Thursday, November 12, 2009

How is it....

That the people who I love the most...also annoy me the most. 

Find some today at a local grocer near you. 
Holy Spirit... we need a clean up on aisle 8.

Oh, how I wish it were that easy.  I find my myself more patient with strangers in the grocery store than I do my own family.   I just don't want to make any one upset, you know.  Of course you can go ahead of me in line... don't mind me and my 3 screaming llamas. 

But when it comes to dealing with those 3 screaming llamas, I am sad to admit... my patience wears thin. 
These 3 little lives that have been entrusted to me...sometimes I am just terribly annoyed by how non adult they are. I mean...they are so adolescent and immature.  How accident prone they are.  How they do not know that the "B" says "Buh".  Really....  I guess I just expect to birth these fully functioning people who are perfect in every way.    Yet, if they were perfect in every way, then they wouldn't need me, their Mama Llama, to shepherd their way. 

A few things that test my patience....
-Spills.... spilled cereal, milk, bathwater, name it, we've spilled it.
-A certain unnamed child who can't figure out which shoe goes on the correct foot
-Same certain child who cannot figure out how to pedal a bike (probably due to the fact that her shoes are on the wrong feet)
-Whining... Just the other day I made a certain male child of mine stop, breath and ask me again for a cup of juice, and I was Floored!  The child actually has a darling sweet voice and he can actually enunciate his words when he wants to. Imagine that! 
-Children who have to go potty right after we leave the house (after I asked them to go) or who have to go potty right when we sit down to eat.
-And the baby...what could I possibly be impatient with her about you ask??  She is pretty cute... but she always needs to eat and poop at very inconvenient times...I mean, really?  :)   And let's not talk about her multiple night wakings... I promise never to claim to be an expert in sleep training. 

I find myself constantly impatient.  
I was totally convicted recently when I was pouring juice for one of the children and the cup just slipped and juice went everywhere.  Now I didn't snap at myself, or put myself in time out.   I was so quick to forgive myself, as this was obviously an accident.  Of course I deserve a little grace.  Yet if one of them had spilled that juice just seconds later, I would have been so upset.

But my children...don't they deserve Grace too?  Don't they deserve a mommy who is patient with them.  If I want them to grow into strong independent adults, I need to let them figure things out...and that means a lot of mistakes, accidents, and failures along the way.  I want my children to feel the freedom that I feel... that mistakes happen and they don't have to feel ashamed of accidents. 

Now there are some situations where disobedience is in play. But a parenting book I once read talked about being careful to distinguish the difference between disobedience and childishness.  I admit I can get so frustrated with things that are just kids being plain silly. 

When I consider how patient God is with me.... with all the things I still haven't figured out yet.  He could be SO frustrated thinking "Hello, do you not get it??"  But He isn't.  With an outstretched arm, His loving kindness endures forever! (Psalm 136:12)

I want my children to be obedient and to do as I say...but I don't want little robots. Or soldiers who are afraid to fall out of line in a drill routine.  I want Grace to abound.  And the only way for me to create this in our home is for me to believe that God's grace abounds for me...for all my faults, failures, and weaknesses.  He is strong where I am weak.  And His grace covers multitude of sins. 

Ephesians 4:2 instructs us to
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient with one another, bearing with one another in love."

Instead of us snapping at our children to slow down, settle down, or hurry up, get it right....How about we slow down, take a breath, count to 3 in our heads...and give them a moment to be children.  Ask if this is an obedience issue or a childish issue.  And respond humbly and gently...

What would my parenting look like if I really did live out Ephesians 4:2?  
What about You??  Who are your "one anothers"  And what will it take for you  to "bear with them in love"?

Struggling with you to be a more patient mother. 
Now I have to go....another clean up is needed on aisle 8.


  1. Carrie, you are so patient and kind with everyone but...CARRIE! What I see in your writings (and know from your mother)is that you are a wonderful young woman who is doing the best she can every day with three little ones to care for. That's the world's toughest job, my dear, and you ARE doing it with grace and dignity. God does not expect perfection from us, only progress. We try to walk in Christ's way and to emulate him; and that's the expectation -- to try. Your children need to develop coping skills, even if they are coping with an overwhelmed Mama Llama! Be good to Carrie today. Let her know how beautiful and wonderful she is and how much she is loved.

  2. I hear you and I'm right there with you!! I was just thinking about this yesterday... where did my patience go ?? And you're right, a lot of it is just the childishness of them!
    But at 5:15 in the morning (every morning!!)... where do I find the patience to give my 5 year old a hug and let him into my bed because he's "just not tired anymore and he hears noises in his room?" when all I want to do is go back to sleep. It's everyday. We just do the best we can.

  3. I laughed because I often catch myself thinking "They're acting like such CHILDREN!"

    My favorite reminder when evaluating my progress in becoming like Christ: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." Philippians 3:12

  4. I love you Carrie! I AM one who reads your blog and you always make me smile. I am with you on patience...choosing it is a daily opportunity for me, too! I love your insights and the way you just boil it down :) Disobedience vs. childishness...such a distinction!


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