Ian and I had a really tough day on Thursday. Really, it was probably not any different for him than any other day, but he had a grumpy mom-on-the-edge to deal with. I seem to go through different phases where a different child drives me crazy for a while, and he's the one right now. With that said, he does continue to melt my heart on a regular basis, so don't think that I'm ready to give him away. At least not for more than a few days.
Anyhow, sometime in the afternoon I sank to my knees for the fifty-eleventh time that day to say a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help me be calm and handle this without yelling or spanking him (especially since neither of those things seem to work on him anyway,) the spirit gave me a glimpse for a moment of the parallels between us.
I was whining to the Lord about how Ian always said so sincerely, "I'm sorry, Momma. I promise not to do it again." Sure, he means it. For about two minutes. And then we start all over again. As these thoughts were going through my head, I felt the spirit whisper to me, "Just like you, Michal." And I realized: how often do I ask the Lord's forgiveness for something, telling Him that I'll do my best to not repeat it, and then find myself asking for forgiveness for the same thing again? How long have I been repenting for yelling at my kids? For being impatient and impulsive and alot like a toddler? For at least 6 years. And does Heavenly Father listen to my apologies scornfully? Does he lecture or nag me? Does he throw it in my face that I've repented for this before? He does not. As I repent and ask His forgiveness and for His help, I feel the sweet peace of the spirit engulf me and I know how much He loves me. I know how glad He is that I am sorrowing in my weaknesses. I know how much he wants me to do better, even though He knows that I may very well mess up again. I know that He wants to help me, if I'll let Him.
In that moment, not only did I understand how much I am like Ian (and thus have more compassion on him,) but I realized another way that I can strive to be more like Heavenly Father. I can shower love on my sorrowful, apologetic (and naughty) son. I can assure him that I know he can make better choices. I can tell him how much I love him without putting a "but" in the sentence. I can help him make better choices by the situations I put him in and the attention I give him.
Since I am so very like a three year old, I am all the more grateful for a loving, forgiving Heavenly Father who is patient with me. So very patient. I hope it rubs off someday!:)