I’ve sung the hymn thousands of times over the years. I know the words backwards and forwards. I believe in the story the song tells with all of my heart. But around my house, with 6 children under the age of 12, there is no such thing as silence…ever!
I may feel this way because I’m not a fan of loud noises. Never have been. In fact, when I was a teenager, I would duck out of loud concerts because my head would begin to hurt. Totally not cool for a teenager to do, but I didn’t care. I figured it was best to be comfortable than be entertained.
Do I believe God knew what He was doing by blessing me with all of our children who have no peak on their volume dial- YES! He’s teaching me humility.
Case in point: a few mornings ago, it was a Saturday, it was actually quiet, I was downstairs reading, and doing my normal morning routine. When what did my sensitive ears did I hear, but the sound of the sub-flooring above my head rattling so hard I actually thought chunks of the ceiling were going to begin falling on my head.
My 5-year old son cannot get himself up and dressed without A) jumping as hard as he can out of his bed, and, B) running at full-speed from his room to my room and back to his room… in the morning…when everyone is asleep! He will strategically position himself 1 inch from my wife’s ear (as she sleeps) and ask her questions at the top of his lungs. Delightful!
Speaking of being a long way from silent night, there’s the saga of our nativity-
We lost the tote with our figurines and for some reason Mary, baby Jesus, and a single shepherd were placed in another tote that we did find. So in our version of the Biblical Christmas story, Mary is a single mom, Joseph is nowhere to be found, and a shepherd carrying a lamb over his shoulders keeps showing up to the manger….awkward! Bethlehem is a buzz with the gossip!
So the new song goes like this (to the tune of Silent Night)- “Silent night, awk-ward night. No one showed, except this one guy. Joseph’s gone, there’s no angels to note. Wish I would have just found the right tote. Sleep through an en-tire night, please? Sle-ep through an en-tire night..”
We’ve got dogs traipsing through our house with muddy paws, over floors we just cleaned hours before company arrives, Christmas cards that we had to redo because we forgot (yes, FORGOT) one of our children’s names in the original prints. And lets not forget the headless snowman in the front yard!
Yesterday I think my kids actually had a contest going to see who could make the most noise for the longest period of time. They may have reached 3 hours. Being out of school for Christmas break is super-awesome!
But here’s the truth- at the end of the day, when Kristin and I nearly collapse from complete and total exhaustion, I wouldn’t trade a thing. Last night I would have traded nearly all of my kids right up until they went to bed. But in the quiet and calm of this early morning, my heart is full.
I can’t wait to see their little faces round the corner in a little bit. I can’t wait to say good morning and pull them up into my arms. Yes I’m sure that once those precious little faces start calling one another “stupid,” or “poopy-head,” or yelling “shut up” at the top of their lungs, I will want to lock them in their rooms and throw the key into the neighbor’s yard. But for now…I’m at peace.
I think the reason peace eludes us in this season is that we allow it to. We think that everything has to be perfect during this holiday season when, in reality, it just won’t be. Regardless of the hours and hours of preparation and planning we put into Christmas, there’s going to be chaos and rush.
Regardless of how much I long for silence, the truth is, I have 6 young children living in my house- it’s not going to be quiet. Besides, isn’t it more important that they feel free to be children, than I have the silence I long for? Not saying it’s okay for my children to run around like wild animals, but I need to let them be…kids!
At the end of the day, I realize that I need to embrace the chaos of the season. We all do. It’s not going to be perfect. Even though we cannot see it, memories are being made. It may be hard to see, but they are.
I gotta wrap this post up. Joseph and the wise men are missing, another strand of Christmas lights just went out, and I think my dog just scaled the fence and is chasing a rabbit and barking loudly in the neighbors yard at 6 am! Yep, silent night alright.
Question: Are you experiencing a less-than silent night during this Christmas season? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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