I was not expecting this morning. And I am not sure what set it off or how it got to where it went. My guess is the enemy was taking a shot at me and wanted to see how far it could go.
I woke up with a happy mood and a giddy in my step. The kids were all still asleep and I got to sit with my cup of coffee and read my bible before everyone was awake. The toddler woke in his happy mood and everyone else seemed to follow suit.
Our weekend had finished with the construction of our raised garden beds (post with tutorial in the works) and the optimism of garden greens and other delicious goodness were on the front of my mind. In discussing my daydreams with my dear husband when the conversation took a stressful turn and hurtful things were said. You know how that can go, right?
Long story short, I walked away before the tears could fall, feeling like a loser.
“I am not a good enough stay-at-home mommy.”
“I take the fun out of everything when I get in Casey-mode.”
“Maybe I have no business staying home anymore. Maybe everyone would be better if I did go back to work.”
I was a mess, trying to prove my worth by scrubbing our bathroom and the kitchen and trying to tidy up as best as I could. During all of that, my oldest missed his morning bus. It isn’t typically a big deal and doesn’t happen very often so I finished up my current task and got dressed to take him to school.
When he realized he missed the bus, all control of emotions was lost. He slammed his backpack down and declared he was not going to school. I sat on the chair and cried again, feeling more like a failure. Then, I straightened up my mommy hat and followed him into his bedroom. He retreated under his bed. I calmly explained that I would count to 5 for him to come out on his own or I would come under there and get him.
I ended up under the bed to pull him out. Next was getting shoes on and out the door. We made it to the van and were on our way to the school. I knew better than to try to talk to him; when he is feeling this way he is not interested in talking, let alone listening. We drove in silence, both feeling emotional for our own reasons, both upset about how our morning was going.
And then, my child wrecked me…
“I am so stupid.”
“Honey, you are NOT stupid! Why would you say that or feel that way?!”
“I am just stupid.”
“L, baby, you are not and I don’t want you to talk that way. You are smart, funny, talented, kind, and compassionate. I love you and God loves you and he made you perfectly, not stupid. You are not stupid, please do not say that.”
(TEARS ARE COMING BIG TIME NOW)
And then, BAM, God wrecked my heart…
This is exactly how God feels about me. I was playing a slew of self-degrading comments in my head all morning on repeat. He doesn’t want me sitting here talking bad about His creation. I AM a good mommy and God didn’t make a mistake when He made me a mother. He made me fun, loving, nurturing, compassionate, resourceful, driven, creative, and everything that makes me who I am.
Wow, my Father is telling me the exact thing I am trying to tell my baby boy. My child and I are not defined by any word. We are defined by the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross for him and for me. We are defined by mercy and grace. We are defined by the love our Heavenly Father has for us and that He showed us in Christ Jesus. WE. ARE. LOVED.
God used this moment to teach me and for me to teach my child. And this is a lesson that will be picked back up after school.
Once I started to realize what was happening and how I was doing to me what my child was doing to himself, I prayed. I prayed out loud for God to remove these negative feelings and self-doubt, to replace it with a peaceful heart and turn our day into a good day.
We pulled up to the drop off and he got out without a word. I told him I loved him so much and that I would see him after school.
I also emailed his teacher when I got home to make sure he was able to have a better day. I didn’t want his mood to effect his whole day and hopefully all his friends would cheer him up as well.
The drive home was still a tearful one, but instead of the tears over my own feelings they were for my heart breaking over how L was talking about himself. We are a very warm-and-fuzzy family and do not hold back the I love yous, compliments or positive affirmations.
I am thankful for the teachable moment that came in the midst of our troubled hearts this morning. I am thankful for my God who reaches me and is using my children to teach me lessons on His grace and mercy.
Have you experienced a moment where God used your parenting situation to teach you a lesson as well? Please share!