Parenting When My Heart Is Not At Peace
It is only 11:00 in the morning and I am already ready to be done with the day. From the moment my kids woke up my heart has been impatient and angry. Their behavior isn’t excessively disobedient, they are only 3, 2 and 10 months and learning about the world around them, being creative and playing. It was a bit ironic that I was sitting in the backyard, trying to get some work done, the baby was crying and the kids had just stripped naked and found the water that had collected in the wagon and were rubbing dirt on themselves, which was just after they dumped dirt in the house and colored with wet chalk all over themselves; all of this while I was listening to Gloria Furman & Erin Davis talk about parenting with an eternal mindset. I only needed 30 minutes or so and 2 hours later, nothing had been done, the kids were not responding to any instruction all while whining and complaining, and they were muddy and had been discontent to be in the backyard the whole time. The house is a mess, I am trying to manage phone calls, texts and emails, the kids are exceedingly hungry (seriously kids 1 nectarine, a glass of milk, 2 pieces of toast and 3 eggs EACH is enough food!) and I don’t have time for this! I have things TO DO HERE PEOPLE!! Not this kid stuff of eggs, diapers, mud and to and parenting…Important things that I am accountable for and getting paid for! Dad is getting home from out of town, I want things to be perfect for him and all prepared and I would actually like to do something fun today and do some errands! Right when the scene couldn’t get any better a friend texted and let me know she had some things to drop off. I told her i was on strike, the house was a mess and that I needed coffee. Anything, from anywhere, I don’t care I. JUST.NEED. COFFEE. My beloved espresso machine ran out of pods, what is a girl to do?
Do you see where things began to unwind? Wow. Where do I begin to unpack the depths of my sin? I am so wrong and so imperfect. My priorities are a mess. My responses are poor at best. My words are not seasoned with grace but with tabasco. My heart is not thankful. My eyes only see myself. My body only wants coffee. My mind is consumed with temporal things.
There is definitely housework to be done. There are errands that need to be run. There are deadlines that need to be met. Coffee is good. There are also desires and goals that I have. All of those things are true. Regardless of my kids disobedience levels, I have to fight to remind myself that they are children and the issue isn’t their disobedience but my response to it. The real work that needs to be done is refining my heart to be steadfast, immovable, lacking in nothing. My heart needs to be quiet and still before the Lord. I need to rest in GRACE. The day started to unwind when I woke up thinking about myself. Things got worse when I cultivated a selfish heart. Things got out of control when I preferred the satisfaction of my flesh and not the Promises of God.
The truth is that I can’t do it on my own. Parenting, wifing, working, living, being a friend, when done from a selfish and temporal mindset are futile, ineffective and lead to death. Why? Because I am dead in my sin (Ephesians 2:1). Because my heart is wicked and desperately sick and I can’t understand it. (Jeremiah 17:9) Instead of balking against that and proving to myself that I can, I need to be made low and AGREE WITH GOD! When He says I am a sinner, I need to agree! When He says that only Christ is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9), I need to AGREE. Instead of bristling and doing it my way I need to agree, repent and rest in HIS promises for me.
“no clearer a statement exists than that of Colossians 2:10, you are complete in Him. Having the Lord Jesus Christ is to have everything needed in spiritual life for time and eternity. To have Him is to have everything. Not to have Him is to have absolutely nothing at all. All joy, peace, meaning, value, purpose, hope, fulfillment in life now and forever is bound up in Christ. And when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they enter in to an all-sufficient relationship with an all-sufficient Christ.”
I don’t need anything else. If we don’t add Christ to what we already have and when we have Christ, we don’t add anything to Him. We have eternal sufficiency in Christ. So what am I to do? If I am completely satisfied in Christ and He alone is sufficient, how should I respond? Obey the scripture, don’t cause or tempt a weaker brother to stumble and proclaim Christ.
So here I am. ready for a do-over. My heart has been quieted and humbled by the Lord. I have asked for forgiveness from the kids. I prayed and asked the Lord to give us all self control and patience. I asked the Lord to give me a heart of thankfulness for what I have and to be productive in my work, regardless of what I get done. Most importantly I asked for peace and wisdom to have an eternal perspective and to continue doing what I will be doing for all eternity… worshiping God. The music is on, the kids are *almost* asleep. I’m finishing a few things on the computer, picking up the house and working on my study in proverbs. It is going to be a great day.