Each Sunday Pastor Tom begins the service by opening the alter and inviting everyone to come up and pray or to kneel at your seat and pray what is in your heart. Yesterday during this time I kneeled down on the floor and the only word that would come into my head was patience. I prayed over and over Dear Lord, please help me find patience in my heart so I can be a better mom. I felt like such a failure as that was my prayer.
Most days feel like an obstacle course and I am just jumping hurdles and walls trying to get to the finish line and beat my previous time. I hurry through my day trying to get through one task to get to the next and I shuffle my daughter along the way as well. At night when I reflect on my day I am usually disgusted with myself when I think about the "hurry up" I said as Addy was on a 10 minute hunt for Quack Quack when I was trying to get us out the door, or the "move" I commanded while she was hanging onto my legs as I was carrying a laundry basket with 6 or more loads of dirty clothes. And the toddler whining and tantruming, how many eye rolls, sighs, and OMG thoughts can go through my head and show on my face? Or how about the way I watch the clock waiting on nap time because I am so anxious to get a jump start on the 5 hours of to-do's I need to get done in the 2 hour nap time frame...I need to get in my run, the toilet has a ring around it, the dogs are pacing at the door to go pee, I have four chapters I need to read for school this week, a research proposal draft is waiting to be written, I could use some lunch and a shower, breakfast dishes are still in the sink, there is a sticker embedded in the carpet, and I sure would love to catch up on last week's episode of Grey's. I wonder, am I the only mom who feels like an overwhelmed disaster?!
I know that this time with my daughter, while she is sweet and little and wants more than anything to spend every waking moment with mommy, is precious and short. I went to my favorite blog and in a post titled Overflowing Patience by TeriLynn Underwood, I found the inspiration I was looking for. She wrote "this word, patience, is better translated by the King James Version, as longsuffering." She also posed the question How can I grow patience in my heart and allow it to overflow into my relationship with my daughter? Then she offered this advice: Patience begins and ends with putting ourselves aside and giving our daughters our attention and our affirmation. There is no short cut and no easy way.
She suggested this exercise:
1. Commit to yourself for one day to be longsuffering with your daughter … to stop and listen with your full attention, to lay aside your plans and join her in hers, to speak with grace and not impatience.
2. Memorize Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ok, challenge accepted. I will start by getting off of this computer and drawing Foofa on the magna doodle because the cutest little pig-tailed princess is asking me to.