Monday, July 16, 2007

A New Day

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. The are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:19-24

I am so thankful for a new day, for new compassion and God's everlasting faithfulness. Because last night was a pretty rotten night.
My kids have been on a kick lately of doing a portion of a job and then stopping, saying, "I've done enough." They don't want to do one iota more of work than someone else. And if I ask them to pick up something which isn't "theirs" you can be sure there is going to be an argument. Needless to say, I am very tired of it.
I have even considered doing childish things to drive home my point that we're a family - and functioning as a family means doing things for other people and even putting away things you didn't get out or use last. I have thought about starting to make dinner and then saying, "I've done enough," and leaving the kitchen. Maybe when they're all really hungry they would get the point. Or maybe I could sort the laundry and then stop without ever washing, drying, folding, and returning everyone's clothes. When Joshua asks if I've washed his favorite shirt I would just say, "No. I've done enough." Maybe that would teach them.
Anyway...Last night after dinner my husband ran an errand with our neighbor but before he left, he instructed the kids to clean up the messes they had around the house. They started off OK, but it wasn't long before the I've done enough mentality took over. I talked to them about functioning as a family and even told them my ideas about how I could take on the I've done enough attitude, hoping if they just thought about it they would change their attitudes and work together.
Nice try, Karen.
Eventually the house did get picked up, but not before the kids did quite a lot of bickering - with me and with each other - and not before I was really tired of dealing with the arguments. Then Brian got home, asking, "So, how did clean up go?" Impeccable timing, dear.
When it was time for the kids to get ready for bed, the trouble continued. I will spare you the details. The bottom line is, I was in tears. I was resenting my kids for acting their age and I was upset with myself for having that attitude. In the midst of it all God was reminding me how much I love them and how blessed I am to have them, and I was a mess of mixed up emotions.

But this morning I woke up to a new day, with new compassion. I've been humming that song, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning, great is Your faithfulness, O, Lord. Great is Your faithfulness.
Yes. It is a new day. I am loved by God. And I love my children.
Have a great day!

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Char said...

Dear Karen
I love how honest you are about your feelings! I really admire that in you. Thank goodness for new mornings, renewed opportunities and grace that is ever new for us to draw on! Lots of loves x

Sonya said...

I totally understand how you feel and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes. It's a tough job but I know God didn't give us more than we can handle! Thanks for sharing so that I might be a little stronger in my parenting today!

Jen @ irrationallove said...

Thanks so much for this let-me-tell-ya-you're-not-alone post! He knew I needed it today. Days like the one you described come all too often in my house. Even though I know these truths, "His mercies are new every morning" and "great is His faithfulness" it is as if I forget them after a day like that. I wake braced for another day of bickering, arguing, complaining without tapping into the resources He offers. Not a good choice, especially when help is offered so freely and lovingly! Thanks for the reminder to look up.
"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Ps. 5:3

Tiany said...

Wonderful post, thanks for sharing a bit of your heart and your thoughts with us, I can relate with so much of what you posted!

Blessings to you and yours!

kreed said...

I am always thankful for a new day that follows one like the one you had. Another thing I always think of when I have one of those parenting days when I just want to go out and hide behind the storage often my Parent must want to go hide behind His storgae shed when he has to deal with some of my behavior! Thank God for grace and new days - for all parents!

Karen said...

I love your honesty and it's easy for me to say that the Lord is going to do great stuff in and through you when you are in the 'refiners fire', but I see big things. I nearly commented a few times over the last few days, boy it's been a tough time on the parenting front and I hate the way that it shows up the 'urggh' in me when things don't go ABC. My son who is usually the challenging one has been a joy and a delight - thank you Lord. My daughter who is the cruisy one has been ill and isn't happy and has been all out giving me a hard time, telling me "I don't love you" "go away" and that's OK, it doesn't hurt me, but you know when there's mess everywhere, you're trying to do homework with one child and this little one keeps making waves. I just felt so angry and resentful and recognised my lack of patience. The more she annoyed me, the less I wanted to meet her needs. I'm so selfish. So was thinking, I'm impatient, I'm selfish - this list is growing. I sat down last night and read books with her, all Christian ones, then played MLP's and Hedgehogs (her game) and it was great, that time spent was so worthwhile. The wee girl misses me and there I am often wanting to do my own thing. Not pretty! I'm gearing up to read your book again very soon!

JennaG said...

I'm sorry you had that rough day--but I can see that you have a good attitude. We all have hard days and it is so good to know that His mercies are new every morning.

annie said...

I love that song, and I love that we can wake up from a night's sleep with a refreshed and renewed vision of things.
I wish I could say it gets better with age, even my perfect children still give me grief about helping sometimes, but then they step up and help with izzy and therapy and I just see what sweet hearts they have.

Mandalyn said...

I'm glad you are feeling better! I know times like that can be frustrating! You put your whole heart into taking care of them and want them to take just as much pride in their jobs as well!

I bet the Lord gets tired of my half-hearted jobs as well!

Renee Blain said...

So I am on my way to bed after a horrible day! Allie is sick, we missed VBS and she threw the worst four year old fit this afternoon that I have ever seen. I was awarded the worst mom ever award this afternoon. But before I went to bed I decided to sit at the computer and read your blog. Who do you think was behind that decision??? I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning and that we can leave today behind! Thanks again for sharing from your heart! God is so good!

Dakota's Mom said...

Yes, a new day is wonderful to start over! Sometimes I even have to think of it as a "do over" every hour or minute. It's so great to know that we have as many "Do overs" as we need to thanks to Him!

Deborah said...

I so needed to hear this scripture thank you for sharing my dear dolla friend. love always me

Leigh Gray said...

your house is real too!!! you know how you decide someone is super-human and never have bad days or even rude kids... I am praying for a new day and new attitude and please do the same for me as well. I have had lots of thoughts about going back to work.......... I am not sure that is not something HE does not want me to do, but my motivation right now is to get away and that is not right. thanks for your post!!! love you!

LoveMyStarr said...

Even when I've had a rough day with Scamp, I can go look at her while she's sleeping and be reminded how much of a blessing she really is. Your post was really uplifting.

Coach J said...

I love your honesty. Here's mine: I have pulled those childish "tricks" to drive home the family mentality. Most times, it works!! My kids need to "see" it played out instead of "hearing" it spoken. They still complain sometimes, but they're getting the idea.
Keep going!! I'm proud of you for assigning jobs to them! (My dh still says I do too much around here, and would give the kids more to do. I don't utilize my assets enough!! :) )

hestermom said...

I stumbled upon your blog...nice to meet you!