There are two things that Job has exceeding dislike for: 1) getting his diaper changed and 2) having his face washed. On Sunday morning, as we got ready for church, I was trying to dress him, change his diaper, and wash his face, and he was not enjoying the run down. As he squirmed, whined and wiggled, my patience evaporated. As he stood in the middle of his room pushing me and the washrag away, I snapped at him, “Job, why does the simplest thing have to be SUCH an ordeal?” I walked away, leaving him to softly cry in his room, partly because he’d just been attacked by a washcloth, and partly because his mommy had just snapped at him.
I was ashamed, though sadly, not ashamed enough to apologize to him, just hand him his blankie and hustle him out the door and into the car. The past week had been long, and I was struggling to hang onto my shreds of patience and love.
Later in the day, Brandon let me escape out of the house and to the park. I sat beneath the blue sky studded with pillowy clouds. The sun warmed my back and sunburned my neck. I felt such relief to be away from my two year old’s antics. As I sat there enjoying the fresh air and quiet, God reminded me that my life isn’t about myself, it’s about loving those in my life. I closed my eyes. It is so hard.
God also reminded me of a prayer I had begun to pray right after Peter was born, but had forgotten lately. “God, forgive me for my impatience, selfishness, and irritability. Please replace it with patience, love, and peace.” How easy it is to sink into speaking to my kids in anger. How easy it is to allow my annoyance from the day brim over and pour onto Brandon when he gets home from work. How easy it is to let my selfishness permeate my being so that I begin to think that everyone is dumb, and everyone is out to frustrate me.
Yesterday at the park, in the stillness of the summer air, God’s truth convicted me, that I am not justified in the annoyance and frustration that arises in me when things don’t go my way. This prayer…God forgive me… resets me and helps me to regain control, it reminds me of the qualities that God has called me to exude to my family and to those in my life.
Being a mom is hard. Being at home all day with my kids is hard. Doing it with love, patience, and peace is harder. But not impossible. I’m thankful for the ability to pray, to cast all my anxieties upon Him, and I’m thankful that God hears and answers prayer.