My house is the kind of house where chocolate chips end up smeared on white couches. Where tiny hands and feet are buried in the mud left from yesterdays rain and then tracked through the entire house immediately after the vacuum has been put away. Where colorful works of art appear in all sorts of creative places and only the marker caps can be found. Where wrestling happens, and brotherly fights break out as often as they beg for more food…which is every five minutes give or take. This is all welcome here. A safe place for crazy and fun and exploring and fighting and sin to come out. Because the world doesn’t always let them just be. And here, here in this home they should be able to just be. *Most* days I welcome the madness but lots of days I fight against it. I want peace & quiet. I want everyone to nap. I want beautiful music to play as I sip a cup of tea and read and the children to play peacefully and share and use kind words and not ask me 100 questions in 1 minute.
WHAP. SCREAM. BLAME. CRY. LIE. CRY. PRIDE. CONFESSION. FORGIVENESS. LOVE.
A quiet home with no disturbance or rumbling amongst the people of this place is neither realistic nor what I am striving for as I seek a “peaceful home” this year. No, we are going beyond noise, beyond a passive picture, beyond the absence of strife. A home with that kind of peace might just mean there is a whole battle looming on the inside. That kind of peace might choose to ignore the raging battles. That kind of peace might say the gospel is not enough to deal with the hard stuff. That kind of peace might just keep sin secret. I want nothing to do with that peace. I want the Prince of Peace to invade, to knock us over and spill out our messy sin and touch our whole family with the freedom to need His grace.
In Hebrew, the Biblical concept of peace comes from a word that means “to be complete or whole.” Needing peace in our home does not mean needing quiet, it means we need Jesus to come and make us complete in Him. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary breaks it into four categories: 1) wholeness of life or body (ie health) 2) right relationship or harmony between two parties or people, often established by a covenant 3) prosperity, success or fulfillment 4) as victory over one’s enemies. We are opening wide the doors in this home to pursue this kind of peace- where we seek to live complete in Christ. Where the covenant between husband and wife is right and honored and unified by Christ. Where we are going to have victory over our enemies, over sin, over self. It MUST mean we have to run hard after Christ, pursuing righteousness, sitting in the reality that only His life, His death, His resurrection makes us complete and whole. We are nothing without Him. We have no peace without Him.
When we look in the gospels at the word peace, we see over and over again a sick person in need of the healing touch of Jesus. He comes, he touches, they believe and he says “go in peace.” Their lives were in shambles, they were humble & desperate for Jesus. Peace was no part of their inner being until He touched. With His touch came new life, complete life, light and life and hope in the midst of their darkness. And came peace. And in Matthew 10:34 he says “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” This is crazy, mind-blowing truth here. A need for Jesus to cleanse and heal and make us well comes prior to peace, judgement on sin must come prior to peace. Did you see that? We have to deal with who we really are and face our need for Jesus. We have to pursue Jesus to cleanse and heal us for peace to be ours.
So my new things this year to let the Prince of Peace reign? 1) I am trying, by God’s grace, to wake up an hour before the children do. I miss my sleep. But in my missing sleep, I am confessing that some days I love sleep more than I love Jesus. I am a waking to fall on my knees and beg Him to give me more love for him than for myself. I need to die, I need to love Jesus more than I love anything else in my life. 2) I am keeping a daily journal towards 1,000 gifts, naming all things of Him, giving Him all credit & praise. Joy is hard some days, I want joy to be real and honest and rooted in Him. 3) I am tackling a stack of books on my bedside table that will keep me learning and growing in Him instead of letting media and mindless pursuits consume me. Down time is nice sometimes, but it is not necessary every night. The only thing I need is Christ, I am choosing not to succumb to the excuse that anything else could give me more rest than Him. 4) And I am working out almost every day. I can’t be who God needs me to be if I am not healthy and energized and taking care of this body He gave. You may be thinking that has nothing to do with a kingdom peace, but for me, those 30 minutes have everything to do with it. A clear mind makes way for Him to speak to me, it is some of my sweetest times in His presence. So there you have my beginning. A few new things to push me towards Christ each day and open my soul to the gospel. May Peace live and dwell in all our homes. Not peace & quiet, but the Prince of Peace. Come, invade, wreck us for your good & your glory. Part 3…a joyful soul…my mom/ministry journey…soon to follow.