Here’s some honesty….The yelling ain’t gone so great great the past week or so. Or maybe I should say the lack of yelling.
At times I have been:
to the point of tears
I was talking to Paul about it the other night, and I confessed that the last week or two I have not been the mom I want to be. I am so afraid that all my kids will know is a mom who is all the things I listed above. That breaks my heart. It makes feel ashamed. It makes me feel embarrassed. So much so that I don’t even want to spend time with Jesus. I am just too ashamed of my behavior, of not loving two people the way he loves them.
Paul gave me a great outside look into the situation. He said, “I’ve noticed you’ve been saying ‘No’ a lot to the kids lately.”
I thought about what he was saying. He was absolutely, 100% right. All the kids had heard me saying was “NO! NO! NO!”
Then I realized I was telling them “No” because I had a bunch of things I was trying to do. I had a check list in my mind of things that needed to get done and by-golly they were going to get done.
That’s part of who I am…I am a doer. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It is who God made me.
But I was so busy doing things for my kids that I stopped spending time with my kids.
What I was doing weren’t bad things. They are things that have to be done. Washing their clothes, making them food, giving them baths, cleaning at least one bottom. But in all that I failed to read to them, make play dough sculptures, color, watch a movie, pretend to be a dinosaur or ninja turtle, or enjoy a make-believe cup of coffee.
I was just too busy doing.
My doing for my kids reminded me that I can get too busy doing things for God to the point that I forget to just be with Him. And that’s what He desires. Me to be in relationship with Him. He wants my heart. From the beginning of scripture to the end He communicates this…it is our heart He longs for. How many times do I push off spending that intimate time with Him because I am busy doing things for other people (all in His name of course 😉 ) or maybe from being tired from all the doing? Sometimes the doing has to stop, even for a few minutes, so that I can refocus and all God to take hold of my heart again.
This leads me back to my kids.
When I am so busy doing things for my kids, and even for God, I tend to forget to be the hands and feet of God to them. I cease to live out the Gospel in front of them. My focus in on other things, not bad things in and of themselves, but when they consume me they transition from being good to bad. Paul and I are our children’s primary teachers of Jesus because we spend more time with them than anyone else. Out of the two of us, I spend more time with them because I am home with them all day. They will learn how God loves them by the way I love them. What if they think God is too busy for them because Mommy is too busy for them? What if they think God is a mean tyrant who will yell at them for any and every mistake because Mommy yells at them over the simplest thing? What if they think God is an angry God because Mommy is an angry mommy?
I’m not trying to give myself an overdose of control over my children’s lives. But I do know that our upbringing shapes who we are and how we respond to things. I know that God can work despite me and my bad parenting days. I know He can work through the issues they are going to have because of mistakes I make in parenting them. But I don’t want them to think that He is too busy, angry, and unforgiving.
So this week I am taking more time to play and inviting the kids to help out with tasks that have to be done. So far (granted it’s only Tuesday) we’re having a great week. As a result, I am not only closer to the kids but also to Jesus.