THIS is not the grand herald back to the blog I have been anticipating.
Today, I'm feeling cloaked in guilt and failure, and it's barely afternoon.
You see, it's been a rough morning at "the office".
My eldest child accidentally spilled a large glass of apple juice, leaving a huge mess on the table, her brother, her brother's blanket, and her brother's beloved Curious George. This sent her brother into a meltdown of massive proportions. Hurrying to clean the sticky mess and calm the wet and hysterical child, my own breakfast- toast- was left in the toaster too long. As I fiddled with the new washing machine, changed Carter into new pajamas, and refilled the thirsty girl's glass of juice, a dark cloud began to hover over my attitude.
With laundry going and kids now enjoying breakfast calmly, I attempted to remake my breakfast. No sooner had my toast popped up than another "catastrophe" arose. Our son, who is taking strides toward potty training, makes a huge, smelly mess in his pull-up. This is a conversation we've had with him SO many times recently. I expressed my disappointment and he "promised" to tell mommy before his next poopy.
I cleaned him up, cleared the breakfast table, and looked over at my unbuttered, now-cold toast on the counter. I thought about what an inconvenience my children had been this morning, as I attempted to salvage my breakfast and my deteriorating attitude.
Both kids are recovering from colds, left only with the residual cough that lingers for-freaking-ever, each cough soon sounding like nails on a chalkboard. This surely contributed to the irritability and bickering taking place in the playroom as I finally had something to eat. After finishing, I made my way upstairs to mediate the troubled children. In between coughs, they make their demands. They want to play Legos, but MOMMY, I CAN'T OPEN THIS BOX. MOMMY, I CAN'T FIND THIS PIECE. MOMMY, I GOT A SCRATCH. Five minutes later, Legos are old news. They want to watch The Wiggles instead. But not THAT Wiggles, Mommy, "the one where Anthony makes the bear go to sleep!" I have no idea which "one" that is. We have 15 episodes on our DVR. I'm clearly taking too long to find it as Carter bursts into tears.
I abandon the Wiggles mayhem and decide to get Kendall dressed for the day. Except I can't find the ONE undershirt I need for her to wear. I look EVERYWHERE. Under beds, through drawers, in laundry baskets, coming up empty each time. WHERE HAS IT VANISHED!? I swear, if one more thing goes wrong today...
And then, I smell poop. Someone dirtied his pull-up AGAIN. I step aside to collect myself, and then I let him have it. I raised my voice and he burst into tears as he looked me in the eyes. He cried as I hastily wiped him up and put a fresh pull-up on him. And instantly, I felt guilt set in. I am so disappointed in myself for letting this morning defeat me.
I sent the kids to the playroom and sat down to get right with God. My Bible opened to Galatians 5:22-23. "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." I'm pretty sure I was devoid of every one of these this morning. I brushed tears away as I asked the Holy Spirit to take control of my day.
As I did this, my son came down the stairs bearing a picture he had drawn. Despite my hostility toward him earlier, he said he had made it for me. "Who is it?" I asked. "It's me and sissy and Mommy." I gave him the biggest hug, and asked him to forgive me for yelling at him earlier. His hand gently patted me on the back.
I grabbed a book I was given years ago called "The Mom Walk" by Sally Clarkson and perused the prayers. This one seemed to fit my day....perhaps it will encourage you when "one of these days" happens to you- as it will.
Dear Gracious Father,
How thankful I am that You have covered me with Your unconditional love and acceptance. Help me to dwell in the freedom I have as Your child to rest in Your grace, even amid my own immaturity and failures. Help me to live in the knowledge that You are ever cheering me on and supporting me in my journey toward Your beautiful character. May it become more evident in my life bit by bit. Help me to extend that sweet grace and love to my children so that they may perceive the life-giving love You have for them by learning it from me.
Because of Jesus' grace I come to You.