Today we are leaving on a 4-day family getaway to Colonial Williamsburg. We’re all super excited, and every single one of us has had a checklist of items that needed to be done prior to departure. My older two kids both had big assignments due today that should have, and could have, been completed at a more leisurely pace before last night. But they weren’t. And one child had completed an assignment, shown it to me, and since it wasn’t what the teacher was asking for, put me in the position of saying, “You need to redo it.” The other had a gazillion math problems I didn’t have time (or memory) to solve while cooking dinner. If you are (or were) the parent of school-aged kids, you know where this scenario is headed.
I’ll spare you the drama, but let’s just say that by 6:30 last night, my dear husband, who was still at work trying to clear his desk for vacation, had just received a full-on “vent” phone call from me. (It was soooo not fair to him.) After we hung up, the other 4 of us sat down to dinner. All three kids were crying. The older two because of their schoolwork. The younger one because of the older two; he couldn’t stand their tears and wailing. How I sympathized.
It was time to pray. And pray I did. Not your normal dinnertime prayer, NOOO. I risked the food getting cold. I asked Him to step in. I called on Him by name for each of us, by name. The red eyes and red noses started to clear as we ate in silence. And miraculously, everything got done and everyone was in bed on time.
This morning, the day dawned and I was given a second chance to do better. The plan was to drive 1 hour round-trip to take my husband to the Metro so he could leave his car at home (instead of in a lot somewhere) for the next few days. Then, load up the dogs and drive 75 mins. round-trip in the opposite direction to the kennel, before dropping my little guy off at preschool for lunch and — get this — PICTURE DAY. He was dressed and ready to go at breakfast. All his other nice-looking clothes are packed for the trip…..Life was going well….And BOOM! He spilled a full cup of orange juice down the front of him.
I could have lost it. I was definitely frustrated, even slightly angry. But I looked at what I had been given at that moment. Time. I stripped him down, put him in sweats, and had just enough time to wash and dry the outfit between runs to the Metro and kennel.
“His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion.”
–1 Peter 3:1
Everything. His divine power has given us everything we need at any given moment to move out of that space where anger and frustration is going to spill out and harm those we love. The only thing required is the only thing ever required – turning to Him and letting His grace in.
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I love all of your posts but this once really was great because I know this is what I should try to do with the kids when we are freaking out, stop and pray. So simple and yet we forget to invite Christ into a daily messes, messes that He longs to help us with! Thank you so much, Gretchen!!!
Thanks, Lorraine! That was a particularly awful day, and I really lost my mind with the kids – yelled at them at top of my lungs before I remembered that there is a better way…I’m glad you liked the post. I was afraid I was really rambling on in it!