I am frustrated and so tired. The behavior of my kids has beat me down till I feel like a wretched, unloving, barking, tired, mom. I might as well have a warty nose and a hooded cloak, barking at anyone who comes near me, shaking my crooked finger in distaste. I don’t know if my kids are really being as bad as I think they are, or if I am overreacting because I’m exhausted?? I don’t know what to say when my kids are ugly, I don’t know how to show them their sin to bring about a perfect resolution. I secretly cringe and wonder if others say behind my back, “oh that poor Amy. She’s nice but her kids are CRAZY!” Sometimes I feel as if there is no hope for my kids, that I am utterly screwing them up and they will never remember me as a nice person. The anger that boils within me is frightening…with choice words laying right underneath the surface, begging to be let out. I bite my tongue till it almost bleeds thinking the mantra of “I will NOT the mom in Walmart that dropped the Fbomb on her kids!” I will not become a sad spectacle for passerby’s to see and gasp at.
Noah constantly pushes for more. It’s the thing I love and hate about his strong personality. He is going to be a wonderful leader because he doesn’t settle, but fights to the death for what he wants. It’s the fight to stand my ground and not give in that’s exhausting. It can last for hours and hours. For example, he really wants to eat candy all.day.long, and then barely eats his supper and complains about the selection served, or his “hunger” for anything other than what is being served. He fights for each piece, and no matter how many pieces he achieves, he pouts when the answer turns to “no.” I am constantly on him about being respectful, not being the boss, or thinking of others.
Zoey whines and is so dramatic over the smallest things. Failing to put on underwear correctly, failing to find the toothpaste (that is in the exact same location every.single.day), putting on clothes, locating socks and shoes….common sense things that send her OVER the edge daily with frustration. She follows me around whining about such things, mostly every afternoon from about 3:00 until bedtime.
As I remind them to “put others first” or “don’t do this/that,” “STOP whining!” I find myself turning the question around to me…aren’t all of us just wanting to be selfish? Aren’t we all fighting for what we want? Aren’t I whining to my friend on the phone? Am I any different at all? Nobody likes being dictated or told what to do and when to do it. I know I sure don’t! That was the whole reason I wanted to grow up in the first place! HOW can I effectively demonstrate this when I can’t even do it myself??? And did I mention I’m exhausted??
Most of the time I feel like the Lord is disappointed in me or that I could’ve always done a little more, done a better job, yelled less, been calmer, had the right thing to say at the right moment. Combatting that lie is SO hard to do. When I took these thoughts to the Lord tonight, I felt like He was answering me, “it’s all about love, kid.” HE was the exemplary servant. He ALWAYS put others first. He had every right to “me” time, but yet spent his time patiently loving (and still does) on stubborn, obnoxious, and selfish people. And because the “light of the world” is in our hearts, I believe it’s there just waiting to shine. If we can’t love others by letting Christ rule in our hearts, than who can? Maybe it’s about simply letting him take over our desires, as we know our desires will always point to one thing….US. Maybe it’s about telling my kids to let Him have a go at it when they screw up, instead of “doing better, being nicer to your sister/brother.” I think it’s about choosing to let Him be your light, instead of trying to rub two sticks together to achieve a few sparks of your own goodness.
I want to be a family that worships the Lord and sees Him with wonder and admiration. I want my family to talk about Him as if He is the most wonderful, smartest person we know. Someone who is real and who is present in our midst.
I confess I have not lived this way. I have gone back to my default, just trying to keep things together. And in return I have nothing but exhaustion, doubt, and failure. I want to understand grace so bad, but I can’t even seem to get past the fact that I am loved. Maybe it’s time we start letting the Lord run this house for a change. Instead of letting the monster of selfishness overtake us all, maybe it’s time to let our light shine. And I think it needs to begin with me….