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Pass the Patience Please

Do any of you have a child that really tests your patience and who you are as a person?  You know the kind I am referring to.  Loud, rambunctious, needy, emotional, dramatic; these are just a few of their adorable qualities, I’m sure of which comes from the father’s side of the family.  Both of my children are as unique as they are alike.  And each of them know how to push my buttons….different buttons, of course, for each child.   A little over 5 years ago, I gave birth to a little boy who came out moving and has never sat still since.  It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and a battle of wills.  And I can’t say that it’s a fight I often win.

Last week, after picking the kids up from school and the car door was closed, the usual 2:45 fighting commenced.  Now this was nothing out of the ordinary, because they argue like cats and dogs.  But, by this point in the week, I had had enough.  My patience was in the red and I was not willing to hand out any mercy.  Sure, they were tired and had been at school all day.  They were probably hungry and ready for a break.  But that didn’t matter, because I did not care.  The punishments were dealt and the tears began to flow.  I yelled and we continued home.

I know this story doesn’t sound glamorous or probably even blog-worthy.  But sometimes the Lord uses the most ordinary, mundane moments of life to reveal himself; or in this case, myself.  My thoughts were swarming with “I can’t do this” and “I can’t handle him”.  Then I was simply reminded of the grace and mercy that has often (daily) been shown to me.  Maybe I am the child of God that requires a lot of attention and can be emotional at times.  I can be dramatic and take a simple situation and blow it out of proportion.  Am I loud and outspoken when I should be silent and prayerful?  I can be the unruly kid that doesn’t listen and complains when following directions.  I am no different than my children.  I’m not better or above them, because we all need more of Jesus.

Now don’t misunderstand me.  I believe in Godly discipline and correction.  We as parents are called to address sin and behavioral issues because we love our children.  And we love them enough to call them out on it.  But, speaking as someone who was born without a drop of patience, I find myself constantly in need of it.  Yes, kids can be kids, but I am also in the process of being molded…..just as much as they are.  As a mother, my roots have had to deepen.  My trust in the Lord has had to increase.  My faith and sanity have been tested and without knowing Jesus, I wouldn’t be capable of anything.  So, I’m learning that even on the toughest days, He is building something in me.  Something far greater than myself.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit, who equips us for the biggest battles and even the small ones at home.

My prayer for myself and every mother out there is that we do not grow weary in well doing.  That we would remain strong and brave, even in the face of tears and insecurity.  That we would tap into the only source that can truly sustain us and empower us to be who we are called to be.  Motherhood is not for the weak of heart.  Yet, it was not created to be done alone.  I will be the first to admit, I am constantly asking the Lord for help.  But, I have learned, that in my weaknesses He is strong.  He can take someone so impatient, like myself, and give them the ability to overcome.  He can help me extend grace when I don’t feel like it.  He enables me to say I’m sorry when I overreact.  He lovingly reveals my sin and then comforts me when I repent.  It’s amazing to know that Jesus loves us even when we get it wrong.

My goal is that the love for my children will not be based on perfection or meeting a set of standards.  But it will be rooted in the blood of Jesus.  That I will be able to love like He does and look at them through His eyes.  That on their roughest day, I will love them even more.  Because that’s when they need it the most.