She stood on her little stool in the bathroom, pieces of her curly hair bouncing across her forehead as she brushed her teeth. She paused and looked at me with with an earnest expression that comes from a state of deep contemplation. She opened her mouth and the conversation went as follows:
Alex: Mommy, why aren’t you my friend anymore?
Me: Where in the world did you get that idea from? I’m your mom, the first friend you’ve ever known. I love you very much.
Alex: Well, because you get angry at me. Yesterday you got angry at me. You can’t get angry at daddy, me, or Lily Girl. Friends are nice to each other. You have to be nice to us.
Mommy: We all get angry sometimes honey. That doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. Sometimes mama gets frustrated because you’re not a very good listener. But I love you very much OK?
Alex: Ok mama. But don’t get angry with me today. Just be kind OK?
Me: Ok, my love. I will do my best.
So that happened this week. Sure I can view it as my dear old threenager lecturing me because she didn’t get her way about something, and to a certain extent that’s true. But that ‘yesterday’s anger’ she referred to was very real. The night before this heart-to-heart took place, I distinctly remember getting so upset that I had clenched fists and angry eyes. I was furious and had to remove myself from the room just to keep it together.
The sad part is I don’t remember what caused this intense feeling to bubble up inside me. Unfortunately I feel as though it’s happened quite a bit lately as my daughter has tested my patience and I have responded extremely poorly. It hurts my heart to know that my smart, aware, and observant little girl absorbs such negativity from her own mother.
One of my favorite artist/authors is Ruth Chou Simons of http://gracelaced.com/ . She coined the Instagram hashtag #motherhoodissanctifying, and this was certainly one of those moments.
Why do I have so little patience towards those closest to me? Why do I have so little patience for my three-year-old child?! Is something really wrong with me?!
I recently shared these thoughts with a dear friend of mine, and bared my soul about the guilt I felt. I told her that I prayed and prayed, and sincerely tried my best to be a more patient parent. I was downtrodden and discouraged because it seemed like progress was not being made at all, and I didn’t want this despicable side of me to be all my children would see. This individual is a wonderful and patient mama in my eyes, and the kind of woman and wife that I only strive to be like one day. So it certainly surprised me when she shared a few stories of having outbursts when her children were younger or losing her temper more times then she cared to admit.
During our talk she reminded me that I am seeing her now, and not the person she was then. She also reminded me that just because God doesn’t seem to answer a prayer immediately, doesn’t mean that we have been overlooked. “Patience is cultivated,” she said. “Patience is cultivated.”
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
nothing.”James 1:4 NKJV
These wise words from my friend preceded the conversation I had with my child by some weeks, so clearly I still have a long ways to go in the patience department! However, I am realizing more and more how important it is for me to lean on God and not my own understanding. I know I want there to be an immediate change, but sometimes there is a process to things that we don’t always want to face or admit.
I know there are going to be plenty more days where I feel like I screwed everything up as a mom, but then there’s grace.
Holy, freely-given, and gladly received grace. Grace I often forget to extend to myself, but it’s the same grace that I see my child give me, even when mama is very, very, very mad.
In the trenches? Back up against the wall? Tears streaming down your face? Take a deep breath mama bear and repeat after me: patience is cultivated!!
Patricia A. Taylor is the proud wife of an amazing godly man, and mama to two precious girls. After having her first child she realized that motherhood, like life, is a journey best shared with others! Her heart’s desire is to cultivate a down-to-earth and faith-filled space where real experiences are shared, and sincere encouragement is given. Visit www.lifeofaministermom.com and join her on this faith-filled adventure!
5 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicatedalways in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondersall his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
This passage of Proverbs is a bit steamy as we read about marriage. A partnership for life! Often times, society will have us to believe that marriage isn’t until death do we part, but its more like until I can’t take anymore, then I part! Marriage is a covenant between three folks, God, man, and woman. Should for some reason, the covenant becomes shaky, cracked, or broken, we gotta remember that all parties matter. A partnership only works and is a true partnership when all parties involved are active, present, and doing their jobs! In a marriage its just that simple…..the husband should focus on pleasing the wife, the wife focus on pleasing the husband, and together, they both focus on pleasing God. For if God is pleased, the rest will fall into place.
I’ve been with my life partner, my husband for 16 years, and during those times time, I’ve wanted a divorce. It’s when times were hard, whether at my hand or his, I couldn’t find the extra umff to carry on. When I finally realized that it wasn’t about him, but it was about me seeking God, asking Him to change me, and to give me understanding for my husband, that’s when the turn-around began.
There’s no magic trick to marriage……just a willing heart to follow God, and the rest will come.
