Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little things

Tonight was one of those nights. You know, those nights when everybody is ill and getting on everybody else's nerves. I think I actually heard my little one say that her brother was breathing her air. And just before I told my sweet family that I was going to move to Montana and grow Dental Floss Bushes, everything we'd been talking about in FLO Bible Study came back to me.
Spending private time with Christ. Allowing HIM to fill me so that I have something to give (you can't give what you don't have) to the people He has placed in my life. Trusting that what He says in Scripture is true...like when He tells me  not to be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to Him. (Philippians 4:6) 
 So, does this apply to times when my kids are making me crazy because they fuss and fight over stuff that they don't even care about? Does this apply when everyone gets on my nerves? Does it apply when I am just grumpy? Does it apply when my sweet husband just can not seem to understand that I am always right and he need not question me? (ha ha) The verse doesn't say "Don't worry about the big stuff" or "Bring the big stuff to God"...it says EVERYTHING.

So, tonight I did. I ordered my two precious bundles of joy to get their bottoms over to the couch "Before I count to three", threatened to sell them to the circus if they so much as came within a foot of touching eachother, promised to duct tape the mouth of the next one that spoke a word, and, with both of them staring at me with that "yep, she's finally lost it" look in their eyes....I prayed. For their benefit, I prayed out loud. I wanted to show my kids how to do it. Wanted to show them how to ask forgiveness....so that God would prompt them to see where they were falling short...so that they would see how "un christ like" they were acting. So, first, I prayed for me. That's a good place to start.  I "confessed" areas where I fall short. I "asked forgiveness" for not trying to be more like Jesus. I asked for guidance and strength, patience, understanding, grace, and mercy. I asked for God to fill me with peace so that our home could be peaceful... and my heart softened. In that moment of "showing my kids"....God showed me the truth about me. And I really prayed....out loud....open and honest before God....for my sweet babies to hear....I prayed for me, truly confessed my shortcomings, my selfishness, my fear of failure. I asked that God show me what to do to be a good mom. I thanked Him for allowing me to be Brian's mom. I thanked Him for allowing me to be Izzy's mom. I thanked him for putting our family together just the way He did. I asked Him to help us all to be examples of His love, His mercy, His grace, His patience, His understanding first to eachother, then to the outside world.  I prayed and prayed and prayed.
My kids never got restless. They never sighed or groaned.  I felt their little bodies relax as they leaned into my embrace...and when I said "amen", two little voices said "amen" after me...and they just sat ther on the couch with me....and there was an amazing peace in our home. 

Why do I doubt God? If He says "bring everything to me", why do I think He only means the big stuff?
Honestly, my day to day normal aggrivations do more damage to my witness than the "big" things. Most "big things" are short term....there's always going to be more little things waiting to sabatoge me again tomorrow.

I have learned a valuable lesson. Praying with my kids does a million times more good than shouting and yelling and threatening to sell them to the circus ever did. I think that when I got past using "prayer" to prove a point (and manipulate my kids) and REALLY prayed for our family....well, I think that...actually, I don't know what it did exactly...but I do know it was nothing short of amazing. It softened all of our hearts toward eachother. We all relaxed. No one pointed fingers or justified their actions, they simply apologized for not being nice.
 I cannot say that it has become my automatic response, but I am certain that it will as long as I continue to seek His face more and more. I do want for my knee-jerk reaction to family strife to be to pray.


Wait....I do know what praying with my kids did.....it brought us all into the presence of God. Now that's good stuff. 
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