Some days, it feels like the volume of my house is permanently set on LOUD. And it's not that we're screaming at each other or anything like that. Conversations are just happening across rooms instead of next to each other. Reminders and announcements (time to clean your room, almost time to go, use kind words...) are being called down the hall instead of being delivered face to face. And when my son or daughter shouts at us from another room rather than coming to get one of us for help, it drives me crazy. And then of course came the moment earlier this week when I realized just how often I do the opposite of what I repeatedly ask the kids to do. I will never forget my frustration as a kid being told to "Do as I say, not as I do" by an adult. And now I catch myself doing those same things that used to make me so frustrated in my home growing up. Those generational things can really sneak up on you!
And I see the volume spreading from those things to how the kids react when they disagree or Bug trying to argue with me or his dad. I know that my reactions are a huge part of either helping lessen the problem or making it worse and have been praying about how to have a quieter house. Or to be more accurate, a home where the loudest noises are the joyful noises.
Then today I had one of those light bulb moments where something I've known before and heard in various ways just clicked. God reminded me that when He really wants my attention, He calls me to be still and whispers into my heart what it was that I needed from Him in that moment. Be it encouragement or gentle reminders, I hear the whispers. And that's a way that I think I can make a big impact in the volume in this house. When I need the kids to hear me, I need to wade into whatever the situation is and get down to their level (something I generally do eventually, but not as a first response) and speak quietly into the moment. It can be inconvenient (especially at those moments when dinner is on the stove and there's a very smart hound lurking around waiting for me to walk away from the kitchen), but I know that it will be worth it in the long run. My goal this week is to resist that urge to raise my voice to be heard in another room whenever possible and just go to who I need to talk to instead. And I know it won't be an instant change and I'll have to be persistent to see results...but I have faith that with God's help, I can start to change this particular legacy this week. Here's looking forward to joyful noises!