Friday, July 12, 2013

Reality check, and it hurt

A moment of solace by the river yesterday...

Yesterday was not good. It ended around 9ish last night in my big girls bedroom. I was at my absolute limit. One child's behavior had been off the charts awful ALL day, another child is learning to say "no" and screamed for about 45 minutes while I tried to deliver a meal to a friend who is due with a baby any day. Add to that some intense stress over moving that I just cannot seem to let go of - even though I know that stress helps no one and nothing. I know that! But back to the bed room. It was late and I had gotten everyone bathed and jammied and my nerves were just about as frazzled as they could get, when the big girl mouthed off to me...again. The dam of hot tears I had held in all day just collapsed. My girls stopped being naughty on the spot and my little one said, "Mommy crying". Yep. Again.

I couldn't think of what to say to them or how to explain how sometimes parenting and being an adult is SO difficult - especially after a week of doing it alone 24/5, all with a happy heart in joyful service to the Lord. I couldn't explain to them why outside stressors involving moving and finances was weighing on me. And, they really don't get why their sin is such a problem right now... So, I had only one option and I took it. I sat down and put one girl on each leg and we prayed. I cried and asked God to forgive me for being angry and short with my kids. I asked Him to redeem Ava's heart and show her the need for a savior, Jesus. We prayed about peace and how awful sin is to have in our home. Both kids were silent in those moments and neither of them even tried to wiggle free per their usual. So I prayed on. We prayed for Ava's bad dreams and Auggie's naughty saying "no" habit. I asked God, right there in front of my kids, to teach me how to love them like He does. And I just cried. We said "amen" and my little one looked up and said, "You wipe you tears" and brushed a big ol' fatty hot tear off my cheek. I love that kid. Ava had a look on her face like she could join me in crying - so I just asked her, to her heart, "How can we love each other so there isn't all this yelling and ugliness?". She didn't answer. But I am thankful for the moment of tenderness and I pray that one day she will know Jesus and confess of her sin. Everyone was in bed after that, and I followed shortly thereafter and we all slept til after 8am this morning. Amen.

But, perhaps, another reason I was feeling so very low last night had nothing to do with my childrens behavior or moving stressors. In fact, I know it was something else - it was a tough reality check. You see, we've been doing some pantry living for a few weeks now. No grocery shopping, no spending money, only eating and using what we have around the house or what is given to us. It's starting to wear on me. I'm spoiled and used to extras and special treats and grocery shopping whenever I need to. It's a pride thing almost. I love making meals for people and suprising my own family with delicious meals and lately it's been a whole lot of ramen, mac n' cheese, hot dogs and mystery casseroles. For which we are VERY thankful to have - but its out of our norm.  Then last night, I had some nice reality slap me in the face in the form of a free cookout at the park.

These children and these people have so little. They live in my city, some on my street. What we are doing now with the scrimping and saving and constant feeling of pressure is their norm. My selfishness and lack of faith makes me ill. My heart breaks for my wrong thinking and pity parties over not having any more milk this week or name brand coffee. So, So, stupid. Not to mention the spiritual needs...

I met families last night who had next to nothing and came to the cookout for no other reason except to have one meal. Refugee families and even some in our working bracket. And I knew it was happening...but, it hasn't been in my face for a long time.

It's been a week of learning for sure. I fail so often and God is gracious and forgiving. His mercies are new again today, like He promised. And, in a few hours I'll pick my biggest girl up from her time at VBS and I'm praying for opportunities to love her and speak sweetly. Life continues on and stresses come and go - but, we are so rich and full from our Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm clinging to Him today. He cares. And you know what else? Chicken nuggets and canned peas sounds pretty good for dinner tonight. I don't think I've ever been more thankful for pantry food! 

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