Before waking up my girls today, I had my few minutes with God at the kitchen table. In line with my post from yesterday, I asked Him specifically for wisdom, discernment and help today. I want to be the wife and mom God wants me to be, not the one I think I should be or the one I will be on my “default setting.” I don’t say that because I think I am a terrible person or mother…I share it because like most of us, I’m not where I want to be.
I knew I would need to slow down and listen for His touch and guidance in my heart first thing. Getting my oldest daughter ready for school in the mornings is one of those testy times for me. She is very much like her mom…ahem…and has one speed. “Rivers” speed! She had asked me last night if I would curl her hair for school this morning and so I woke her up 15 minutes earlier than normal so she could get a bath and we could do her hair in time. And the fun begins…
Several times this morning, as I felt the familiar frustration from the pressure to produce the results I want from my daughter, I paused inwardly and asked Him, what do I do? See, usually I badger and lecture and fuss at her because no matter what, she just won’t stay on task in a timely manner! (As I said, I clearly identify who she takes after! I was the 12-year-old taking 40 minute showers and really didn’t understand what the big deal was!) Anyway, as my morning unfolded…as breakfast turned from eating into singing songs to our fish…as brushing teeth turned to holding little sister hostage in the closet shrieking and laughing…I felt Him leading me. I could sense Him saying to my heart, Let her miss out on having her hair curled. That is the natural consequence to her behavior when she runs out of time and can be done without you getting upset with her. Now this goes against the grain of my “default.” I had to really make a choice not to say anything to her, get on her, or remind her that she would run out of time for curling her hair if she didn’t stay on task. I just went about my business…made her lunch, got dressed myself and changed Leighton. It wasn’t easy but I did have peace. I knew she would run out of time. And oddly enough, part of me wanted her to run out. I wanted her to understand the lesson without my prodding and pressuring and fussing.
At 8:25 I told her to get her shoes on and brush her (still wet) hair, it was time to go. She asked about her hair and I reminded her that I had explained earlier in the morning she would need to stay on task if she wanted to curl her hair and she chose to spend her time playing, so we would not have time to curl or even blow dry her hair. (Yes, I checked the temp outside before I sent her with a wet head!) She frowned and was obviously disappointed for a few minutes but we just went about getting buckled into the Jeep and our normal routine of on-the-way-to-school prayers and ‘have a good day, I love you!’
I realize the specifics of this post will not be relevant to everyone, but I hope the overall message is clear. God wants to help us. He wants to give us ideas and direction and the strength to follow through. When we ask…when we pause…when we grow familiar enough with Him that we recognize His voice in our hearts, we can actually be helped! As for the small step for mommy-kind, I know it’s a small step. Last I checked only pollen is coating my surroundings, not the illusive fairy-dust of life that suddenly makes things perfect and easy (I looked high and low for a very long time for fairy dust…it does not exist). There is no magic-bullet prayer. There is one step forward, two back…there is falling flat on our face and choosing to get back up and trust God for another day. There is choosing to get alone with Him for a few minutes at the start of our day and asking for the help we will need…letting God prepare our heart to receive the guidance, wisdom and discernment He will give, whatever our circumstance.
You know what else I realize this morning as I sit on my living room floor with my baby kicking her feet at me and my four-year-old watching a DVD (decked out in yellow shirt, red skirt and white church shoes for a day at home! Leah all the way!)? I realize that even with God’s help and direction this morning, I still struggle with guilt! I didn’t yell or hassle her. I let her feel the real-life consequences for her choice this morning. But I feel guilty because she was disappointed and this is telling. Hmmm…something to pray about! My mommy-heart feels bad that she didn’t sport the cute curly hair she was looking forward to, but I know deep inside my job is not to buffer disappointment in her life. My job is to prepare her for life. And really, with God’s help the preparing will be richer and healthier done His way. Not mine.
Now, on to the rest of my day!
Proverbs 2:1-8 (the message) Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. That’s right — if you make Insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours; you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God. And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding. He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.