Why is it that I feel compelled to write after a bad day or with a heavy heart? I promise that my life is filled with much to smile about. But, for whatever reason, I want to record my thoughts whenever events of the day have taken a downward direction or sometimes a straight nose-dive. Maybe it's therapeutic for me. I just know I gain a lot of insight when looking at things in retrospect. So, hang in there with me. More joyful blogs are coming...just not this one.
So, it was around 3:50 this afternoon when I texted my husband this short message, "pray 4 me". Of course, he calls immediately. Because I have a screaming child in the backseat, I cannot hear a word he is saying. I say, "I can't hear you...just pray for me...don't worry, I'm not going to beat him." Click. Even my customary "I love you" didn't get said. I was in one of those mommy crossroads and I wasn't exactly feeling the love at that moment. I knew I could choose to let this screaming, tantrum throwing child get the best of me and act like I'm 2 years old myself or I could keep my composure, be patient and act like a grown up. I was trying hard to choose option B. I didn't even know where my husband was. I just knew, at that moment, I needed his support.
The day had been perfect. Beautiful, sunny skies prompted me to take the kids to the park after school. While playing on the playground, I watched the boys play and just soaked up the moment. After a while, the slides weren't quite so interesting anymore and Eli found his way to the water fountain. I knew that there was no stopping him from the thrill of playing in the water, so I decided not to pick that battle. He happily pushed the button and giggled as he turned the water on and off. Of course, the next step is to put his hands in the water and before I knew it, he was dripping wet. "Oh well," I thought, "it's just water."
After 5 minutes or so, I decide it's time to go. That's when a nice day at the park quickly shifts to the type of day when I have to make a hasty appeal for prayer. My soaking wet child goes limp noodle on me and starts SCREAMING on the ground. I have to stop and say a quick thank you to the good Lord that no one was there to witness it. After that acknowledgement, I pick him up by the arms and say, "Stand Eli". The wet noodle is something we've unfortunately become accustomed to and this is my typical reaction. I will hold him by the arms until his feet are planted squarely on the ground. Just when I think he's ready to stand, he goes down again. So, up and down we go. Obviously, this isn't working. I decide to sit with him while he gets his composure. We make 3 or 4 attempts to get back up. No luck. He's a sobbing, screaming, wet mess. Mommy is still doing pretty good. However, I can't toot my horn too loudly because I probably would've been much worse had witnesses been on hand. Oh, and can I mention I have 2 other children to worry about during this little episode? Finally, he stands and I give him about a nanosecond before I start half dragging him to the car. I was walking so fast that I didn't give him a chance to do the wet noodle routine. After bucking me, I finally get him in the carseat and hear the seatbelt click. Whew...glad that's over.
Did I think I'd be so lucky? Eli is a screamer but the scream that came out of his mouth after that would make every hair on your head stand up. No, we are NOT having that. That scream is utter defiance if I've ever heard it and merited a spanking. Yes, I do spank...don't hate me for it. Finally, I'm in my seat and that's when I make the text.
This is when I pause to say how lucky I am to be married to Jason. He was at Lowe's, a very manly store, when he got my text. My man stops in the middle of the aisle, with his buggy loaded with electrical wiring, closes his eyes and prays for me. He told me that everyone probably thought he was half crazy. How that simple act touches me in unspeakable ways.
Thirty minutes later, he pulls into the driveway to find me sitting in a lounge chair reading a book. I'm hardly the picture of a frantic mother at her wits end pleading for prayer. Eli was inside watching cartoons and eating goldfish in his booster seat, the baby was asleep and Jacob was playing his DS. What happened? All I can say is prayer happened. The fruit of my husband's prayer brought immediate peace to our home. Moreover, the exact page I was reading when he pulled up spoke directly to my heart about the situation I had just experienced. It's from Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God and reads:
Like most moms, I have been brought to tears and very often to my knees before the Lord...As I have taken to heart God's command to look and watch, I have begun to see God's hand where I hadn't before. With spiritual vision, I now can see that God is using my children to produce the fruit of the Spirit in me, something for which I have fervently prayed. I can see how the Lord is using them to temper me and make me more fully into the woman He wants me to be. Seeing what God is up to has restored my confidence that He is speaking and working in my situation.
I colored the passages that spoke the loudest to me. I've always approached parenting with the attitude of what can I teach my children? Rarely do I see it the other way around. After reading this, I realize God is using them to teach me a few things. These are things with a divine impact and a divine lesson. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I simply need the help of prayer. Thank you, my husband, for looking half crazy for your wife. Not only did you help bring about peace to a frazzled mother but you have shown me love in the deepest of ways. Prayer changes things. It did today.