Sunday, January 13, 2013

Giving God a chance to perfect the story

I was almost ready for church this morning when I heard my kids picking on each other. The arguments diffused as quickly as they started, and then I noticed a little chair pulled up close to the kitchen counter. The evidence that my 3-year-old boy had tried to reach markers he wasn't supposed to have irritated me.

Then as he walked toward me talking about wanting to color, I noticed him sticking the eraser end of a pencil in his ear. I was irritated some more, but I tried to hide it. I told him he wasn't using coloring utensils right, but he could find a book to take to church. He returned a few minutes later with a book. And then he stuck it in my mouth. I asked him in a too-frustrated tone to take the book out of his mouth. He didn't. So I yelled about how I wished he'd listen.

My husband tried to tell me to chill out. Of course, that annoyed me too. My mood and I angrily picked up some toys I thought my son should have already taken back to his room.

I knew in that emotional moment I should have showed more grace, spoken softer, loved more, moved more slowly, and remembered kids will be imperfect kids. My imperfections were shining through oh-so brightly, yet I was expecting perfection from my boy who still depends on me so much for guidance and assistance. 

All the while, it was time to leave for church, so I started to corral the kids in the mini van. {I say this like we have a large brood. Nope. Just two. Yet I sometimes still feel like I'm herding cats.} But as I was doing so, I realized it was much colder than I thought it was and backtracked to get my daughter's coat as my husband helped my boy with his. I opened the door and as I was doing so, I heard the door knock hardly into something. That something was my boy's head. The door knob hit him above his ear. Hard.

And I felt terrible.

I had been chewing him out in such a nagging way. Admittedly, I was still irritated with having to remind and repeat and corral and correct. Yet none of that had anything to do with my poor timing of opening the door and Ben's unfortunate location right in the path of the door knob. All of my woe-is-me-as-a-mom emotions were pushed away by my wanting to comfort Ben, who didn't cry as much as I thought he would normally and was barely talking, which is totally abnormal for my boy who sings and growls and talks nearly constantly.

Ben seemed shocked, sad and mad. He didn't want to talk to me. He wanted Daddy. On the way to church,  I finally got a response when I asked him to growl like a dinosaur. It was strange but sweet music to my ears.

My heart was heavy. I told my son I was sorry for yelling at him. He did give me a kiss as Daddy held him as we sang songs to open the church service. But God wasn't done. 

Our pastor mentioned Sanctity of Life Sunday, a time set aside to bring awareness to how many lives have been lost through abortion. Google tells me other congregations will bring attention to the issue next week. Regardless of the official date, January 2013 is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Since that decision that legalized abortion, at least 55,808,387 babies weren't given a chance to live, according to information provided by our local pregnancy crisis center.

That's 55.8 million stories that remain untold.

God still wasn't done speaking to my heart. 

A friend of mine gave an update about her high-risk pregnancy and her baby girl who is not developing properly. There is the possibility her baby may not breathe many breaths outside the womb. Best case scenario still means a harder life with shorter-than-normal limbs. My heart has been heavy for my friend and her family.

A prayer time for my friend and her unborn baby followed. I thought about how I'm encouraged my friend's faith to trust God and believe God is indeed good all of the time, even when the world as we want it comes crashing down. I prayed the peace that passes all understanding would cover my friend. I wanted to take back yelling at and nagging my son.

I walked back to my seat, feeling grateful. I'm thankful the two birth moms who carried and birthed my kids chose life for them. I'm thankful I have a husband who loves me so much he wants me to trust God and give him control over every detail of my life, especially my words. I'm thankful for a faith community that prays and encourages and teaches one another.

And I'm thankful for the ways God perfects me and refines me and strengthens me through my imperfections. I really do want to trust him to do the same for my kids.

This is yet another post in an ongoing series about how God's teaching me to embrace imperfection. You can read my previous posts inspired by "No More Perfect Moms" hereWant more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I have walked (and still walk) in your shoes. Thank you for you candidness. So glad to share stories of our imperfections and God's grace that he lavishes on us regardless. BTW: I have often thought I corral 2 sloths, and it feels like 10! ;-)