To say that the first half of today was not one of the highlights of my mothering career would be a major understatement. The children and I are a few hours of home visiting my grandma with my Dad who flew in Thursday from Florida.
Last night (to make a long story short) we started the bedtime routine at 8:00 and about 11:00, Katie finally went to sleep and Benjamin was still crying. Benjamin was up before 4:00am, and ended up spending the night with Katie and I in the double bed.
Needless to say, I was an exhausted grump when it came time to get up. I was impatient with both of my children, and grumbled my way through the morning and early afternoon. Then naptime came, and Katie went down great--and then got up about five minutes later. The get up, get disciplined, cry and go back to bed pattern continued for quite a while.
In between cycles, I was trying to read my Bible. Knowing I needed a major attitude adjustment in my attitude toward my children, I started reading Psalm 127 and 128.
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD; and the fruit of the womb is His reward." (Psalm 127:3)
"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD." (Psalm 128:1-4)
God has been gracious to give us children. They are a reward and a precious blessing from Him. Mothering Katie and Benjamin in a way that glorifies God is one of my foremost callings in life (second to being Ben's help meet), and like anything God calls us to--there will be trials along the way.
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:2-5)
Repeated disobedience may not seem like much of a trial, but I'm sure you other mamas know that when you're exhausted and grumpy, it can really be hard to keep your cool when children just disobey over and over again for (seemingly) no reason. So for me, on this day, it was a trial--even if a small one. And, this trial (and any trial) is for the purpose of refining me.
Since I became a mother, I have known that our children were mine to bring into submission to Christ. But, I hadn't ever really thought about the fact that not only was I given to my children for that purpose in their life, but they were given to me to accomplish that purpose in my life as well.
This post is linked to Finer Things Friday.