Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Am Like a Three Year Old

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!:)

17 comments:

Sea Star said...

I can totally relate. Each child has their day to just bug me. The reminder to perhaps look at what is bugging and see how I do the same thing is a good one. I know often the behavior I see and really irritates me is the same behavior I do myself.

MoziEsmé said...

Our kids teach us some of the greatest lessons - I think that's why God created such a wonderful relationship!

Life At MandyLand said...

I need this post I too have a three year old who has been testing my patience... It's funny how just when you think you can't take any more they do some thing that makes you fall in love again... We make mistakes every day and just don't have some one pointing them out any more...All good things to remember when our children misbehave...

Deborah said...

I think you made a really good point near the end of your post that I think will really help the situation. "I can help him make better choices by the situations I put him in and the attention I give him." I do remember that when I was busy doing "my own thing" was when we had the most problems. When we got the kids going on good activities, we definitely had less problems.

Your idea of forgiving and then loving unconditionally will definitely also help the situation. Great insights!

Macy said...

Great insight. Thanks for sharing that one.

Aubrey said...

I love this post. What a tender insight to have and share. Thanks for sharing with us!

scrap chair potato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scrap chair potato said...

Thanks for sharing that story. It is really true. I find myself throwing my own tantrums when things don't go my way... a lot like my children.

Angela said...

Fabulous write up. I think I need to do more praying and less screaming! What a wonderful reminder!

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

Thank you so much for sharing and for your honesty!
I know that I too have learned so much more about the character of God since becoming a Mom. And we think that we're the ones who are supposed to be teaching them! :)

Prudy said...

Thanks, I needed that.

Sonja said...

Such a beautiful reminder. I am so thankful for this post, I needed this! :)

btw, I love your new profile picture!

Kimberly said...

Oh my...this struck a chord. Loudly even.

RiverPoet said...

There's a book I wish I'd had when my kids were at that age. It's called "Boundaries," and it's by two Christian psychologists. They talk about how most of us have boundary issues, and they teach you how to set proper boundaries for your kids whatever their age and for others in your life (think parents!). It's based on Biblical principles. You might want to take a look.

Meanwhile, prayer works! At least it slows you down and makes you take time to quiet your mind.

Peace - D

Christine said...

If only we could REALLY be like our three year olds- eat only what we want, or throw a fit... take long naps in the afternoon... hang out with our friends and have snacks rather than go to church... it would be a fun life.

Yvonne said...

Thank you for this reminder! Good luck!

An Ordinary Mom said...

The phase I am going through right now has both of my older kids driving me crazy, LOL :) !!

Thanks for this inspirational post. I, too, have been acting a lot like a 3 year old lately, but I am grateful I have the Lord to lean on.