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Where's the Peace?
Where does a tired parent go when you're running on empty? When you badly need a jump start, an oil change and tune-up? When the one-minute devotional is too long?


It began as the perfect Saturday. Joining sticky hands around the breakfast table, we thanked God for the cheesy omelette I had created.

Three things helped me find the missing peace …

Two-year-old Rachel flashed ma a smile. "Daddy," was all she said. I knew she meant, "Great omelette, Dad."

Then my angel daughter grabbed my omelette with both fists, turned and placed it on her brother! Within seconds, food was everywhere. Plates crashed. Hollering ensued.

I stood to quickly resolve the situation, banging my knee on the table. Clutching my injury, I smacked my knuckles.

Chaos continues

My wife Ramona appeared from the bathroom, watched me dance about the kitchen and asked, "Who put grape jelly on my hairbrush?"

"Me," admitted Stephen, the eldest.

As the screaming got louder, more omelette flew. The phone rang. It was a telemarketer. I hung up. It rang again. I answered and yelled, "We're having breakfast! Call back in 2012!" It was my mother-in-law. Thankfully, she laughed.

"Will you come over for lunch?" she asked.

"We'll be there at noon," I promised, then apologized. "Keep me in the will, please?"

The car we owned was a recent upgrade, and the door opening was lower than I was used to. Climbing in, I smacked it with my eyebrows. Tears stung my eyes. I howled, "Fiddlesticks!"

This was the funniest thing the kids had seen since the Roadrunner. They laughed and laughed.

We were five miles out of town when four-year-old Stephen asked, "How much farther? I gotta go." Suddenly, the tape machine died. So did the engine. I banged the steering wheel with my sore knuckles as we coasted to a halt. "Dog biscuits! Engine trouble!"

"It's the gas thingee," Stephen said. "I was watchin' it. Daddy, where's the gas station?"

Running on empty

Good question. I've been asking myself that lately. Perhaps you've asked it, too.

Where does a tired parent go when you're running on empty? When you badly need a jump start, an oil change and tune-up? When the one-minute devotional is too long? When you've locked the bathroom door, but your toddlers push their tiny lips under it and yell, "I know you're in there!"

Three things helped me find the missing peace:

1) Learn to walk. When my son was in first grade, I believed the most important thing was my job. One night my son asked, "What are you working on?" I told him. He asked, "Why?" I explained there wasn't enough time to do it all. He said, "They should put you in a slower group."

Micah 6:8 is the verse for parents who need a slower group. It says, "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

We get so busy running that we often forget to walk with God. Place a short devotional book or Bible in your bathroom. Don't feel guilty if ti takes you a week to complete one reading.

2) Seize the evenings. Whenever possible, keep your schedule free after dinner. Our children are teenagers now, and I know our relationship is strong in part because we often said no to the demands of others.

We also discovered that television wired our kids and books helped them unwind, so we ended each evening reading together. Before long, they were ready for bed, and we had time to ourselves to recharge.

3) Live on your knees. Recently I asked myself, When was the last time my children saw me on my knees– when I wasn't looking for the remote control?

When Jesus was inundated by demands, He often took time to pray. So go where Jesus went—to the Father. There is no better place to find peace, power and purpose for living.

Phil Callaway is the editor of Servant magazine, author of a dozen books and a popular speaker. His web site is: www.philcallaway.com. For details about Phil's first novel Growing Up On the Edge of the World click here: http://www.philcallaway.ab.ca/Pages/growing_up_on_the_edge_of_the_wo.htm

Originally published in Focus on the Family, October/November 2004.

 

 
 
 
 

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