“I wish you didn’t have to travel again” I said to my husband as he packed his bags for a business trip. I knew the week ahead would be challenging as I prepared myself for the multiple events I would have to attend with six kids in tow. I took a deep breath and prayed for God’s help.
All our mornings started with swimming lessons, followed by errands and summer homeschool, and ended with wrestling camp. I knew I could do it. After all, I had it all together, right? I had plans for special mommy time with the kids, special kid-friendly meals planned, special treats, a new cleaning schedule to keep us all caught up with chores, and a typed AND laminated summer schedule! I had expectations for a wonderful week.
But after one day my expectations were crushed. I ended up giving lectures to my kids more than spending that well planned “special mommy time” with them. I was nagging them. I was at the end of my rope.
The next morning at swimming lessons, my friend sat next to me and shared her frustrations at her home. I could totally relate. We were both burnt out. We were both out of ideas for what would work. We both indulged in a little comical back and forth of whose scenario was worst. We both felt a little better by the end of the conversation knowing that neither one of us was alone in our situation.
After lessons that day, my day continued to spiral down. After running errands, I had my children spend some time in their rooms while I flopped down and cried out to the Lord for wisdom.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
But I didn’t just desperately ask God for wisdom, I believed that when I asked He would deliver.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6
So, what happened? I got up, walked to my bookshelf and stood there. “Is there something here for me? What am I looking for Lord?” Within seconds I reached for a book. So, just a side note about me, books aren’t my favorite. You will rarely see me taking a book off the shelf and reading it (unless it is a cookbook, of course… 🙂 ) So I know this is a God thing. But the book I picked was more of a God thing. It wasn’t a motherhood encouragement book or a “laugh till you drop to make you feel better after a bad day ” kind of book. On my shelf was a book I bought almost five years ago and never even opened: Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids. I chuckled at God’s sense of humor on the “YOU” part and sat down and started to read. I only got two pages into it before my time was up, but it was enough to motivate me to keep reading. In just those two pages, I realized right away that God was showing me that in order for things to change, I had to change. Ummm…errr…uh…Ok, that was extremely humbling.
Later, as I was preparing dinner, my son was listening to Odyssey on the Christian radio station in the kitchen. After his Odyssey was over he left the radio on. And wouldn’t you know that the next program was about parenting. The guest speaker was talking about her woes of motherhood and parenting. But things changed for her when she realized that she had to change in order for things in her home to change.”Okay God, I’m listening.”
That night at wrestling camp, I brought the book along with me. As I walked circles around the gym with my baby girl in an umbrella stroller, I looked like someone who LOVED to read. I held the book in one hand and pushed the stroller with the other while keeping an eye out on the other kids. I managed to get to Chapter 2. I am HOOKED.
After my experience this past week, I realized that I need to continue what God started in me through my Tickle Challenge a few months ago. The book is the next step in the process that will allow God to take things to the next level. I need to be geared up for the long-haul. I have six wonderful children who are striving to grow in the Lord and I want to be a testimony to them. I want them to see Jesus in me even when things don’t go the way I plan. I need them to see Jesus in me even when I feel unappreciated, worn out, depleted, and beat up. I want them to believe that when you ask God for wisdom, He WILL deliver
Parenting is crazy hard. We fail. We learn. We try again. One day we think we have it all figured out and then comes the curve ball. We often beat ourselves up as parents focusing on our failures instead of allowing God to build us up and transform us. So when you find yourself at the end of your rope wondering what to do next, bend a knee and pray, my friend, and there you will find your answer. Don’t waiver in your faith by just saying the words of your prayer. Truly believe that God will give you wisdom and wait on Him to show up.
Have you read Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids? What are your thoughts on the book and has it helped you with your parenting? Whether you have read the book or not, would you be interested in participating in a cyber parenting blog discussion starting in September where we would read the book together and share our thoughts and experiences? I’m looking forward to taking this journey with a group of wonderful people who are willing to be humbled, transformed, and renewed for the betterment of themselves, their children, and their marriage. Blessings!