So, right now, my son, after a short physical outburst is now in his prolonged, slowly quieting crying phase. “Moooommmmyyyyy! I…don’t…want…naptime….Ooohhhh….AHHHH!” That was an exact quote from two seconds ago. Now he’s making weird sounds, yelling “RAA!! UGH! MMMMGURGLIT! MOOOOMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!”
All because it’s time for nap. If he doesn’t get one, he’s grumpy and mean. You have no idea how mean a three year old boy can be if he doesn’t get his nap. But even though he needs it, and he always wakes up feeling better, my son almost ALWAYS throws a fit these days when naptime rolls around.
Today, I find myself throwing a little fit of my own. Maybe not quite so loud and outward focused, but inside I’m grunting and groaning because I don’t want to do the things that need to be done. “WAAA! I hate these stupid dishes! RAA! I don’t want to write this paper for school! UGH! Always doing the laundry, sweeping the floors, cleaning up after everyone! MMMMGURGLIT! I don’t have enough time! By the time I’ve fed everyone, homeschooled, cleaned, done homework, cleaned some more, and managed finances, I’m out of time. Writing and social stuff and fun family outings–I want to do more of those things!”
All because I’m a Mom and a student and an adult. If I do these chores, my family is taken care of. If I do my paper, I will feel satisfied in completing it, like I always do. Finances, homeschooling, cleaning, homework–these things are just part of my life right now. I will get to do my writing, and I have no lack of social stuff these days. Thanks to my wonderfully spontaneous and fun husband, we actually get to do fun family outings once every week or two.
Oftentimes, I find myself carrying out the same kinds of fits and tantrums that my toddlers throw, just in a more inward, adult fashion. I know how to keep those complaints and bitter feelings inside, or at least I know how to hide them for a while until it comes time to “vent” in a more sophistacted way than throwing myself on my bed wailing because I don’t get to have my way all the time (which is what I actually feel like doing sometimes).
I don’t always feel the way I did this morning. I actually very much enjoy my life for the most part. My kids are awesome. My husband is awesome. We are blessed and have friends and a great church family. God is good and He has and will always provide what we need.
Having children has taught me so much about who I really am, not who I want to be or who I think I am, but who I really am. And that person can be childish, and that person would probably be childish a lot more often than not if it weren’t for a God who convicts and changes, a husband who confronts and prays, and a church that speaks truth into my life.
As I’m listening to my kid throw a fit over something that will make his day better in the long run, I wonder how my day would be better if I said a prayer for patience and joy, reminded myself of all I have to be grateful for, and decided to live my life without the bitter feelings and complaints that sometimes well up inside. Because even if I don’t let them out, even if no one ever knows they exist, those negative feelings still effect me.
So, Jesus, please give me that patience and joy as I go about the necesseties of today. Help me to remember all the good You’ve given me. Dash away those negative feelings; all I can do is push them down for them to come back again later, and that’s not good enough. I need you to rid me of the bitterness, of my grumbling spirit. Amen.