This morning, I could have slept in for another hour. Instead, my ginger-haired girl tiptoed her way into my room, discovering an unopened package of Easter candy on her way to my side of the bed. “Mama! We didn’t eat all the Pez from our Easter baskets!” she boomed. My youngest then danced into the room, wide-eyed and excited for more Easter-themed sugar. I groaned, tossing my covers off and sat up. I did not want that candy ripped open and for both girls to have a sugar high before 8am. “Give me the candy,” I said gruffly. I took it and stuffed it away. I was not at all gentle in how I spoke to them this morning. While I drank my coffee, and my girls were eating their breakfast, I apologized for being such a grump. In their sweet little voices, they both assured me by saying, “It’s okay, Mama.” But how often do I blow up at them for them being little people with their own wills, not acquiescing to my own, especially if what they’re doing isn’t wrong? I read Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel a while back, and I still think of this fantastic quote: “Childhood is the time that God has set aside for children to work the ‘ding dong’ out of themselves.” It’s so completely true. I don’t need to get so crazy wound up over silly things I should just be laughing at instead.
Dear Lord, help me to be patient with my girls (and with my husband). Help me to speak life-giving words to them, to treat their hearts tenderly, and to swallow my knee-jerk reactions that come out angry or impatient. Please help me remember that I am your representative of grace, patience, integrity, forgiveness, kindness, and gentleness.