Being a mom is truthfully my favorite job in the world. Maisy fills my life with joy, wonder, and life. She has given me purpose – if I can’t manage to do anything else fruitful with my day at least I know I’m building in to the life of a future Jesus lover and life changer.
Some days here are nearly perfect when all the kids are getting along splendidly – including each other in their worlds of make believe and sharing toys. Other days I find myself weeping at my desk because I’ve already spent all my words for the day on disciplining and it’s only 9am. Other days I find myself fishing in my head for any means of escape from my screaming toddler so I can clear my mind, practice some deep breathing, and reset in order get a grip and love on Maisy the way she so vehemently demands to be. Other days I, again, find myself weeping at my desk when I spend the day watching the other day care kids exclude Maisy all day long while she follows them around, seemingly unfazed, trying so hard to get in on the fun – it’s one thing to find out your kid has no friends at school, another thing completely to play witness to it. And other days I dwell in a state of utter disappointment at the way my daughter treats her friends as I cycle through the ways to teach her the right way.
On days such as the “other days” I find myself uttering the same two things “oh God how can I fix this” and “oh God please move in my heart to make this better.”
In this season I take comfort in the old testament. If I think about Jesus and what he would do I’m appalled at my feelings and behavior. I think to myself, “Jesus would never behave the way I just did.” But by looking into the Old Testament at the Father I feel God’s fury and pain when he’s simultaneously forced and compelled to discipline the people he so longs to have a good relationship with. I take comfort in His words, feeling like my fury and pain is a Holy anger in a way. I can feel so remorseful at losing my temper and then I read His words and feel like I’m home. Like I’m not alone. Like God so understands. Like God has already forgiven me. Like the things I do in anger are also forgiven by my daughter and that we have another moment just around the corner where we can make things right so long as we cling to the prayers that will lead us to a better state of heart. I’m no fool. I’m completely aware, especially within the art of child-rearing, that I am completely inept on my own to do a good job raising my kids. And I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful God steps into my heart multiple times a day to flood my heart with his love and joy while removing the yuck and the fire that rapidly takes over when my daughter’s attitude pushes all the wrong buttons at once. God steps in because I ask Him to.
For several weeks now I have taken comfort in my bedtime prayers with Maisy. After we read our books I turn out the lights and we both snuggle in and close our eyes while I pray. I pray as I hold my hands over our hearts, “dear God, I pray you fill Maisy’s heart with Your gentleness, goodness, and kindness. And Father, I pray you fill my heart with Your gentleness, goodness, and kindness.” Oh man does the Lord honor that prayer! I’m so thankful for his loving kindness and providing me with such wonderful gifts to get through my day! After we started praying this prayer Maisy’s general behavior made a 180 and my heart of joy, patience, and kindness stretches so much farther than I could have hoped for! Yes, this means I still snap and that Maisy still turns into… well a nasty toddler, but the change astounds me every day. Needless to say, I don’t foresee a day within the days of the rest of my life that I stop praying that prayer, though I’m also fully aware of the tendency for the human heart to forget it’s need for a Savior and we too quickly turn back inward. I pray now that even when that day comes I quickly turn back around and offer my heart back up promptly.