My kids will never grow up with the idea that their mother is perfect.
Take today for example.
I had to take my crew to the post office to mail off a package.
It was raining and we were enjoying the drive to the post office with sweet conversations about this and that. Since it was raining, today, we all moved a little quicker getting out of the van to get under some shelter before we were drenched.
We got inside and waited in the always-too-long line. The boys played quietly with each other and the baby smiled and waved at the other customers. I may have, for a moment, felt pretty darn good about my parenting skills.
After a decent wait-time, I got my package mailed off and we headed back through the double doors into the parking lot. As soon as the door opened in front of me I stopped in my tracks. There was our van with the passenger door wide open and rain pouring inside our van. Now this particular door is the door the boys use to exit the van while I am getting the baby out of the opposite side.
I looked at my children and I didn’t yell. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to. You see, this was just one incident in a stream of incidents all related to one particular child’s inability to pay attention to his surroundings. He, much like his mother, is a space cadet. We half-joke that he lives in his own reality. This child has run in front of moving vehicles, walked into inanimate objects, bitten his whole hand while eating a sandwich, and once, he was driving a go-kart, and he ran into every. single. wall. because he wouldn’t look at the road. Heaven help me when this boy turns sixteen. He does not pay attention to his surroundings. And it’s something we have been working on with him for a long time.
Seeing that door open with the rain pouring into the car and knowing that it had been like that for probably 30 minutes, near about pushed me over the edge. But I didn’t yell.
Instead I lectured. Oh I went on and on about how he needs to pay attention. Let’s forget the fact that he’s four and, you know, I’m the mother who should have checked the door. I just kept going on and on. I couldn’t stop. It was verbal diarrhea. I even had one of those slow-motion moments like from the movies where my mouth was moving and I was thinking “Girlfriend, give it a rest. This is just about the most ineffective form of parenting ever!”
Then it happened. The words “You know, someone could have stolen our car!” came out of my mouth. And BAM, the Holy Spirit convicted me right on the spot.
Because 3 years ago, we were on vacation and I left the keys in the car door and our car DID get stolen. I blogged all about it here. And you know what? My husband handled it with such grace. He didn’t lecture me. He didn’t yell. I made a terrible mistake because I wasn’t paying attention and there was a pretty big consequence for that action. Thankfully we got the car back, but as the Lord brought this reminder to my head, a little four-year-old voice peeped from the back of the car “I’m sorry I made a bad choice mommy.”
I nearly pulled the car over.
Oh my heart.
“Sweet child, you didn’t make a bad choice. Mommy did.”
I told him the story of how I got our car stolen and I asked him for forgiveness for not being more patient.
And now I sit here. The house is quiet because the boys are at Awana. A fan is humming in the background and the air is still sticky-humid from the rain that has been constant throughout the day.
The desert rain.
It’s so rare and oh so refreshing. It washes the dust out of the sky and feeds the hungry plants. When we wake up in the morning the air will be brisk and the mountains will be crisper in the purified sky, and it will be a new day. A day I can be more patient with a few more hugs and a few less lectures. A day I can ask the Holy Spirit to be a little more like Him.
Oh how I love Lamentations 3:22-23.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Thank you Lord for new mornings and never-ending mercies. Oh that my children will be able to see You in me despite myself. And thank you that our car was not stolen.