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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Receiving an F

If ever there was a day that God was trying to see how I was applying my skillz in patience, today was that day. 

I received an F. 

I failed. I forgot. I froze. I flipped. I fainted. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but I'm positive that would have been less embarrassing than how my children behaved out at lunch. 

Wyatt and Claire are really good out in public. I can typically give the look and they quit. Or, if times get really tough, I can break out the spanking threat and they straighten right up. 

Today, I pulled that card and had to actually use it. I was beyond aggravated.  "I am so over this" actually came out of my mouth today. Much, much later in the day, but still. 

After the bathroom shenanigans we returned to our seats and I immediately realized things weren't going to get better. They were hungry, compounded with sadness and what I think was embarrassment too, and the result was just going to be even more disasterous. We got our order to go and I left Ryan to wait until it finished. I took them to the car and something divine happened. 

I carefully chose my words. I wasn't angry and (yelling) giving demands. I was calm, but stern. This is when I secretly wished Ryan had witnessed my spectacular parenting because y'all I was so impressed with myself. I wanted to be Christ like. To make my words a reflection of love. To let those two little faces see me as someone who loved them in this moment, but also how disappointed in their behavior I was when they know how to act. How fits, incomprehensible slurs, screaming, and back talking are not the way we do stuff. Not the way we communicate. Like I said, I handled this situation so well. 

We made it back to Ryan's work and ate lunch and then went home. 

They were in bed in a second and both asleep before I shut their doors. The tension I was holding onto in my neck faded slowly. 

I sat there folding clothes going back over the lunch time fiasco still in disbelief. I felt like a failure. Even though my reaction game was strong, my parenting game felt weak. Then I remembered they're human. I'm human. We have good days and we have bad days. There are days when I am begging Jesus to be with me more and days when I am all thank you Jesus we are crushing this day! Today, I was begging. I was putting away those clothes and just prayed. Prayed hard that my day would improve. That I could be kind, gentle, and patient. That I would not react so quickly at the episode...Because there would be more. Oh was there more. 

I'll just go on to say that we survived the afternoon. When Ryan walked through the door Ryan he said we need to hurry and eat so we could get them to church. See, he too understood they needed to learn about obedience. I kid, I kid.  They needed some kid, playground, and other adult time. And some Bible lessons. I kid again. Kinda. 

We all needed that short break tonight and looking back with them asleep now, I realize the next time I see their little faces and bright expectant eyes that I have another shot. I have another chance to shower them with love, grace, gentleness, and kindness. I remember that am a completely broken, fit throwing, mess of a person at times, but God loves me. He forgives me. He gives me the chance to do better. To try harder. To seek Jesus more and more. And it just happens that tomorrow that is number one on my list. 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" Lamentations 3:22-23

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