Sunday, November 25, 2007

Loving Every Moment?

You may recall earlier this week when I sent Matthew to his room to memorize scripture rather than having his typical "time out." Since that day he has been coming up to me throughout the day saying, "Mommy, guess what? The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." He is very proud of knowing this verse and I am delighted to know God is writing on his heart. It has been precious for me to see Matthew's joy in knowing God's word. I have loved these moments.

Last night Matthew afforded me another moment to love. I was saying goodnight to him and he was hugging my neck tightly. (A little background: Matthew has a tendency to draw out bedtime, particularly by hanging onto my neck and not letting go. I used to have to literally pry his hands apart so I could leave his room. Then one night I decided instead of being impatient and trying to "get away," I would take that time while he has hanging onto my neck to pray for him. On one such occasion he let go a little sooner than I expected him to, at which point I said, "Hey. I wasn't finished praying for you!" I went on to tell him I pray for him every time he holds onto me like that.) So last night as he was holding on, I was praying, and when he let go I said out loud, "Amen."
Then he wrapped his arms around my neck again and, although I couldn't make out the words, I could hear whispers coming from Matthew and I knew he was praying for me. After a minute or so he let go and said, "Amen."
How sweet it was to have my little guy praying for me!

Fast forward several hours to this morning...I was sitting in my living room having my quiet time, thinking about these moments of delight I have had with Matthew over the past couple days. I prayed and thanked God for them. I told God how much I loved moments like those and how glad I was for the HOPE He gives me in them. And then I did a strange thing.
I asked God to help me love all the moments with my kids, not just the good ones.

Fast forward another hour or so...I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth when I heard a thud and,"What the heck???!!!" (It drives me nuts when they use that phrase!) It was Joshua and Matthew in their bathroom - fighting. I went out to see what was going on, only to get the usual, He did this. No, he did that. It isn't my fault. He's the one in the wrong. Blah, blah, blah. I didn't really settle anything, except that I sent Joshua to his room to wait until Matthew was finished in the bathroom before I would allow him to return to finish getting ready.
At that point I went back to my own bathroom and gave Brian an I am so tired of this kind of look. He looked back at me and simply said, "What?" I told him about my time with God this morning, and my prayer that I might love all moments with my kids. I said, "Am I supposed to love these moments, too?"

Well, am I?

I don't know if I am going to be able to love every moment. Some of them are so hard, so frustrating, or so tiresome I just can't imagine loving them - or even missing them, as some "seasoned" women have told me I will.
What I do know is this: I need to love my children in every moment. So my prayer will continue to be, Lord, I know you love this child and although he/she is driving me crazy right now please help me to love him/her in this moment.
By the grace of God, we will make it through this season of life. Our children will grow and we, too, will be changed - made more into the likeness of Christ. And maybe, just maybe, God will do something to our memories which will allow us to forget how tiring and frustrating these days have sometimes been, and we will actually say we miss them.
Maybe. *wink*

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Rachel said...

I still can not fathom "missing" them. I too hear the "seasoned" women's word and with a "you have no idea what I will do when they are gone" look on my face, I end it with a smile. I know that God knows what I'll do when they are gone and I take GREAT comfort in that!

Angela said...

What a great prayer. I need to work on that one. Seems lately there are more of the bad moments than the good ones. I think I just need to sneak away to Starbucks for a bit! Honestly though, I have been reminded of how His strength is made perfect in my incredible weakness. Without Him, I am a lousy mom. With Him, I can do all things. I just need to remember to rest in His strength and not my own.

Have a blessed, coffee filled week!


Maddy said...

Easy peasy. Think back to when they were first born and we were all buried in nappies and permanently exhausted. At that time we thought we'd never survive.

We remember it, we can still empathize with new mums and dad's but it doesn't seem THAT bad now, we just remember the overall lovely fuzziness of it all.
Best wishes

KarenW said...

Yes, we will miss them. I know I miss the preschool, early elementary days of my kids and they were TOUGH! I think there are hard times with every season but we need to treasure the good times.

Renee's Ramblings said...

What a great prayer and ideal! Thank you for sharing!

Queen of My Domain said...

I know it's hard to love all their actions, especially fighting. But then I try to remind myself of all the parents out there who have lost a child and would love to have thier children fighting again. It doesn't always work but some days it does improve my attitude a bit. What a great post to be reminded of again.

Shawna said...

How sweet of Matthew. I'm tearing up!

I think that needs to be my prayer often, too. Scamp has reached a stage where she's being defiant with me more so than my husband. And I often become frustrated. Thank you so much for sharing!

kreed said...

What great moments with Matthew! It sounds like you two are really enjoying some "God moments" together lately!

As far as the other moments...loving them all would be really tough, but I try to remember how much tougher it would be to not have any moments at all...

Bronie said...

thanks! i needed that. i can't imagine missing fights, eye-rolling, and constant noise, but a friend of ours said lately that all those things mean life. he's right. while i can't imagine missing chaos, i can't imagine total quiet either...i think i'd like to try. ;)