it’s not about the notepad

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When you first bring home a little bundled up infant, you can never really know how much your life will change.  I took to some of the changes easily.  There were still other adjustments that took much more time.  I still feel like I’m adjusting.  Yesterday I had a break down of pitiful note.  I knew it was silly.  I knew it didn’t matter.  I realized I finally answered a question I’ve asked myself for years, “Why can’t I have anything nice?”  I mean, why can I not have things that kids don’t mess up?  I don’t have the answer yet.

I’m about to be candid with you.  I am not perfect.  I have so many flaws.  I am daily grateful for fresh starts.  Sunday, I showed myself just how petty and selfish I am.  After church we came home, ate lunch, and started preparing for dinner guests.  I went to the store while some stayed home and napped, and others tidied up the yard and house. When the groceries were put away, I strapped on my apron and started to get busy.

The bathroom needed Airwick refills and cleaning.  Done.  The floors needed sweeping; even though I did it twice yesterday.  Done.  The kids needed to pick up their rooms.  This was attracting some resistance.  I needed some coffee.  I looked out the kitchen window to see shoes left on the ground.  I didn’t dare interrupt the small amounts of progress the kids were making in the room.  I went and fetched them myself.  That’s when I saw it.  There in the dirt, disassembled, written on with permentant marker, in a certain child’s writing; my special little notepad– ruined!  There were still salvageable pages, but it was no longer in perfect condition.

I fought anger, which turned into saddness.  I was actually ready to cry about my notepad.  I walked in the house and just handed it to Nick.  I leaned against him and then I did cry.  Parenting is the most humbling experience.  I never knew how hard it would be.  Everything changes.

Maybe you’re thinking that I over-reacted.  I agree.  I know it was a combination of hormones, exhaustion, and emotional over-load.  Not to mention my regular self.  It wasn’t about the notepad.  It was about that feeling of being completely out-of-control.  I have no control over my stuff.  I try, but children don’t always listen.  Since we’re dealing with so many personalities it’s inevitable.  Things will go array.  They simply will.

Let’s remember here that in less than thirty minutes we were about to have dinner guests!

I don’t always cry, but when I do it’s the worst possible moment and over the dumbest things.  In this case we have a notepad that happened the last straw.

I went to the bathroom and looked myself in the face.  Obsurd. Red-eyed puffy-faced mess.  Sitting on the toilet I prayed to God.  Give my the strength to endure. I know this is so stupid.  Help me get over my selfishness.  Things don’t matter this much.  Don’t let me shame and scold (the child) but make it a kind teaching.  I soaked my face with cold water.

Exit me.  Enter said child.

Thankfully I pulled it together and was able to loving explain how taking others’ property is not respectful.  Not asking is like stealing ect.  I was also, by God’s grace, able to get over it. This is not my first response normally.  I have a tendency to react instead of direct.  I share this story for a purpose.

Things huge and minuscule happen to all of us.  It’s so easy to give into our emotions and act out.  God’s plan is so much better.  He wants to teach us and grow us.  He wants us to forgive and love and teach those around us.  Mom’s need to have to focus of service and love in their child’s lives.  We all make mistakes.  Treating our children from the perspective of teaching and loving helps us tremendously.  It helps the ones we need to approach even more.

Will you join me?  I want us to look ourselves in the face before we act.  I’m going to walk up to the mirror and look at myself a lot.  When I’m angry, flippant, sad about silly things;  what do I look like to the one I’m about to approach?  Do I look like a loving teacher?  Is there any Christ coming out?  Do I need to sit on the toilet and have a praying time-out?  Do you?  Let’s serve our homes in love.

It’s not about the notepad.  It’s about what we do with the torn up pieces.

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