Being a parent…. sometimes the most fulfilling job in the world and sometimes the hardest and sometimes the very thing that leaves us feeling empty. That is where I was last night… tired and empty. It has been real cold since the last snow storm and playing outside has been limited. And as those of you that have boys know, inside is HARD! I don’t know about girls, but all that boy energy that accumulates could have tore our house down by last night.
Our boys have given up nap all together now and so yesterday was a 14 hour straight day of inside… well actually closer to 13 because I did bundle them up and take them out with me to do evening chores. (For all of our survival!!) We fed the horses, the chickens, played with the dogs, and of course harassed the barn cat.
These two… anyone else feel that way sometimes? Like they can bring you so much joy and then ten minutes later so much frustration? We had played games, done some handwriting practice, played tractor and hide and go seek before lunch. After lunch I wanted some time to work on my bible study lesson so I sent them down the hall to play. Together. It didn’t take long before I could hear them picking at one other. Even though they are twins, their minds work so independently and they have their own ideas about how “playing tractor” should go. One boy very serious and the other’s imagination runs wild. Their words became more and more frustrated towards each other, each one battling for their own defense. Until I heard the hard statement, “You never do it right! You always mess up the harvest!” The heaviness of the words hung in the air until I heard the other boy quietly say, “I don’t want to play with you anymore” feelings hurt.
Ugh… my heart ached. Why do they talk so nasty to each other sometimes? Where does that come from? Do they hear us talk like that? I immediately turned to self-evaluation. And to the very familiar verses of Matthew… For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matthew 12: …34-35) I want to be storing up the good in our boys’ hearts. I want to set a good example for them. They watch and they learn, they are like sponges right now.
Manual. I have always said they should come with a manual! But honestly… we have a manual…its the bible. It talks about the importance of relationship. The relationship we have with our children, just like God, the Father wants with us. I heard a very wise man once say, “If God wanted to be someone else he would have called himself something other than Father”. And His love, His example, His grace for me keeps me pressing on in this parenting stuff. Its messy, its hard, and I don’t by any means have all the answers. But the Father loves me even when I mess up and I want to keep loving my kids even when they mess up and their hearts seem hard. It is a journey of learning for them too…. just like it is for me.