What is your biggest frustration?
I am positive mine is REPEATING myself over and over again! I start off okay telling a child what they need to do. But let that child forget for the 4th time OR have the 5th or 6th child walk in and I must REPEAT myself again...well...this kinda tips the scale in a NOT good direction.
Thinking through what must be done to teach the kids the right way to put up dishes, to pick up their things one more time, to return items you borrowed, leave whatever space you walked into better than you found it, or that the kitchen must be swept after EVERY meal can be exasperating at best. They love to leave their dishes to be scrubbed, drop any item they feel is unnecessary to pick up, get up and leave at any moment no matter that there are 4 blankets, 3 cups, every chair has the foot rest left popped out, paper and pencil on the floor, in the couch, under the table, cords, laptops, books and Lego's everywhere! Every day, multiple times a day, I must say the same things over and over again. Pick up your things. Put the blankets back up. No drinks in the living room. Rinse your plates and put them in the dishwasher. Pick up your pencils. Put your books back on the shelf. Clean the kitchen...that means sweep the floor and wipe down the counters! Pick up your toys before you go outside. Hang up your towels. Don't leave your clothes in the bathroom floor OR your closet. Yet every day....REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT times 8! (A little known secret is that the teens can be worse than the toddlers!) Now I have 3 little guys learning from my teens who are oblivious at what is left out.
Rehashing in my head again how I am going to address the issues at hand, ONE more time, I was praying for the Lord to give me some great wisdom! In seconds my head was swarming with I am teaching my kids grace when I respond to their failures the right way. The Lord quickly said to me, "how many times do I have to repeat myself to you my child?" WOW! God is gracious to not yell at me with my shortcomings. He gently prompts me to do as He says, AGAIN.
Convicted that I must keep exercising grace to my children, weekly, daily, and moment by moment I pray God will remind me when I am ready to POP...that my response is far greater for my children to learn than picking up their things. How quickly I forget what matters most!
I gotta keep practicing grace for the little things because when the big ones arise I want to be ready to respond like Christ. To walk with them through a crisis rather than pointing fingers and blaming them for their mistakes. How many times has God graciously forgiven my mistakes and walked with me through recovery? He loves me through the crisis...often leaving the consequences, but never leaving me in shame.
As a parent, what better thing can I model to my children than God's grace!
Praying I remember that in about 30 minutes when we have a new dilemma of messes I must repeat myself again!