So I made the decision to remove my daughter from school for the summer, and it was more of a selfish decision on my part than her actually needing a summer break. Today was technically the first day of summer break where we didn’t have company in town, and my plan to wear my children out was in full effect. I have all these ideas of places I will be taking them, crafts we will be doing, and planning for many hot days at the pool. Then I remember, oh yeah, I work…after I do all these activities. After ONE day of activities with both of my children, I am worn out and beyond my mental capacity for dealing with back talk. I am at my wits end with telling children to sit, don’t move, don’t jump on the couch, don’t jump on the bed, and for crying out loud don’t TOUCH EACH OTHER! Yes, just one day of this and I am pulling my hair out thinking, did I make a mistake?
No, I most certainly did not make a mistake. As much as I want to question why the end of the day went horribly wrong, I can’t. That is how kids are. Unpredictable. Just when you think you have them figured out as angel children that say the sweetest things, or remind you so much of yourself, they are on to giving you a dirty look because you took a toy, or screaming at the top of their lungs in a restaurant because they don’t have their food. We’ve all been there, and trust me, I feel for parents when I see the look of exhaustion on their face when their child is throwing a tantrum. Here I am, thanking God that I am at home tonight when the meltdowns commenced, because I don’t think I have the energy to put on a happy face right now if I were out.
Right now I am being tested on how I handle situations with my children. I used to be a very angry person, and using my anger was the only way I knew how to handle situations. I keep telling myself to be a gentle, but firm mom, a mom than means business but can empathize with her children. If you are that mom, can you please write me a to do list of how you make it happen? I am struggling to no end on a healthy balance.
So I have a choice to make in these moments. Discipline my children out of anger, or discipline my children out of love. Which seems like a no brainer, but when you are faced with a screaming toddler it can be a bit tricky to always do the right thing. I know my intention of the discipline comes from love, but my action must come from love too. I do have to sometimes remove myself from them and go pray, and other times I can’t make it out of the room quick enough I pray right there where ever I am. It is always the same prayer, Lord; don’t let my anger control me in this moment.
Jehovah-Shalom, the LORD is Peace. Bam, that is all I needed today. When I am having a hard time disciplining my children because of exhaustion, or trying to calm my anger because I have said the same thing a thousand times, Jehovah-Shalom is there for me. I’ve learned that peace is not circumstantial, as much as I would love to be taking a bath, with candles lit, and no sign of children anywhere, that is not true peace. It may be a peaceful moment, but it can and will me taken from me the moment I step out of the bathroom and into the war zone of my children chasing each other down to tackle one another. Peace must reside in my mind and in my heart, and Christ is the only One who can truly be that peace for me. His kind of peace can never be taken from me. I just need to believe He is the peace that will be sufficient when I need it. So, I pray that these next couple of months I REALLY get to know Jehovah-Shalom and I will be acting in a manner that shows my circumstances don’t need to be perfect for me to have peace, because I have true peace in Him.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33