“I’m ignoring on you!” screams the little girl at her brother(s).

“Terrorizing your siblings is not going to turn into a competitive sport this summer!” screams the Mom.

“Mom! I’m SOOOOOOOOOO booooooooooooooooooored!” scream all vertically challenged people as often as the opportunity presents itself.

“Can I have a snack?”

“Can I have a drink?”

“I’m hot.”

“What’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner? Are there any onions in that? “

Sound familiar?

Summer days are trying.

In a super-sized family they range from glorious to gory. For those of you who have ever wondered, here’s a quick snapshot behind our curtain:

My 8 year old has HAD it with the 10 year old, and has resorted to lashing out physically. Because this is new behavior, now I have to figure out how the guy in the striped shirt survives breaking it up in the ring. As thoughts of “Where have I gone wrong?” ping pong around in my battered head, I want to decode how the Cleavers always looked so pure and happy. What was in June’s roast? Was she spiking the kid’s lemonade?

My daughter is pretty much the most dramatic person I’ve ever met. Being with her 16 waking hours each day is exhausting. Not possessing the gross motor skills to undress and then redress a doll results in a melt down for her. This happens approximately 10 times every day – and that’s just the days I insist she naps! I really can’t comment on the other days – it’s too scary for a Christian blog. But in case you don’t have a little girl, now you’ll know why when you visit someone who does, Barbie and all her friends are always naked. She’s only 4. Surely she’ll mellow out eventually, right?

Meanwhile, I have nicknamed our 20 month old “Taz” (remember the cartoon Tasmanian Devil?) because he is a typhoon of destruction. I spend half my day undoing what he has done. I’ve never been in a food fight, but now that I know Andrew, I know what it would be like to clean up after one, three times every day. And the poor little booger is getting his 2 year molars, so that means he ranges from adorable to inconsolable, and is always sporting a damp shirt (because of drool – he drools). Memories of Popeye’s Sweet Pea come to mind because he narrowly escapes death around the clock. This is good news for my hairdresser, because my hair has never stopped at subtle, little grey hairs brought on from children. Instead they turn straight to white (think Christmas tree lights) so I employ her skills every 6 weeks to help to make me NOT look like the little old woman who lived in a shoe.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of summer break, but I want to touch it, feel it, breathe it in. This time each summer I think a parade should make its way down the main street of each town to honor all the Moms who haven’t run away from home in June, July and August. And if I’m totally candid, during this parade that will never happen, I think I should get an extra tip of the cap from someone important, and heck – handsome (WHY NOT?!) strictly because of the number of children I’m in charge of.

Simmer down, Stepford wives – I haven’t completely lost it. I know how outrageously silly this rant sounds. But here’s where I’m going with this:

Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden.”

At this point in the summer, I feel depleted. I don’t want to be set on a hill. I wouldn’t mind being hidden somewhere tropical with a frosty grown up sippy-cup. But it’s August people! I would also be hidden in Syberia, if that was my only option. I truly feel like Matthew 5:14 is a little too much pressure for August. I don’t want to be showcased. Hidden sounds great.

But hiding really isn’t what the Lord has in mind for us. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts. In fact, our hearts are His throne room. And the Holy Spirit is the only way we survive August.

The next time you grab the Bandaids and Neosporin, grant yourself a minute to review some of those “let your hair down” moments summer affords your kiddos. We can go from overwhelmed to overjoyed when we see their smiling faces. This time of year might work our last nerve, but kids live for summer. Their mental video tape runs all summer long. So scrounge up what you can to make it blissful for them. Remember, we’re talking about people that an ice pop can diffuse almost any crisis they’re facing. Whoever came up with “The days are long, but the years are short” absolutely came up with it during August. Get yourself a good hairdresser and a big box of icepops, yes! But more than that employ your Bible for counsel.

James 1:12 says “….blessed is the one who perseveres under trial…”

Isaiah 42:2 says…”When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned.”

Hang tough, parents. You can do this! August 26th is truly almost here.