It wasn’t a particularly trying day. Well, until I got the text that said he’d be home late. And then, all of a sudden, my day was going horribly. It took my two-year-old son to remind me that Jesus loves me – and him! – even in the midst of my sin and anger.
Our day started out like normal – nurse the kiddos, breakfast, get dressed. Then I threw dipes on the line and piled kiddos into the car to get the co-op order for the week. Aside from slamming each other with their electronic books and giving each other routine “oweees,” it went pretty well.
After lunch, I got a decent nap out of them, went to get them up and whispered to Noah what we were having for snack: “Popsicles – shhh! Let’s surprise the girls!”
Popsicles went…well, messy. But I managed to get dinner started. Afterwards, the house got picked up (with their help!!) and I got a shower before the hubby got home.
…only…he was running late. A whole lot of late. I wanted his help with dinner – which is such a messy meal. I wanted his help with the kids and even just his presence and to enjoy some family time. Instead, I angrily cleaned up spilled spaghetti and rice, corrected too many times to count for throwing spoons on the floor, reminded not to put bowls upside down on hair, etc.
All the while, I watched the clock. Every minute ticked by so slowly. I impatiently texted the hubby to see when he was planning to get home (even though I knew he always lets me know after being late).
And I yelled. I yelled about spilled rice. I yelled about babies clinging to my legs. I yelled about making messes that I had to sweep for the third time that day.
And then I yelled for him to stop pulling on his sister’s shirt.
I saw his lip quiver and he started sniffling. I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me that this wasn’t the way. But I plowed on and pushed my regret away, insisting that I was in the right and my son in the wrong. (So mature, right?)
Then David walked in the door and I started giving him a piece of my mind (never mind that he had been hard at work, providing for our family!). Instead of reacting right back, he released me and said he’d put the babies down. Even then, I missed the evidence of God’s grace and care for me.
I went in to kiss the babies “good night” during story time. Noah was sitting in the rocking chair reading a book. With a huge smile on his face, he looked up at me and said, “Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me!” He started singing the song, but I didn’t hear any more. I was struggling to hold it together as my son sang the Gospel to me:
Jesus loves me.
He loves me in the midst of my immaturity and sinful anger.
He loves me in the midst of my impatience.
He loves me in the midst of my begrudging the three little treasures He’s given me.
He loves me in the midst of my unkindness to my husband.
As His child, He loves me through my poor choices and sin, training me to act more like Him.
How can I not show the same patience, kindness, love, and forgiveness towards my son? Oh, his little smile melted me and his words refreshed my heart, even as they convicted me – how did I show my son Jesus today?
Rather than all the guilt that could pile up on me for how I failed, I felt peace. Peace because knowing that Jesus loves me also means He will help me: I can choose differently next time, even as I encourage my son to do the same.
Have you had one of those “aha” moments in parenting? What was it?