Another night…another post that isn’t what I had planned. But isn’t that life? That some things just don’t go as planned?
I did not plan on having this day with my children. I didn’t plan on my agitation increasing as the day wore on and finding them wriggling further and further under my sensitive skin. I didn’t plan on attitude and outbursts and losing my own temper and behaving in ways I certainly would never allow from them. And rather than the hand of correction, I must bear the weight of my own guilt and shame and physical punishment seems it would be easier to bear.
I didn’t plan on having to keep my five year old home from ballet because she would refuse to do her school. I didn’t plan on having to do school on Friday, a day we typically reserve for outside classes or other fun stuff.
But that’s the day I got. From God or from Satan or just from our own sinful hearts, and we found ourselves at four o’clock worn out and wounded by the day and by each other. And I found myself at the cross, asking forgiveness. Again.
I sat them down and repented. I asked their forgiveness for my own sin and spoke to them about what theirs had been. We agreed to start fresh now and work for a better day tomorrow. And then I hugged them. And all the stress and frustration and irritation started to melt away.
Why is it I never think to do that when I am angry and when their behavior cries out for it? Lord, help me to draw them close when I want to push them away. Help me to hug them as often as I feed them* and remind them often throughout the day of my love for them. Only by your grace can I do this thing called parenting.
Tonight, the oldest is at ballet. Matt and the middle two are Christmas shopping. And I am home with Ellie, helping her wrap the gifts she has thoughtfully chosen for her sisters and her daddy. And we have a very entertaining conversation….
Me: Ellie, what are you getting me for Christmas?
Ellie: I’m getting you a dinosaur.
Me: A dinosaur? Really? What will I feed it?
Ellie: Well, if it’s a carnival, you’ll have to feed it plants.
Me: Oh yeah?
Ellie: Yeah. Like those ant-eater ones.
Me: You mean a Venus Fly Trap?
Ellie: Yeah. And you’ll have to train it to catch a ball and stuff.
Me: Yeah. 😛
And I laugh so hard on the inside that I want to cry. No longer tears of self-pity or frustration, but tears of delight at the gift God has given me in these children, in this daily living alongside them.
May your evening be filled with laughter and joy tonight.
*another Ann Voskamp treasure @A Holy Experience