Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Imprints in the Snow

For some reason, the plow that usually clears the sidewalk between our house and Matthew's school hasn't been out since we got our most recent snow. And you know what? That's entirely OK with me.

Because I have learned some lessons by observing the prints we've left in the snow.

One day last week we were running a little late getting out the door. *gasp!* Happens all the time with my little ADHD buddy. So I was trying to rush Matthew along to get him to school on time. And when we were almost there, he plopped himself down in the snow because he just had to make a snow angel. And then, of course, he had to pause a moment to admire his creation - while I was trying to drag him the rest of the way down the sidewalk and into the building.
But as I walked home after kissing my little buddy good-bye, I paused by that snow angel, too. I remembered Matthew's joy in laying there, flapping his arms and legs around, and I prayed that God would help me slow down. Prayed that He would help me enjoy these last days of walking Matthew to school. (Next year, he'll be riding the bus.)

The next day, just about half way through our trek to school, Matthew laid right down in the snow and said he was too tired to walk up the hill. He hadn't been too tired to stay up too late the night before. Hadn't been too tired to run around the house that morning chasing the dog. But suddenly, he was too tired to walk.
And I? Was frustrated. "Come on, Matthew! You need to get up and walk. Let's go."
Eventually, Matthew did get up. Amazingly - his energy had returned by the time we got to school. Imagine that!
As I retraced our path on my walk home, I had to pause again next to the imprint of Matthew's body in the snow. This time, I thought about the fact that my little guy has legitimate needs for understanding and compassion. I considered my propensity to respond to him with impatience. And I prayed that God would fill me with the grace I need to extend to my children.

I smiled at the footprints which marked where Matthew and I were goofing around. And thanked God when I saw the tracks that showed we had stopped to look at something interesting along the path.
I don't know why the plow didn't come through this time, but I sure am thankful for the lessons I've learned from our imprints in the snow.

I wonder. If you took time to pause today and - in your mind - retraced your steps over the past few days, what lessons would God have for you to learn?


Karen

11 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Oh...the pain of looking at some of my imprints...my impatience and irritability with my husband, my sons...love and grace. More love and grace. To be in the moment and not hurrying on to the next. To laugh more. To smile more. To stop and take in moments. You seem to do this well sweet sister. I need more of Jesus and less of me that is for sure. Thanks for this reflection today!

gianna said...

i think it's great that you take the time to reflect on your life and the lives of your kids. it's beautiful.
also, i am posting about Dash's surgery today. check in to see how it went.
THANKS for PRAYING!

Irritable Mother said...

Leslie - More of Jesus, and less of me. That's true for us every day, isn't it??!!

Gianna - GOD is beautiful. And I am so thankful He moves in me to see beyond myself sometimes.
Looking forward to the report on Dash!

Jerralea said...

It's so easy to be impatient when our kids are little. Then later we have plenty of time to regret it! Why are we in such a hurry anyway???

Angie Muresan said...

Oh dear! Good question, Karen. Mine would be to slow down and pay attention to my family. I'm always in such a rush from one thing to another.

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Friend, you have pointed out something that I do not take enough time to do. Reflect, review....

I am doing more of that as I write the Legacy Bible study because so much of it is taken from the lessons God has taught me over the years.

Great post. Thankfully we DO NOT have snow today...was predicted but it missed us. Yea!!

Leah

Melissa said...

That was a great post. I got a little bit of that yesterday, when we had a (completely unexpected) snowfall and my daughter went out back with me to feed our dogs. Mine were the first footprints in the backyard, and she said she was going to step into them so she wouldn't mess up any more of the snow. It was a little humbling to realize that she follows in my footsteps on a daily basis, not just in the physical realm - so I'd better watch where I'm stepping.

O Mom said...

Love this.
I wish I could be confident to look back at all our tracks and see good things, but I know it's not true. I often thought about recording our days and then listening to them later...what would I sound like? Really makes me think about being in the moment, not in the outcome.

Irritable Mother said...

Jerri - I have no idea! I really want to learn the value of slowing down and enjoying NOW.

Angie - Me, too, Angie. Me, too!

Leah - I think your Legacy study is going to be great! Can't wait to see it.
Yeah. We had more snow predicted, too. And it's falling. Oh, is it falling!

Melissa - What a great in-your-face (Or, in-your-footstep, as the case may be. *grin*) lesson God gave you yesterday! Yes. We need to watch where we're stepping.

O Mom - "being in the moment, not in the outcome" I'm going to write that one down. Thanks!

Jessica said...

I think mine would be to not freak out when three year old spills his milk for the second time. *sighing at myself.* Yes, it was only the second time and I was so annoyed.
But there are good tracks too. Reading stories, controlling my nasty temper. LOL

Irritable Mother said...

Jessica - It's so easy to freak out over little things, isn't it? And then one day we'll be grandparents and we'll tell our kids to relax about the spilled milk that their own children produce. *sigh*
I've actually thought, maybe when I'm a grandma and have all this great insight and patience, I'll write another book. Think I'll call it, Why Was I so Irritable? LOL!
Who knows? I really might do it. *grin*