Yesterday was one of my worst days of motherhood yet. It was to be expected, after a weekend of so much fun, that we would need a detox day, but OY. It was a rough one. For all three of them.
The disciplining and time outs.
The repetitive requests.
The lack of self control.
The dirt all over the patio and the crayon all over the chair.
(I had the nerve to make dinner.)
I could go on, but let's just say my throat hurts a bit from yelling and there isn't much that pains me more in parenting than Being a Yelling Mom.
It was the kind of day that ended with me trying to salvage things with a special movie in mom's bed since Daddy was leaving for men's group and I was on my own for the night.
That worked for about five minutes.
The older two were relaxed and enjoyed it but the peacefulness of this photo didn't last long before Hallee began going crazy all over the bed (see how misleading some photos can be? Real life happens outside of those captured moments, but alas, that's a lesson for another day).
And then came bedtime, which did nothing but leave me in a crying heap on the floor.
After more consequences and more lecturing, the oldest of the offenders was finally ready to apologize. And then came the line that in one instant disintegrated all the frustration and desperation and anger and helplessness.
"I just can't be perfect."
Of course I know that I'm not requiring perfection-- at this point average would be acceptable-- but that's how they see it apparently.
And that's when it hit me again like a ton of bricks: how much I need the gospel in my parenting, my own life, in everything.
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children. Proverbs 13:22
For you equipped me with strength for the battle. Psalm 18:39
Because more than obedience or respect or responsibility I want to teach my kids that the gospel is real and it's what we need to get us through and to equip us every day, every moment.
So most of the day may have been crap but none of that mattered when I got to say to her,
"No one can be good without Jesus. But all day long we can ask Him to help us make the good choices, and He is faithful. He is real."
And just like that, a whole day is redeemed by one gospel conversation.
So I sang them the words that I sing so often but that seemed truer that night.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
how I've proved him o'er and o'er,
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
oh for grace to trust Him more.
Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson~ probably the most important parenting book I've ever read.
The Battle of Bedtime by Mama Knows, Honeychild~ OMGosh, this is such a funny post that reminds us that We Are Not Alone in the bedtime capers. I came across it late last night, a little gift of comedy and common grace.