So, what’s a gal to do when she’s tired out from the day, from the week and she’s reached her limit? And the kids that should have been in bed an hour ago are still up, finding a blankie, reading a book… ? And she speaks harsh words as she tells them to focus on what they should be doing right now…
More harsh words as she finds one playing with the toothpaste instead of brushing his teeth. Tears spill from little eyes.
And I just feel so frustrated: I have a closet to paint, one I’ve been trying to get to for two whole days now; the reno spills over into the back sunroom, and the rest of the ‘stuff’ lies around with no home; I feel frazzled at that extra stuff everywhere; I’ve just remembered that I am responsible for the French lesson tomorrow for our coop group; the kitchen still beckons to be cleaned and tidied from the day’s activities, including hardening cookie dough on trays and bowls…
And the next child insists on playing with the cat when I tell him to get into his jammies.
More harshness from my lips. I try to explain: “I’m tired! I’m impatient! I’ve reached my limit for the day!” But how can a little one really understand that?
“Mommy, you’re mean!” Tears from a second little one.
That’s how they process and understand it.
And then I wonder what I am supposed to do as a woman after God’s own heart? How am I supposed to push through fatigue and use words full of grace at this hour, in this space? I imagine that I am supposed to pray. Because I simply do not have it within me to act in love. I probably need to call out to God for that last ounce of love, that last ounce of grace so that I can put my children to bed with loving words, as opposed to harsh ones. How, God? You promise to provide, promise to meet me where I am, and yet how come I don’t come to you to ask for what I need?
The battle with the flesh is hard. I don’t feel like asking for help. I don’t feel like stopping to pray.
I just want children to go to bed so that the house can be quiet. That’s it.
I JUST WANT TO PAINT THE CLOSET. That’s it.
I just want to be able to get something done! That’s it.
Is this too much to ask at the end of a day?
Perhaps it is. Perhaps by insisting on my own way, my own needs, and by refusing to stop to ask Him for what I need, I miss the opportunity to experience God’s grace and provision in the moment.
Ann Voskamp at aholyexperience.com speaks of using gratitude to melt the hardness of our hearts, to combat feelings of stress or anxiety. I didn’t forget that. I just didn’t want to do it.
“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want…. the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Gal.5:17, 22-23
Perhaps by not going to the source of Life, I missed an opportunity to experience a miracle.
For “[he] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Eph.20
Jesus, thank you for loving me despite my weakness, my failures. Please help me turn to You even when I don’t feel like it.