I feel as though I have been going through a bit of a rough patch lately, and I have really been learning a lot about myself . A few weeks ago, this little cutie started teething and rolling over, so we have been relearning naps without being swaddled and chewing on everything in sight!
I have to admit that my patience has been tried. I don't really mind tending a fussy baby--it makes getting things done difficult, but it's not like he's fussy all the time. But when the little one gets more attention than usual, then the big one starts getting whiny and acting out for attention (again, not all the time...I don't want to paint that picture). And, so, I've learned something about myself.
My allowance for whining is really low.
I could write a whole blog post on that, but I'll move on. I consider myself to be a pretty laid-back person and one who is not easily angered. But after one long weekend of always having one grumpy kiddo on my hands, I found that each day I was more quick to snap.
For our Bible study, we are going through a series on marriage, and the speaker was talking about our desires. He said that conflicts arise because of the desires that battle within our hearts; we get angry because others get in the way of our desires. It is rare that someone is brought to the point of righteous anger because they are offended that another person has sinned against God. Usually, I am "offended" that someone else thwarted my plan to get this done, or to keep this clean, or to drink my coffee...or to sleep.
We are torn between desires for God's kingdom and our own kingdom.
The easiest thing I could do as a new-to-the-scene stay-at-home mom is to set up my own little kingdom in my household. This is how I do it. This is how I want you to act. This is how I expect the day to go. Instead, I have the humbling responsibility of being an ambassador to my children. "So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'" My job--weather at home or out in the world--is to represent Christ to those around me. The difference is that when I am at home, these little people that I spend so much of my time with will have their view of God largely shaped by me.
I don't want these precious souls to think of their Heavenly Father as harsh or unforgiving. I don't want them to feel like He is unconcerned with the details of their lives or that they are unimportant to Him. I want them to see His love shine through me. I want His grace to flow through me. When I discipline them, I want there to be that pleading entreaty of, "Come back to God!", humbly and gently leading them back to the right path.
So much of disciplining my child's heart leads to disciplining mine.
What a journey I have embarked on. I feel like a foal walking on spindly, wobbly legs. There will be stumbles and falls to be sure, and I envision rough terrain before me. But I am so thankful that I have a Guidebook and the ultimate Father to direct me and give me the strength to do hard things.