I am not naturally a patient person.
In every sense of the word, patience is a hard thing for me; I walk quickly, talk fast, speed read, find shortcuts, anything that makes daily life move faster- I do that. I'm inclined to rush and hurry.
Rolling three deep with a preschool attached to me 24/7 has really thrown a (super giant) wrench in my (face) everyday tendencies, reminding me constantly (so constantly) of how great my need for Jesus is. Because my inclination to hurry, added to a heap of little kids quickly turns into a frantic, angry, frustrated, whiny and unhappy mess. For all of us.
Honestly, I'm not patient enough to be a mom. I get angry. Don't hate on me right now, but sometimes I wanna dropkick my kids out the window. Or lock them in the basement. Or shove them in the mud. Or get crazy sarcastic and mean. It is totally by God's grace that none of those (except the sarcasm one) have happened yet. Let's just get real- kids are hard and it's not always fun. Instagram might make it look like it's all babies posed next to stuffed animals, or fun art projects and silly happy faces, but that's just because no one's posting the pictures of their kid throwing a fit in the middle of Target, pooping their pants or trying to choke one of their siblings. Who takes those pictures?
I took my girls to the mall today. Lately every errand, meal and bedtime with them has been especially trying. So imagine how hard it was not to die laughing when a woman in the bathroom told me that she's "just not patient enough to be a mom." I'm standing there, on our third trip to the bathroom (after one had already pooped her pants in between trips) with one kid in the stall and the other two trying to figure out the fancy soap dispenser thinking to myself that no one on earth is patient enough to do this.
I laughed and said "Me neither."
How great is the grace and mercy of Jesus that He doesn't wait until we're enough? Maybe you have kids and maybe you don't- but in the "daily littles" of life, isn't it good to know that you don't have to be enough? Doesn't it fill you with gratitude that the Holy Spirit would come with heavenly ability to do what seems impossible and unnatural?
Sometimes it's really easy for me to read the Bible and consider theological truths for the big stuff- like that one's for pastors, that one's for missionaries, that one's for evangelists, that one's for the ultra-spiritual, and that one's for the totally lost. Or I'll put that one in my pocket for when I'm in the super gnarly, super hyper-spiritual moment. Because the mommy stuff is stuff that should be natural to me- like there's nothing supernatural or hyper-spiritual about parenting.
Because when I'm honest, in the daily littles and kid fits of my life, I need the Holy Spirit. Things like "letting patience have its perfect work in you that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing," or "being strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy," I need heaven to break through and make those theological truths my reality when I'm in a public bathroom with my kids. Oftentimes I need the Holy Spirit to enable me to respond to my kids with love over rage.
Because I am not enough.
I can't muster up the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control that I need to be a wife or a mommy. My junk's just not enough- it's not the hardy stuff that's gonna last through the poop of life. I want the hardy stuff.
It's been as a mom that I've experienced God's Amazing Grace in my life most. The days that I let Him in on the struggles, anxieties and fits are the best; when I'm clinging to God's words to me instead of my agenda- that's joy. It's messy and sometimes slow, but those are the days that I notice chubby cheeks and hands, sweet hugs and funny mispronounced words with gladness in my heart.
Today I needed the Holy Spirit to get through a trip to the mall with three of my kids.
I'm okay with that.