What else would I want my daughters to say about me, besides that I was a patient and kind mother? I hope that they'd also say I was a woman of whom it was obvious that she loved the Lord. Patience and kindness are both Fruit of the Spirit, so it seems as if those would be essential elements in my behavior toward my own children, if a life lived for Christ is my goal. With young children in my care, this is often a struggle for me. Yesterday I (a bit begrudgingly, because I knew the likely outcome) got apple juice for my kids. This was not regular old apple juice, either. This was home-pressed, thick, sticky apple cider from my dad. I put it in "real" cups, not sippy cups, and gave it to my two happy girls. Before I could return the jug to the refridgerator, Allie had traveled away from the "apple juice zone" (the table) and spilled it on my kitchen floor. I admit my reaction was not quite patient or kind. I made sure Allie understood that I didn't like that she had spilled and was about to start cleaning it up, when Avery jumped to her chair at the table and also spilled in a completely other spot of the kitchen! This time my response was, "You two aren't careful because YOU'RE not the one who has to clean this up!"
I use this very common story from my very normal day to show that I struggle with selfish thoughts as I parent my wonderful daughters. I often find myself thinking (or saying), "I need a break," or, "I need a vacation!" I am again convicted of the sin of selfish thinking and the futility of looking to anything other than the Spirit to overcome this in me. Vacations and breaks are nice, but you always return to your problem. They are not the solution. I take comfort in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 that says, "Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ." The Spirit rose Christ from the dead and empowered the early church to do extraordinary things - He can accomplish amazing things in my life as well. I'm already seeing victory in taming my tongue and speaking kindly in all circumstances with my little darlings. Lord continue to help me!