Philippians 4:8 ESV  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I recently took a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Car packed and on the road at the crack of dawn, my husband and I set out for a five hour trip to our daughter’s house.  It was the calm before the storm. A body used to living a slow quiet, day to day life tends to encounter a bit of culture shock when entering a household of five active people that includes three rambunctious children.

The morning after we arrived I awoke to the sounds of an owl hooting. It was the six-year old grandson, usually the late sleeper, practicing animal sounds. Then I heard the washer and dryer start up. I get up from the inflatable bed and go stretch out on the couch in the family room, anticipating the usual attack from one of the three grandchildren. It didn’t come. Whew! The house quieted again. I’m used to quiet predawn hours. That’s when I do some of my best sleeping.

Just as the first faint light of morning began to filter through the windows, my husband’s phone alarm sounded. He forgot to shut it off before going to bed. He gets up and begins to rummage through the luggage looking for the clothing he had forgotten he had laid out the night before.  After thirty-eight years of marriage, he still hasn’t mastered the art of early morning quietness when others are trying to sleep. I remind him that his clothes are with the toiletry bag in the guest bathroom. Then I remind him to close the door because others are awake upstairs and may come down unexpectedly. I pull the throw up around my chin and attempt to fall back to sleep. No luck. He’s soon ready for the day, so now it’s my turn to dress and get ready for the day. I put coffee on to brew, then go dress.

The sun is up now and the “hoot-owl” comes downstairs with a sheepish grin on his face. When asked why he is down so early, he replies simply, “because.” Further inquiries revealed “because” he wanted some alone time Gra’ma-D and PaPa. My heart melts. We share breakfast with just him. Soon the others are awake and come downstairs one by one.

The day now starts wide-open and at full volume! The tv is on the “hoot-owls” favorite animal program. The four-year old begins an animated conversation about a toy great-grandma sent. The eight-year old is competing with the six-year old for the perfect viewing position. Their mom and dad are nonchalantly enjoying breakfast. My heart melts a little more.

Someone mentions that the eight-year old is taking piano lessons. So, of course, he has to display his skills at the piano. Then, of course, the six-year old has to take a turn, as well as the four-year old. Their dad does too! While dad is playing the piano, the six-year old decided he needed to practice his drum skills at the same time. The four-year old whines because she can’t get her way with something and the eight-year old eggs her own. Their mom and PaPa are spinning the electronic globe listening to information, music included, about the country her little family will soon be traveling to.

It’s only 8:30 a.m. and as I look upon this chaos I think… this is true, this is honorable, this is just, this is pure, this is lovely, this is commendable, this excellence, this is worthy of praise. I think about what the future may hold for my daughter’s family as they surrender to full time missions in a country halfway around the world. I think about how God is in the midst all, and my heart melts even more.

Perhaps I lost some sleep among the chaos, but the joy I found was priceless!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that you are in the great and small things. Help me to remember Lord that where ever you are, there is something worthy of praise, even in chaos. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.

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