholemama prompt for this week is the word settle.
Settle can mean many things.
We settle disputes.
We settle in after moving and unpacking.
We settle accounts.
We settle in for a nice family evening at home complete with popcorn, hot chocolate and a movie.
Our homes should be places we are the most settled, where we can be ourselves, but often they become places of uncertainty, dissatisfaction and bickering with those we love most.
Often our expectations of one another are too high. We are quick to find fault, but stingy with compliments. Maybe we are tired, sick, or uncomfortable, and we take it out on the ones who are closest to us. Or we have a certain way of doing things and our spouses do it differently. These really shouldn't be cause for contention, but so often they are.
I know I've been guilty, more times than I care to admit, of finding fault, complaining and generally making the home atmosphere unpleasant and unsettling.
It's not what I want to do, but often I find myself overwhelmed, being pulled in many directions. I become irritable and take it out on those around me. I'm not very settled! On my own I can easily become stuck in a downward spiral of feeling sorry for myself, thinking I might as well give up. My expectations of myself are often too high thinking I have to do it all. Everything is too hard.
But nothing is too hard for God.
In Jeremiah 32:27 we read these words:
I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
Also Jesus says:
While circumstances may not change and things may not be quite settled, there is a way to find peace in the midst of chaos. I remember all the times in the past when God has taken care of me. He is gentle and forgiving and has promised to be with me giving grace and strength. When I find peace in Him my mind is quieted and I am better able to face the situation at hand.
I may not ever be completely settled in my life here on earth, but that is not a bad thing if it keeps my eyes on my Savior who will one day take me to a place where I will be settled forever. Until that time I can learn to be content with who I am and what I do, which might include changing some of my expectations.
While I am here on earth I can be discovering new things, seeking beauty, looking for the good in every circumstance, showing love to my fellow humans and settling into the person I am meant to be.
I want to enjoy my life and encourage those around me in the process. Mistakes will be made, and my attitude will not always be the best, but with God's help I can reach for my dreams and so can you.
I'm linking up with:
Marvia Davidson and #RealTalk where we are talking about expectations.