Since coming back from our summer visit to the States, I’ve noticed some changes in our household. Before we left, the boys were missing friends who had to leave suddenly, and the young toddler was still acting baby-like with two naps a day, not really walking, and pretty chill.
Since we’ve returned, it’s like chaos wins every day. The boys have their friends back, plus a few more, and the wrestling, jumping, throwing, running, loudness is more than I can handle. Why does it have to start the moment they wake up?! The toddler has turned a corner, too. In the States, she perfected walking, and is now running from toy to toy, book to book, puzzle to puzzle, dumping, flailing, and making her own tornado alley in every room of the house. And the screaming. Oh, the screaming. She yells at everyone to communicate what she wants because the words still aren’t there yet. To get the high-pitched screams to stop, I’ve resorted to giving her an M&M way more times than I care to admit. (Third child problems?!)
I’m guessing you, too, have a busy life, whether like mine, or slightly different. We usually feel like we’re maxed-out busy…until we hit a new stage of life, adding another element to the busyness, and then we think, Ok, now I’m really busy! So yes, our lives are full. Overseas living even adds another element to that.
But I don’t like to let chaos win. I can’t stand feeling flung from one sibling argument to the next. And did I mention the noise? The noise is killing me. Our 900 square-foot, cement-walled apartment just can’t absorb the noise like I need it to.
What do I desire right now?
But I’m not guaranteed any of these, except the first one, and even then, I have to participate to receive it.
As I reflect on my current life as a stay at home, homeschooling mama, toes dipped in ministry here and there, I see a lack of several crucial things: prayer, joy, patience, and humility.
I want to pray without ceasing. I want a silent prayer to be my first reaction to my rebellious child sinning again.
I want to find joy in moments that last longer than just until the next crisis.
I want to practice patience. It’s not going to come overnight, but if I take one situation at a time, and practice calmly resolving the situation instead of “loudly speaking” (ok, probably yelling), it’ll come.
I want to make a habit of asking for forgiveness from my kids when I sin in front of them, and especially when I sin against them (see: yelling).
Obviously, from this little pep talk to myself, I have a ways to go in order to achieve the desires listed above. There are practical things like quiet time for everyone, dance parties to lighten the mood and get wiggles out (or, a new fave: gonoodle.com), read aloud time while they play quietly, or ample playtime outside.
I’m slowly learning that if changes don’t start with me, though, I won’t see changes in my household. Right now, I’m the most-watched example in their lives. Instead of lingering on what a terrifying thought that is, my prayer is that I move forward to what a great opportunity it is to shine the light of Jesus into their lives.
What do you desire in your current day-to-day life? If you have kids, what tips do you have to keep some sense of order?
Banana Bread Oatmeal
To be honest, I’m not a huge oatmeal fan. Never have been. Maybe it’s a texture thing. But, on these cold mornings before the government turns on the heat, I need something warm in my tummy. This Banana Bread Oatmeal hits the spot, doesn’t have loads of extra sugar, and fuels me until lunch.
A few simple ingredients: milk, bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla.
Stir in the oats until the liquid is absorbed.
Top with extra bananas and a sprinkle of brown sugar. It doesn’t take much because the bananas already add a good bit of sweetness!
Banana Bread Oatmeal
Makes: 2 large servings
Cook time: 10 minutes
Slightly adapted from: Pastry Affair
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (about 1 1/2) overripe bananas, mashed (you can slice the leftover 1/2 banana and use for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup quick oats
2 teaspoons brown sugar
chopped pecans (optional)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, mashed bananas, and spices. Heat the mixture on medium heat. Just before boiling (small bubble will pop on top), add the rolled oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occsionally, or until the oats are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.
Top with brown sugar, bananas, and pecans.