Friday, September 7, 2012

Patience.

I was all set to publish a "From the Mouth of my Babe" post this afternoon, but it just didn't feel right.  While Ethan has been saying some pretty funny stuff lately, which I will post at some point, today just wasn't the day for sharing it.  I've always been pretty honest here on the ol' blog, and the day I make y'all think our lives are full of cute pictures and funny phrases will be the day I should just shut it down.

Because - truth is - I've been more frustrated with Ethan this week than I've been in a very long time and I'm trying hard to pinpoint the reason behind it all.  Although I can think of a few incidents that have triggered immense amounts of dismay, I can't quite see the big picture.

Is it the start of preschool and a new schedule? Is he not getting enough rest? Is it even about him? ... am I harboring some sort of bitter feelings over who-knows-what? Is there something floating around in my heart and mind that I haven't acknowledged and dealt with?

I have no idea.  I do know that I've never been a patient person.  Not "impatient" as in I-have-a-hard-time-waiting-for-things-to-happen, but more like I-have-an-extremely-low-tolerance-for-situations-that-don't-meet-my-expectations.  I guess you could say I have a bit of my Daddy's temper in me.  I've always known this about myself and I know it affects the way I interact with Ethan (and Jeramie).  That said, I've also been working hard on keeping that in check and treating him (them) with grace and respect.

But.

When my typically agreeable child negates every word that comes out of my mouth, and defies my words with his actions, it makes me crazy.  I can appreciate that he is trying to learn who he is apart from me.  He's experimenting with opinions and words - a learning process that is exciting, for sure, but baffling at the same time.  All of a sudden, I feel at a loss for how to parent this little human.

And in an instant - in one moment of not keeping my anger in check - I find myself raising my voice, then feeling immediate guilt for forever ruining my child's psyche.  It's like walking a tightrope - this parenting gig - and I've never really liked heights.

A while back, a friend of mine challenged a group of us girls to pinpoint a verse in the Bible that spoke truth into whatever struggle we were facing at the time.  Since I've always struggled with grace and patience, I found my way to Proverbs and this verse has been on my heart ever since:

"Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.
A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones."
-Proverbs 14:29-30 (The Message)

I want so badly to be that patient person - that mom, that wife, that friend.  I want Ethan to do the right things because he knows they're right - not because I yell at him when he acts wrongly.  I want him to understand the love that Jeramie and I have for him isn't based on how "good" or "bad" he is.  I want him to know respect because it's modeled for him on a daily basis.  Most of all, I want him to understand that grace and forgiveness is there for when we mess up.  Injecting all of that into the life of an illogical three year old feels daunting, though, doesn't it? This week, it has run me ragged - I feel worn down and drained.  

But.

I am looking forward to rest, to time with friends, to a date night with my main man - and I'm thanking God for His mercies that are new every morning, for His grace.

Lord knows I'd be even more of a mess without all of the above.


8 comments:

mossfamily said...

Oh, Joye! Sometimes I think you speak right into my heart. It's like you are able to put into words beautifully what only mulls around in my head that I never can verbalize. I know exactly how you feel & walking that tight rope is difficult. If I am honest, I fall off of it everyday! Prayers for patience, friend! (For me too!) You are one good Mama, though & never doubt that! ((hugs))

Dana E. said...

"Most of all, I want him to understand that grace and forgiveness is there for when we mess up." This applies to you too.

You are your biggest critic, as we all are.

It's sometimes easy to forgive others, and sometimes easy to accept that God forgives us...but we have a very hard time forgiving ourselves.

alinna. said...

joye, moments like this make me super thankful for the blog world. i needed to read this post like whoa at this very moment.. as i just rode home from chickfila crying because of how my daughter treated another child and feel major defeat right now. i needed to see that mine isn't the only child who doesn't meet my expectations and that i'm not the only mama who doesn't meet her own for her behavior and ability to control her temper. thanks for being honest.. and i'll pray for both of us when i'm feeling myself at that breaking point and taking deep breaths.

Tara said...

beautifully said Joye...I know it rang so true to my own heart as well. prayers and hugs for you sweet friend!

Kim Smith said...

I agree with Dana for sure, girl. And I can relate. Palmer has had a few tantrums since beginning kindergarten, and I am trying to keep in mind that some sort of regression during times of transition is completely normal and almost even expected. Maybe Ethan is taking a few steps back because he's about to take some major steps forward. And remember... His grace is enough. :)

Becca said...

Oh sweet friend, I totally feel you (did you read my blog post last week? My feelings towards BOTH of my kids have not been awesome lately) . . . Anyways, thanks for being honest and know that I'm praying for you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Parenting is the biggest responsibility you will ever know.

To this day, Jeramie and Nick are grown responsible adults and I still look back and think.... could I, should I had done some things different?

Raising children is a work in progress... and you are progressing very well.

Love you all...

Grandma A.

Stefenie said...

{{{HUG}}} We've all had those days Joye! Parenting is definitely not all rainbows and sunshine every day.

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