Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sweet Mercy

So. Yesterday was horrible. HORRIBLE. A "Calgon-take-me-away" kind of day. You know that saying: "I've thought about running away more as an adult than I ever did as a child?" Yeah. That was me yesterday.

It all started when Peter woke me up at 6:30 because the littles were stirring and he needed to get ready for work. I normally wake up around 5:45 each morning to have a few minutes of coffee and quiet time before the chaos commences, so I should've been thankful for those extra 45 minutes of sleep. Instead, however, I was fuming inside because I felt like Peter should've just made breakfast for the kids. (Now that I am clear-headed, I can see that he needed to get ready and go to work. He is the bread-winner of the house. Duh. But yesterday at 6:30 I was pretty mad.)

Things basically went downhill from there. Because I had slept in (if you can call 6:30 "sleeping in"), I didn't have time for coffee or prayer before the kids' feet hit the floor. And once their feet hit the floor, they are off and running and they don't stop. I felt completely off-balance all day.

Jonah was uncharacteristically whiny and defiant. Every time I asked him to do something, he would either whine about it or he would scream and yell at me. And then, because I'm such a great mom, I would yell back at him. I know. I'm setting a good example.

And Vivienne. Sweet Vivienne. She was her normal sassy self. Which I can usually handle. But yesterday, I just couldn't deal. Could. Not. Deal.

And then the screaming and fighting between the two of them. Y'all. It freakin' sent me over the edge. And to top it off, no one took a nap yesterday. I swear they were conspiring against me to see how far over the edge they could push me. It was bad.

I know that children are a reward from the Lord, but sometimes I wonder what I'm being "rewarded" for...

When Peter got home, I could hardly bear to talk to him because it had been such a frustrating day. And then I did something really spiteful. Just before bedtime, we usually turn on a tv show for the kids to watch so they can wind down. Yesterday, Peter had fallen asleep on the couch during that show so that when it was over, I was the one left to do the whole bedtime routine. (I have a love/hate relationship with bedtime. I normally count down the hours till bedtime but the actual bedtime routine makes me want to claw my eyes out. One more drink, one more trip to the potty, ten gazillion questions during story time, jumping on the bed during prayer time... You get the picture.) Anyway, as I walked past the couch and noticed Peter sleeping, I "accidentally" kicked his leg. Yes, yes, I did. I cannot believe I am admitting it, but it's true. See? I had a lot of issues yesterday...

I find it interesting that several of my friends have been passing around an article today about how satan loves to steal our motherhood. Because that's exactly how I feel about yesterday. Satan was trying to steal the joy that being a mom gives me. And I let him. I was so flustered and angry and mental that I didn't even want to pray about it. I just wanted to stew in it and feel sorry for myself. And all the while, I'm sure satan was laughing his evil head off.

This morning, I woke up early and made the decision that I would have a good attitude today. No matter what. I grabbed my favorite cup, filled it with liquid gold, and sat down with my Bible. I prayed specifically that the Lord would fill me with His Spirit. That he would give me kindness and peace and patience and joy.

(I also told Peter that my goal for the day was to not be a witch. With a capital B. Yikes. And after yesterday, we both agreed that it was a good goal.)

Anyway, do you know what happened today? Jonah was still whiny and defiant. Vivi was still sassy. They still fought with each other. But God was faithful to fill me with the Holy Spirit. My attitude was completely different today than it was yesterday. I didn't lose control one time today. I kept calm in the midst of chaos, which is no easy feat. It's amazing what a change in attitude and some time spent in prayer can accomplish.

You know what I'm most thankful for though? God's mercy. In 2 Samuel 24:15-16, the Lord had had enough of Israel's rebellion. He "sent a pestilence... and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan and Beersheba died." The Israelites had constantly rebelled against God, refusing to obey Him and turning to other gods. The Lord could have wiped out the entire race. I mean, He had given them plenty of chances. But verse 16 says that He showed mercy. He told the destroying angel: "It is enough. Now relax your hand."

God's mercy. If He can bestow mercy on the people of Israel in all their defiance, He can bestow mercy on me. No matter how awful I act, I can humble myself before Him and ask for His forgiveness and His grace. Hallelujah.

Being a mom is a sacrifice. You have to give up a part of yourself in order to serve the little people in your life who can't do for themselves. It is not easy and it's not always fun or full of joy. But like David said in verse 24 of 2 Samuel 24, "I will not offer sacrifices to the Lord my God which cost me nothing." I am choosing to die to self, to give up my selfish desires, for the children that we have been blessed with. Obviously I am not perfect and I make a lot of mistakes. But God is faithful to lift me up and give me what I need each day.

Where would I be without His sweet, merciful love...