Sometimes my kids had big expectations. “Settle down, kids! It’s time to go 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. We wondered if they would ever settle down. Finally they fell asleep, and the house became quiet and still. My husband and I looked forward to this time when we could relax and talk or read something together.
Often I felt like I could 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. Often that’s all it takes to help them settle down when they are wildly running around the house. Children are emotional creatures and they need to be reassured often how much they are loved.
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. We are quick to find fault, but stingy with compliments.
Often our expectations of one another are too high.
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.
More times than I care to admit, I know I’ve been guilty of finding fault, complaining and generally making the home atmosphere unpleasant and unsettling.
I feel overwhelmed sometimes, like I’m 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 in Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Circumstances may not always change. Things aren’t always settled, but 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.
LEARN TO BE CONTENT
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.
I can be discovering new things, seeking beauty, looking for the good in every circumstance. Also, I can love my fellow humans as I settle into the person I am meant to be.
I want to enjoy my life and encourage those around me in the process. I will make mistakes, and my attitude may not always be the best, but I will try. With God’s help I can reach for my dreams. You can, too!
*I published an earlier version of this post on my former blog in February, 2016. I originally wrote it for #WholeMama where the prompt was the word settle, and #RealTalkTuesday where the prompt was expectations.