My kids are driving me crazy!
There. I said it.
I am not the perfect parent, nor do I have the perfect kids.
Oh, sure, they are usually a joy... when it isn't really early in the morning, really late at night, time to sit down to any given meal (when at least one of them always whines, "Do I HAVE to eat THAT?!"), or when we are making an exhausted effort to actually get somewhere on time (which practically never happens), So, basically, that leaves a good hour of pure joy each day.
Lately, our kids have been a bit "off."
My sweet princess has taken to saying, "NO!," lying about the most unimportant things, and disobeying just for the sake of disobeying. Most of my days are spent correcting, scolding, and speaking words of truth into her life. Sometimes she listens. Sometimes I feel like she puts both of her fingers in her ears, closes her eyes, and hums as loud as she can.
My thoughtful middle child has been moody, emotional, and hard to get along with. All of my suggestions, from the breakfast cereal of choice right down to which pencil to use to complete his homework, are refused. He has decided to do everything his own way, even if my way is quicker, safer, and uses plain old common sense.
My overachieving firstborn is becoming more independent and very active in extra curricular activities. He often over commits himself and struggles to manage his time accordingly. Many nights go far too late as he seems to believe he is capable of doing it all on his own. He only cries out for help when it often seems too late.
Nurse Boy and I are exhausted. Each kid has been throwing us curve balls. We have been taking action to rally the team to support, encourage, and respect one another. We have prayed for wisdom and peace.
One thing became immediately clear; our middle child was feeling left out. Nurse Boy helped coach the other two kids' soccer teams this season, causing him to miss several of Bruiser's games and all of his practices. Bruiser was feeling left out. Unfortunately, his horrible, ungrateful attitude often made us angry. We weren't able to see the actual problem for far too long.
Once we realized the cause of Bruiser's bad case of the grumpies, Nurse Boy planned a surprise night out for just the two of them. As Nurse Boy and I were discussing what they could do together, Nurse Boy (half jokingly) said, "I should just take him where I want to go, since he doesn't deserve it anyway."
Then, it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS: I am no different than my kids. What am I "deserving" of?
Sure, my Abba Father IS perfect, but I am a mess. A hopeless mess. I have said, "NO!," disobeyed, and even lied to myself about my behavior. I, too, have been grumpy, rude, and ungrateful. I have also been known to cry out for help when I am overcommitted and I have made a huge mess because I was determined to do it all on my own.
No, Bruiser didn't "deserve" a night out with his father. It is no different from the daily blessings that I receive. I don't deserve them. Any of them. Heck, sometimes I fail to even recognize them. Yes, I fall short. More often than I care to admit. I am not a perfect child, but I AM a child of God. I am a child of a perfect, forgiving, merciful, loving God. A God who has blessed me with 3 kids who continue to show me God's forgiveness and Jesus' willingness to sacrifice it all for God's children.
I KNOW I drive God crazy, yet He still loves and blesses me. I think I will try to spend more time with my fingers out of my ears, my eyes wide open, and my heart ready to hear all that God has planned for me.
Now, let's just hope my own children will do the same...
7 hours ago