I have been reading this book lately, Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. I say “Have” been reading, because I just keep re-reading parts over and over.
Its honest, candid, simple to read chapters have challenged my heart to consider my mothering in deeper ways than I have in a while. So much she writes about leaves you considering your parenting, your family, and your heart. Over the next four Mondays I hope to unpack for you some of the things I am learning about mothering in these little years. And who knows, maybe this series will continue on after the 4 weeks!
We all know the situation well….
It’s time to go to church…
-You have asked Child #1 to clean up the toys. Instead they get sidetracked by playing with the toys. They’ve disobeyed and not done as you’ve asked. You begin correcting them, but then…
-Child #2 needs help putting a coat on
-Child #3 is crying because she is a baby and just wants a bottle
(this is just an example…no, Helen does not take a bottle)
-My husband calls down (nicely) asking if there are any clean undershirts (this is not just an example, and happens ALL the time)
-And me--- I am just wondering where my coffee is.
And we are supposed to be out the door to church in 5 minutes.
You feel the pressure mounting inside of you. For me it is like a burning ball inside of me that makes me want to shout…
At someone. I feel like I just can’t take it.
Jankovic describes it like this:
The situation is crazy, but you are the one responsible to get the grace to deal with it.
A child needs to be disciplined for disobeying.
Sure, there is sin there. But the situation is not sin.
That is just worth repeating.
The situation itself is NOT Sin.
The child struggling to put a jacket on is not doing anything wrong, they are just being a child… needing help with a jacket.
The Baby is just being a baby.
Shoes get lost, children need help with zippers, babies need to eat. These things happen…
Your children are not a situation. They are individuals.
This rang SO true for me. Individually, each child's needs and issues are not that big of a deal. But piled on top of each other, they can sometimes push me over the edge. I find that I just need to take a breath, handle one thing at a time, and give each child the grace and patience they deserve.
As a mother, I am trying to grow in patience, gentleness, and self control. I am the adult…they are just children. I am the one who is supposed to know God’s word. Who knows how God calls us to live. And I need to live as I want my children to live. Speaking words of peace, extending grace, serving them with love.
And as Jankovic exhorts us :
I am the one who needs to find the grace
to deal with the situation.
And that my friends is what I am trying to do…
I am trying to find the grace in those moments. These Little People are so precious, but they sure do give us ample opportunities to extend grace, to practice patience, to die to self.
Won’t you join me?
I pray that you will join me over the next 4 weeks as I consider my Life With Little People, and the ways I am being challenged to love them the way God has called me to.