I will the tension to release from my body so that I can breathe again.
I am hoping for peace and yet all I hear are the accusations against me and the guilt that rises up fast and chokes my airways.
I got frustrated. I yelled. I sighed heavily and showed my kids my disappointment. I was distant. Pre-occupied with chores and bills and email messages to respond to. I forgot once again that they are children. That they are learning.
I forgot that I am their teacher.
The house is quiet, but my heart is not. I feel the tears sting and I taste failure again.
And how will they learn kindness and compassion if I show them a short fuse and frustration? How will they learn to trust me if I am half-present, my nose in my phone to escape the chaos? And you'd like one more show? Of course, because mama needs some time...away.
My heart breaks. Because I've lost sight of my job. I've lost sight of my calling. I've treated these little ones underneath me as unworthy of my time and devotion. Unworthy of my tears and toil. Unworthy of my patience and consistency.
And yet, I know deep down that they are so very worthy. Worthy of all that I can give them and more because God created them and gave them to me for a time. He chose me as their mama. And, they deserve more than I have given. They deserve more than my half-hearted attempts.
I find the verse, long ago highlighted in my Bible. I had memorized it once. Perhaps during another season like the one I am in. When the word weary truly described me as it does now.
"Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
The beauty of God's Word is that you can taste Him in it. The words roll off my lips and God stirs my heart again.
And I soak up these words from my Savior and know that He alone will give me strength to keep doing good for my children. I cannot do this alone. I should not do this alone. His grace covers my failures. His mercies are new. And I am finally able to breathe deeply again.
And so during this quiet nap time, I contemplate what I can do on these days when I am spiraling downhill and full of frustration, with myself and with them. Would you like to read my list? It's written from my situation, but maybe it will motivate or encourage you as well?
~Pray, asking God for His strength not my own
~ Turn off the television
~ Turn on some music
~ Open up the blinds/windows
~ Better yet...get outside
~ Take a shower
~ Have a special story time
~ Bust out the play doh
~ Make some coffee
~ Put new relevant Scripture up in my home
~ Pray that the fruit of the Holy Spirit would grow in me
~ Discover a new Bible story with them
~ Do something messy
~Tickle them...a lot
~ Pray over my children
~ Build a tower of blocks and then knock them over
~ Pray some more
~ Speak words of affirmation over my children...tell them exactly what I love about them
~ Remember the years of dreaming of having children....realize I am living my dream right now
~ Have a snack picnic outside...or on the living room floor
~ Practice giving thanks....the dirty diaper means a healthy child, the laundry pile means loved ones near, the dishes in the sink mean food enough for us
~ Pray for forgiveness, thank God for His mercy and grace
I know these are simple. And yet, I also know that sometimes the most simple things can be the most life-changing and the most profound.
Lord, these children are a gift from You to me. You have entrusted me with their tender hearts, their tiny hands. May I be a safe place for them to come, free from negative looks or disappointed sighs. Lord, I know that so much of what they will learn of You comes from me. What a task You have entrusted me with. I am so unqualified and yet somehow I am the most qualified because You chose me to be their mama. Permeate this home with your presence Lord and may I be like glass that
reflects Your light and love to those precious babies.
In Jesus Holy name, Amen.