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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sometimes

Sometimes when I have a terrible day, it means that my patience was lost with my kids and I spewed something ugly that I will probably see again on a future day – directed at me.

I cringe thinking about that day.

I’m human.  Everything from the Bible to the pain of a bee sting tells me so, but my own self, the difficult part of my personality that whines and cries when I don’t get my way spotlights my humanity in shocking and often loud ways.

The kids yell at me from upstairs to be tucked in, to be seen one last time before sleeping.  I tromp up the stairs, weary with the day, indignant about the disruptions: my evening, my TV show, my conversation, my glass of wine.

I throw myself down on one of their beds and grump, “Good night.”

One little minister starts to pray while the other one mirrors my grumpiness.  “Mom, why did you… she did this… I need that… I didn’t have time to… I’m not tired…”  I close my eyes to shield against the humanity, internal and external.  I have learned to ignore the bickering and complaining that we all unleash by the end of the day.  I let God take over when it threatens to overflow.  It took me a longer time to learn this than I wish it had.

The prayer continues, switches from one child to the next.  Dear God, thank you for this day, thank you for our family, our beds, vacation, for all the time we spend together.  Help us to overcome our fears, help us to have better attitudes.  Please forgive me for losing my temper, for yelling, for being mean.  Amen amen amen.

Tensions release and fade.  Heat cools.  Kids sweeten and I soften.  Things that annoyed me three minutes ago no longer matter.

Sometimes days are difficult, and we only have to look at ourselves to figure out how they got that way.  I teach my kids all kinds of bad habits just by being myself, by being imperfect, by being human.

But always, always, God is perfect, and he can perfect the imperfect days, the ugliness, the grumps and the whines.  He irons out our wrinkles.  Sometimes it only takes three minutes.

No humans are innocent in the eyes of God their Creator. Job 4:17 (NLT)

But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16 (NLT)

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