It was the middle of the morning. I was in the kitchen getting a cup of coffee… ah… coffee. 🙂 I could hear the happy sounds of toys and children floating up from downstairs.
Then it got quiet.
If you have children, you have probably experienced the same dilemma I did then. How long do I enjoy the silence before I go see what they’re up to?
I actually didn’t wait long at all, but in the 15 seconds or so it took to finish doctoring my coffee, my two boys had gone into the bathroom and put about half a roll of toilet paper in the toilet and flushed it. Based on an earlier experience, I suspected toys were involved, too.
I shooed the boys from the bathroom, grimaced, and stuck my arm into the toilet water (mercifully, it was as clean as toilet water can be). I dislodged quite a bit of toilet paper from the bend, but found no blocks.
(After flushing again, it appeared that the toilet will continue to work properly. I’m still hoping that no toys went down.)
Afterwards, I was pretty frazzled. It was not my dream to wake up that morning and be digging for toys in our toilet. I’m ashamed to say I was frustrated, angry Mommy until after naptime.
Does this sound like any of your days? Covered in toilet water by mid-morning, and praying for naptime?
Some days life is easy here, but often I have days where the kids seem to be constantly needing redirection or discipline… they’ll be into my wallet, or standing on the kitchen counter, or digging through the trash, or throwing library books down the stairs, or trying to plug my earbuds into the wall outlet, and the list goes on.
It’s parenting. Raw and real. Unfortunately, I don’t always see the blessings in the moment. Instead, I let myself be frazzled.
Yesterday I spent some time reading James and settled on this passage:
“Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:2-4
I rarely think of frustrating circumstances as opportunities. Especially for JOY!
But they are.
Joyous opportunities to show my children how to be patient, how to keep my cool, how to see what’s really important. After all, those are qualities I want them to possess.
So this is my prayer today. That I would see these frustrating circumstances as joyful opportunities to grow in endurance, and to model good character to my kids.