There have been tantrums, fits of rage, screaming matches, tears, and bad attitudes abounding. And the kids haven't been perfect either. *snicker* Sad but true.
What's interesting is that I can't put my finger on any one event and say, "Man, when [unspecified event] happened, that really made the rest of the week go downhill." It wasn't like that. It's just been one of those weeks where we simply didn't have a single perfect day. Each day, there was someone or a few someones who simply dug their heels in and said, "No." Each day, there was someone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed and stayed there until they crawled back in the wrong side of the bed that evening. Each day, there was a defeatist attitude. There was sloth. There were feelings of entitlement.
It's almost as if the children collaborated after Sam and I were asleep one night. Maybe Sarah was at the head of the table organizing the thing. "Alright, Ben. Tomorrow, it's your turn to get angry because you don't feel like doing math. Abby, you scream that you hate reading on Tuesday. I'll keep up my daily refusal to nap. And let's see if we can get Leah to cry at random all day long for at least one day. Also up for grabs are complaining that "it's too hard" and "I can't do it", whining about the food, being lazy, and leaving random deposits of toys and/or shoes all over the house."
It's not like anyone hit me over the head with a 2x4, but my spirit feels like it. Oh wait, actually, we did experience that this week - only it was Sarah. She got hit in the head with a 2x6 wooden swing on the playground last weekend. Five days later and she's healing up nicely...even though with head knocks of that caliber it means she actually starts to look worse as it gets better.
Interestingly, that was a non-issue compared to the attitudes we had going on. She was back to her normal shenanigans within a couple of hours. Here's hoping she at least learned not to walk in front of swings again.
Satan will use what he can, whether subtle or blatantly obvious, to cause division, dissension, and strife. This might be on a small scale between a mother and her kids or between young siblings. It might be on a national level between gun control lobbyists and second amendment activists. No matter where the conflict is, one thing is certain, it's caused by the enemy of God. And he is utterly delighted in his work today.
As I've tended to my kids this week, I have cried many tears over their poor attitudes, anguished over the lack of wisdom in their choices, and grieved their deliberate disobedience. I've wondered, "Why oh why won't they just do the right thing and follow my instructions?!"
Then it hit me - not unlike that 2x6 - this is how God feels about me. These kids definitely learned their behaviors from someone. Boom. And what I really need to do is listen to the wisdom and counsel of my Father.
I've said it before and I'm grateful for it all of my days, thank God his mercies are new every morning.
My prayer for tomorrow and going into next week -
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~Psalms 51:10
Because I don't want to be a complete downer - here are some of the highlights from our past few days. There is joy and love and there are blessings all around us! All I have to do is get over myself and, yup, there they are!
While cleaning out the kids rooms this weekend we stumbled upon no less than 3 magnifying glasses. They proved to be great fun...
(Whoa, that one is especially scary.)
I watched as my girls thought outside the box, again, and turned their Geoboards into a "laptop computer."
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm January temperatures and played outside like whoa.
I watched a head-wounded Sarah return to the scene of her first head-wound and sit unsuspectingly as Abby prepared to dump a wheelbarrowful of mud and weeds on her head.
I watched as these crazy, dress-wearing girls jumped without inhibition off the playground.
I spotted two longish hairs on Leah's head in the sunlight. Make the picture bigger. I promise they're there somewhere.
We blew dandelion seeds all over the backyard.
We had a picnic...and took a walk...all together. As a family.
stole picked Camellias and put them in their hair then insisted we call them "The Rose Girls."
We relished in barefoot time in January. (Really, it was 75 degrees.)
Abby made a real-life pictograph out of our shoes, categorized by color. But we had to do it fast because
goat-girl Leah wanted to eat the shoes. (What about that one undeniably black shoe next to the two glittery pink ones, you ask? Abby called it pink because the interior was pinkish. I couldn't argue with that.)
Tonight, at Bible time, my sweet, hesitant, somewhat-reluctant reader independently read four verses to us. And the beaming pride on her face made this weeks worth of stress melt away as if it never existed.
And that too is a glimpse into what it's like to be God and see his childrens' sins washed white as snow.
Goodnight, everyone. God Bless!