Recently I mentioned Josiah's mom cautioning me against the evils of getting too busy. She said when her children were younger, the times she often looked best to the outside world were the times she looked ugliest to her family. This morning that was most definitely me. I've just been running wild this week. I'm trying so hard to get my portion of this Big Brothers Big Sisters event going (and I'm really excited about it). I've been taking the kids to VBS for the last 2 weeks (and they've loved it). I'm gearing up to get ready for going back to school next month (me...not the kids yet). So, I'm single-mom running everywhere, doing everything, leaping buildings in a single bound...no wait. Not quite that. Sounds great right? Well let me paint you a little picture of my morning.
I hit the snooze alarm 3 times this morning before finally dragging myself out of bed. I hurriedly got everyone ready, but not hurriedly enough because I was running a little late. The kids were just being kids, but that was pretty annoying to crabby, can't stand to be a minute late Mommy. So, I piled them in the car scowling and just praying, "Please God, help me calm down so I can get them to the babysitters without traumatizing them." Know what happened? We then discovered Emily had left her bathing suit at the house, and their babysitter was taking them swimming today. Did I chalk that up as a lesson-learned and accept being a few minutes later? Did I calmly tell her she would just have to skip swimming so I could get to work? Ummmm...no.
Crabby, cranky Mommy turned into a snarling, wild-eyed beast, fanged and spewing venom (thanks for the phrase Jamie..."spewing venom" is just so appropriate in some situations). I yelled...a lot. I flipped out on my poor children for not cooperating and told Emily "NO LUNCH BREAK FOR MOMMY NOW BECAUSE OF YOU!" I was supposed to go to they gym with Josiah on my lunch break, but being later would mean missing that...and obviously that was more important to me than my child's feelings. This rant lasted about 1 minute, if that, but it felt like an eternity. I started praying again...praying that he would help take the anger away. I was just so tired, physically and mentally. All the rushing for weeks has taken its toll and turned me into the very worst version of myself.
On the way back to the babysitters I apologized. I told the kids I was angry because they hadn't been cooperative with me that morning and I really need for the mornings to go more smoothly. However, being angry does not give me or anyone else the right to yell and scream. That is not the way I'm trying to teach them to deal with their anger and I asked for their forgiveness for that.
So where's the Beauty in this tale? Wonderful, wonderful Josiah...walking around behind me with a smirk on his face and picking up all my pieces as I drop them. He took Destiny to the church this morning to meet her youth group so she could go to King's Dominion with them (and got $20 out of the ATM for her for food because I didn't have time). He came by my office to get the car seats so he could pick the kids up for me today AND brought me a milkshake. He's cooking dinner (shrimp and scallops) for us so it will be ready for me when I get off and we can eat really quick and go look at a couple houses with the realtor. He's watching the kids for me Tuesday night when I have my BBBS meeting...and feeding them and taking them to see Winnie the Pooh.
Sometimes I wonder how God could reward the Beast with the Beauty, but then I remember His grace. I no more deserve everything Josiah does than I deserve the redemption of my sins, but He's given me that freely too, and I'll graciously accept both.
Lesson learned today:
- Doing a whole bunch of amazing things can be really bad if it they take your energy away from the things that are most important
- Slow down...so what if you're a few minutes late. It's not that important
- When praying for a certain virtue, God will often give us more opportunities to practice them...be prepared for it!
- I don't control the world and neither does it revolve around me...I need to stop acting like it.
Finally, If you're reading this Josiah, thank you so much for all you do for me and the kids. Thank you for the laughter and order you bring to our lives...and for really making me want to be the best version of myself. I love you.