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!
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.
For this Women of Wisdom Wednesday our topic is integrity.We all know what integrity means; “doing what’s right when no one is looking, having strong moral character and uprightness, not being afraid of doing what’s right, even if you’re the only one doing it…….all the things our mothers taught us during our youth.
Now that we’ve had several chances to walk the walk, what does integrity mean to us today? Does integrity mean walking what seems like a mile to return your Target shopping cart? Returning the cash that a stranger dropped right at your feet? Informing your neighbor that your kid hit their mailbox when they stole the car!? (YIKES)
Today it seems integrity is a lost art. The nightly news proves it’s been replaced by corruption, selfishness, and pride. However at the end of the broadcast, “the person of the week”, may show a glimmer of hope. Someone who has stepped outside of themselves to be a helper, a supported, a friend, a person of integrity. But is that it? Is that all we get? One person per week that has gone over and beyond to rescue a kitten from a tree? No offense but there has to be more of us who want to honor God by living a life of integrity. Proverbs 28:18 (ESV)-“Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall. God’s plan for us is to be delivered. He sent Jesus for that reason. To deliver us from our sins and to give us hope and a great end!
So be your own “person on the week”! Be the one who does what’s right when everyone is looking and when it’s only you. Instead of saving half the cake for yourself, send a couple of slices next door! (that’s for me)
Chug a spoonful of cinnamon in 60 seconds, spin violently and try to perform a task while dizzy, dunk your entire body in cold water for hours, the list unfortunately goes on and on.
Internet challenges: the new happy hour, loved by many, successfully completed by few. Not to mention the health risks, these things can go bad…QUICKLY! Only the brave at heart (or utterly stupid) participate and post. Hashtags inundate our timelines, news feeds and dashboards. Its not just viral, its contagious!
The verb form of “challenge” -to invite, to engage, in a contest or task, shows there must be one who gives the challenge and one who accepts.
King Hezekiah was a sickly man who one day was given an awful report. He was told by the prophet Isaiah to set his affairs in order, because he was going to die. He would not recover from his illness. Hezekiah was devastated by this word but he turned to God in prayer. He challenged; invited, engaged, God to remember that he was a faithful man who had served God with his whole heart. He wanted Him to remember that he walked in truth, which pleased God. After this Hezekiah continued to weep, the bible says he “wept bitterly” (2 Kings 20:3) Before Isaiah could leave the King’s courtyard, God commanded him to return to Hezekiah and say “ This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and have seen your tears. So now I’m going to heal you. Three days from now you will be able to go up to the Lord’s temple. I will add fifteen years to your life.I will rescue you and this city from the power of the Assyrian king.” (2 Kings 20:5-6)
It would appear that God accepted Hezekiah’s challenge, since He extended his life. Hezekiah invited God to remember his good deeds toward Him. He wanted God to remember that he was His servant. Let’s take the #GodChallenge. When faced with adversity, strife, sickness, or doubt, let’s challenge God to remember that we are holy people, who serve him with our whole heart. He is our beginning and our end. Without him, we’re useless.
My obsession with tape use to be a hidden passion that I only shared with fellow crafties, but as the tape industry earns millions of dollars a year, I see there’s plenty of tape freaks out there! Duct tape, washi, masking, packing tape, for me it doesn’t matter. Having a slew of colors, designs, or patterns- that’s important! What is it used for? Why so much? It’s simple. To make things pretty. To put my own creative touch on things. So that when you see a planner, a journal, a bible cover you know it’s mine! I wonder if that’s how God thinks? Did he send the Lamb, Jesus, to die for our sins to put his own creative touch on us? So that the world will know that we belong to him? Thebible tells us-“..these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”(Revelation 7:14) Jesus is the only one good enough, great enough, humble enough, perfect enough to make our robes clean. Through his redemptive blood, God has placed his creative signature on us. Making us special, desirable unique and one of kind. So much so, that just a simple smile, a pleasant look, or the words “have a blessed day”, become seeds for those searching for their creative signature.
So the next time you craft, pull the washi! Choose something bold, unique, bizarre, classy, or glammy. Let it be a reminder of what God has done-given us great washi tape, and Jesus the Lamb!
This week marks the beginning of Passion Week or some may know it as Holy Week. It’s the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Historically, this week chronicles the journey of Jesus entering Jerusalem as the people’s “king” and the victorious journey to Calvary. When studying these emotional scriptures, you soon find out why the word “passion” is fitting. Is it because the Gospel writers express their accounts in vivid examples? Or is it the reader’s digestion of the word that causes those images to come to life? Both reasons stand to be true. When faith allows your heart to understand that a man, whom you never met, allowed himself to be jailed, badgered, beaten, and crucified for love. That causes your “passion” to stand up, to be present, and accounted for.
When asked-what is my passion? Lots of things come to mind…my husband, my family, my career, candy, mascara, lip gloss, Goodberry’s Custard….but really what IS my passion. I find my true passion each time I rise early and spend time with Christ. When I allow him to speak to my heart in a way that no one can. When I ask him to forgive me for my short comings, my wrong doings, and my down right nastiness. When I ask him to make me over. When I thank him for his love and forgiveness. When I thank him for calling me friend…..that’s when my true passion begins.
So now-what’s your passion?
(scripture references-Matthew 21:1-46, Matthew 22:1-46, Matthew 25)