Yesterday I was driving Garrison to school and out of nowhere he asked me what the verse of the day was. My aunt texts out daily scripture and I used to read it to Garrison on occasion. I haven't done this in about a month and I was shocked that he even remembered it. I thought the verse that she sent that day was more than appropriate for both of us to hear:
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." ~1 Peter 1:8
It reminded me that our kids really do pay attention to everything we say and do. Even the smallest things that we think may not make a difference stick with them. That is something I need to constantly remind myself of.
Give me Wisdom
Our 16 month old, Ethan, is such a gift from God and has been a huge blessing to our family. He has a completely opposite personality from Garrison and I am having to learn how to parent that type of personality. Lately I have found myself praying hard for strength, wisdom and patience when it comes to him. He has quite the temper and wants what he wants when he wants it, period. I know, from experience, that consistency, discipline and setting boundaries is what ALL kids need. I just have to learn how to give that to a strong willed child.
Yesterday we had a really rough afternoon. Nothing I did would make him happy and I felt like such a failure. I felt even worse after Garrett told me E was perfect for him when I took Garrison to practice. And then the nursery workers at church told me he was just perfect and they didn't want to let him go. I looked at them and said, "Seriously?!". They probably thought I was the worst mom ever for thinking my child actually behaved. I came home, discouraged and frustrated. All of a sudden Ethan crawls up to me, climbs up my leg and holds his arms up for me to hold him. I picked him up and he just laid his head on my shoulder and hugged me for what seemed like forever. And that was the exact moment I needed to have with him last night (thank you Jesus). It reassured me and made me realize I am doing something right even when I feel like a failure.
Jesus, Friend of Sinners (Casting Crowns)
My friend Jenny introduced me to this song a while back and now it has to be one of my favorites. You can listen to/watch it here.
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open
hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what
I feel like God has been speaking to me a lot lately about loving instead of judging. It's so easy to make an instant judgment about someone based on their behavior or actions. The other day I was in the grocery store with the boys. My boys are normally so good at the store and I never have to get on to them. Garrison was so incredibly hyper and was not listening to anything I said and Ethan was not happy at all. I let the situation get the best of me and I started snapping at Garrison. I realized that if anyone saw me in that moment they would not see the mother I usually am. They would see a worn out, impatient, unloving mother who thought of her kids as more of a burden than a blessing.
I have to remind myself that I too am a sinner and judging someone is the fastest way to push them away from Jesus. I know that loving someone does not mean you are condoning their sins or behavior but I find that so hard to live out sometimes. It's so easy to get caught up in what we know is right and putting that above loving people where they are in their lives. Again, I'm not saying we have to accept their lifestyle or choices but it doesn't mean we can't love them through it. Did Jesus not love us through all our bad life choices...and even still today when we screw up?!
Today I will remember to ask Jesus to "help me open my eyes to the world at the end of my pointing finger" and "break my heart for what breaks his".