Yesterday was one of those days.
One of my children had somehow found a description of the newest Mario Party game (the one that’s not released yet) online and was sneaking off every chance he could to read it. (I don’t know how he even got access to it. We have our computer on super-lockdown with both Disney Circle and K9 Web Protection.) When I went upstairs to nurse Theo and to put him down for his morning nap, I asked this child to check over his brother’s Daily Learning Notebook pages, so he could keep working in my absence. Instead of obeying me, he invited his brother to watch him play a typing game on the computer.
Another child wanted to do anything but school and got off to a very slow start on his school tasks. He was sassy and disobedient. While on his final warning, he got angry at one of his brothers and shoved him hard into a side-table. Consequently, I told him he would not be able to play on the iPad during his quiet time. Later, with big crocodile tears dripping down his cheeks, he brought me a picture he had drawn showing how he felt because I had taken away the iPad. The picture showed him lying in the road, bleeding.
My other blond moppet who, in his defense was coming down with a cold, was throwing tantrum after tantrum over every little thing. About a half-hour before Dan was due to come home from work, I told him that he could not have another snack because he had already had a (big) afternoon snack and we were going to have dinner soon. This little guy threw himself onto the ground, kicking, crying, and screaming, “Snack! Snack! Snack!” over and over again.
And the baby? Well, he was sweet and adorable. Thank the Lord for Theo.
As for myself, I wasn’t feeling well either, and I found myself yelling a lot. I hate yelling. I tried to find opportunities to praise my children, but there just wasn’t a lot to praise yesterday. I struggle with sharing all of this with you because I want to protect my children and not say negative things about them on the Internet. But I also want to be authentic. I want you to know that I have those kinds of days too. So often on social media, we share only the good things: images of our children playing sweetly with each other, demonstrating new talents and achievements, being examples of Christ’s light. We don’t share the negative stuff quite as much… I don’t think it’s some scheme to one-up each other or try to fake a perfect family or life. I think it’s more innocent than that. For me, it’s as simple as, “Why would I want to focus on the negative?”
I write a lot of how-to posts, partly because I enjoy those kinds of posts myself and also because I want to be helpful to other mamas who are walking a similar journey. I sometimes wonder, though, if I’m coming across as a know-it-all. I hope I not, because I will be quick to tell you that I don’t know it all. I am a sinner who is so, so thankful for God’s grace.
Today’s morning Bible devotion was titled “The God Who Forgives.” As my children pierced their scrambled eggs and brought them to their lips, I read these words.
I am the God who forgives. When you mess up, I am there to pick you up, dust you off, forgive you, and cover you with My Love.
I did not come to earth to judge you and condemn you. I came to make you free. Yes, I see your mistakes and your sins and rebellion. But I also see My precious child–forgiven and shining with My righteousness. You are My delight, and I sing over you with Love.
Especially after the day we had yesterday, my children (and I) were so grateful for this reminder. Their faces glowed in a way that can only be found in the confidence of God’s unwavering love for us. Thank you, God, for your forgiveness. Thank you for finding a way to delight in us, in spite of our wickedness. Thank you for new days with no mistakes in them (yet).
And thank you, friends, for knowing that I never mean to represent myself as a know-it-all. Because I am a humble sinner relying heavily on Jesus. (And, sometimes, coffee and chocolate.)