Gentle

So about a month ago I made a commitment to blogging every week. I really love it and it feels like an outlet to me in this season where I often can’t remember what day of the week it is. But I am tired this week. Really tired. Jack is going through his three month growth spurt and it seems to be taking a lot from me physically. So we are going to keep it short this week…

A couple of days ago, I was consistently coming up short with my kids. I was irritable, impatient, easily frustrated, demanding in my expectations, and really low on grace. If you think I should be describing my four year old, you’d be about right. It was rough and at the end of the day after a battle over eating dinner I said to Jacob, “I need a minute. I am going to take a shower.” And then I locked myself in the bathroom (after one child burst through the door to ask how many bites of dinner he had left) and cried. I cried because I felt so disappointed in myself. Because I so desperately want to be a calm, collected mom. Because I want disciplining my children to be easy. Because I want to help my four year old navigate his overwhelming emotions without getting stuck in them myself. Because I want to be kind and patient with my children. I cried because I am weak. And weakness is something that is REALLY HARD for me.

After the tears had come, I realized that I am weak and imperfect and this could be the greatest gift I could ever give my children. Not that I shouldn’t try to grow and develop deeper wells of capacity and love and patience and kindness, but mommy is human and needs Jesus. Just like her kids. After letting this sink in I opened my door and called them one at a time. I pulled them on my lap and kissed them and snuggled them and said sorry. I asked them to forgive me and to tell me how I made them feel today. That wasn’t so easy to hear but then I said sorry again. I told them mommy is tired and Jack takes a lot of energy right now. I am sorry if it’s hard for them. I told them I need Jesus’ help and asked them to pray for me. I thanked them for doing their best. I told them I loved them no matter what and always will. I told them they make me the happiest I have ever been in my whole life and I am so grateful to have them as my children. And then we hugged and kissed and went to bed…a little bit lighter and hopefully more ready to start again tomorrow.

Oh the seasons of stretching that require us to collapse more deeply into God’s strength, love, acceptance, and kindness. Notice I said collapse, not strive. There is no striving with God…only release and receiving what He already longs to give. Grace and peace to you today, my friends. Be gentle with yourself as He is surely gentle with you.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. - Isaiah 40:11