I had this post half-written called “Lucy’s Lamentations”. It was supposed to make you giggle [and maybe commiserate] as I recounted the reasons my sensitive daughter cried today. I feel confident mentioning the 30 minute saga that followed after the dress she chose from her closet was deemed “not twirly enough” would have accomplished just that. You’d maybe give me a “been there” when I told you about the shopping cart crying heard round the store and control-your-child stares received.
But I couldn’t finish it. Because she was awful. And she had a bad day. And it felt like she was trying to bring us all down with her. And it felt like one of those bad morning of a bad day of a bad week cycles. But when I think about my reaction to her, it’s not really funny anymore.
I was impatient. I was quick to anger, not abounding in love. Today could have been a different day if I’d reacted differently. Reflecting on it tonight, I was reminded of something I heard in a sermon a few weeks back: the way we look at others is a great indicator of what’s going on in our hearts. And then I thought of the main point that Chuck and I taught [taught!] in Sunday School last week, “The greatest kindness to us was God sending His own son, the Son of God, so we could be with Him now and forevermore. We should share this kindness with others!”
It’s easy to be embarrassed when our children act out. It’s easy to focus on our imperfections. To try to redeem ourselves with our social images. To find solace in how we might be perceived; so much that the real mission of motherhood is forgotten. That we might raise our children to know Christ, to follow after Him, and to draw others to Him.
And when, in the everyday jungle that is raising toddlers, I find my boiling point tipped- I have to refocus on that mission. To set aside my daily ambitions and seek that greater cause. To chase after Christ and just… become less.
Less pride. Less rush. Less on the to-do list. More focus. More forgiveness. More patience.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. [Colossians 3: 12-17]