On the back row of the school bus, I’d been watching this girl who was well liked, but not popular. She was cute, but stood out. She didn’t blend in, there was something different there. I went up to her, not really knowing her or what she was all about and said..”you wanna be best friends?” Looking back at me, sizing me up, looking me up and down, she said, “yeah”. Twenty-nine years later….she’s still my very best friend. Friendship is one of the greatest gifts given to man-finding the one(s) who share your ups, downs, dreams, and despair. But among women-friendship is a special treasure, finding that one gem or rare stone, is well worth it. A sisterhood that plays out in sororities, clubs, ministries, it helps to have a true friend.
What makes a true friend;-honesty-she’ll tell you when you’re fat! -Dependable-she’ll arrive at your doorstep for support, even after you’ve said you don’t need her to come. Supportive-she’ll listen to your gripes and complaints about the rotten boyfriend she told you to dump 2 years ago. Objective-she won’t agree with all your decisions but will give objective feedback and scenarios so you’ll be able to do what you think is best.
God loves us so much that he gave us friends. The very best friend in Jesus Christ!
John 15:15-I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. A friend that died for us so that we could live, love, and share his sacrifice with others.
Why pray? communicating with God, our Father, through the name of Jesus, using scripture, is THE most powerful tool we have against the satan.
Should I pray? yes.
How? by simply speaking your heart to God. Simply communicating to Him desires, fears, hopes, needs, passions, for you and for others. Prayer isn’t just a time for us to dump on God, but a time to be intimate with Him, a moment to be open, honest, and transparent…after all, He already knows.
Is there a guide for prayer?-Matthew 6:7-13
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Can you pray with me? sure!
Father, in the name of Jesus. Today was a good day. Even if it wasn’t, we still proclaim that it WAS a good day, because you made it! Lord, we are soooo thankful for your son Jesus, that came to earth to teach us more about you, and to die for our sins. Because of that, we are saved from the death of sin! We are set free! Never to die the death of sin. Father, we pray blessings over our neighbors, our friends, our enemies, our government, our family, and ourselves. We open our hearts to be the people you want us to be. We trust your plan, your direction for our life. We aren’t smart enough,or brave enough, to do anything on our own. We invite you to take a permanent place in our lives. For we know without you, we WILL NOT survive. Thank you for being who you are. We love you, honor you, and magnify your name.
Does any of that look familiar? Taking a glimpse at my day doesn’t look much different from any other wife/mother in the world! No matter what race, nationality, geographic location, or socioeconomic status, we have a ” plan” for our day. And the running theme……never taking time for yourself! I know for me, its hard penciling myself in. Taking care of my husband, children, and the household always seems to rise to the top, while my needs lag in the distance. Having a need to run the household like Bree Van de Kamp…perfect and perky, all while wearing pearls is a goal most of us try to acheive.
But being perfect in God’s eyes is what I nowstrive for. I had become desperate for alone time, for me time, for personal time…just to hear my own thoughts, to seek God for MY benefit, to see what’s in store for me. Desperation is a barren place, where most of us don’t wanna be. The definition alone-“feeling, showing, or involving a sense of hopelessness”, is like a dirty secret we dare not utter, but that’s where I was. One thing I’ve learned, if I suck, it’s pretty much down hill for the family! So being desperate led me to seek after God more and more. I became deserate for him……a desperate housewife.
Psalm 142:25-7 (NIV)
5 I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. 7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
We all may know the story of Job in the Old Testament. Beginning in Job Chapter One, the bible describes an upright man, who loved the Lord and stayed away from evil. It goes on to say how Job was successful and prosperous because of his relationship with God. As the lesson goes on we see that Job’s great health, his wealth, his children, his possessions, his status was snatched away from him in an effort to “prove” his faithfulness and love for the Father. Fast forward through all this, Job goes through his trial and all that was lost was doubly restored. Of course this story of restoration is great and amazing, gives encouragement and hope, but to who? The Job Lesson is really meant for whom? For Job, for his family, for his friends, for his foes? Why does God allow one to go through a major trial and to come through it better off than they were before?
I believe that yes, the lesson is to build one’s faith and trust in the Lord, but its also for the on lookers who may not believe in the power of God to see his perfect glory! Job had tons of nay sayers around him while he was going through. Lots of them wanted him to “curse God and die”, but he refused. And thank God for his refusal. His refusal led to our deliverance. We see that if God can bring Job back from the brink of despair, how much more can He do for us.
So the lesson then and now is that sometimes we go through a major trial to show others the power and glory of our God. God allows us to go through a change, a metamorphosis so that we can be made new.
Remember-without change there’d be no butterflies.