Thursday, March 27, 2014

jovie's grace.

You know those mornings where you wake up feeling super rested and ready to take on the day? The kids are still snoozing while you make your tea, and you sit down with your Bible in a silent, sleeping, peaceful house? You dig into the word for some meaty and wonderful insight from the Holy Spirit (complete with tears and notes in your journal), totally uninterrupted by anyone screaming or clogging a toilet; and then your precious wee ones tumble down the stairs bright-eyed with sweet smiles and darling bedhead, excited to have whatever cereal you decide to pull from the pantry. As you pour the cereal into their bowls, maybe you're even met with a chorus of "thanks, mom!" The sun is shining,  birds are chirping- the whole world is your oyster! 

Yeah, me neither. 
Instagram lies, friends. 

I'll probably be blaming the time change of two weeks ago for our grouchy attitudes on through the summer, but seriously? My kids are a hot mess lately. 

I've composed this haiku about Jovie just for kicks:

Hot tears. Disaster.
Fists pound. Voice ragged. Distress.
"Mom! Fin looked at me!" 

That was this morning. 
All morning. 

Finally, after three timeouts and multiple forced apologies (from Jovie, to Lotta and Fin) I realized that this girl and I needed to ask Jesus for help. 

Why am I so slow to do that?

We sat down in her room and held hands. I asked Jesus to help us to be kind to one another, to give us good words to share with each other, and for Lotta and Finlee to love Jovie and vice-verse. Then Jovie prayed. 

"Jesus. I have a sad heart today.
Please give me a happy one.
I love you.
The end." 

I didn't want to let her little hands go.  
I focus on the doing; she pours her little heart out to Jesus. 
And my four-year old just ripped me a new one.

It. Is. Hard. To. Be. A. Parent. 

I almost missed that. I almost chose timeout (again) over bringing my kid to Jesus. 

I'm not telling this story to brag or boast in my awesome parenting skills, because I am lame. The chiefest of lame sinner moms, right here.  I miss most of these opportunities. I tell Caleb stupid things like "you need to just change your attitude and get over it," a hundred times a day. I wish I was the "hey buddy, let's ask Jesus to give us a right heart in this right now" mom, but I'm just not there. Especially when it involves homework and chores. 

My precious little people need the same new mercies and grace to deal with their day as I do. Who hasn't ever met the day with a sad heart? Jovie does. So do I. Where my wisdom says "just try harder to be good," the Holy Spirit would remind us "my burden is easy and my load is light;" the difference between a sad heart and a happy one. Only the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. 

My kids have got children's ministry, Bible time and worship songs coming out their ears; and I praise God for that. We've got shelves and shelves of amazing books, rich in testimony and theology. But none of that takes the place of the gospel, communicated and demonstrated daily in our home. 

Lord, that we would hold little hands and pray precious prayers with our kids.