Monday, September 27, 2010

Beginning Again

Tonight was one of those nights. The baby was whiny and clingy. I was trying to make dinner, shoes needed to be tied and untied, rain jackets zipped and unzipped, my husband was running 15 minutes late, and I was just plain tired.
I had to keep the baby up so my husband could get to see him for a few minutes before he went to bed. But he was ready for bed. And I was ready for him to go to bed. Have you ever tried keeping a whiny, tired baby up? Yeah. You know.
I raised my voice to the kids. Okay, I confess. I hollered at them. "Come inside!" "Go wash your hands!" "Now!!!" If they weren't listening to me talk sweet then I was a-raisin' my voice. All my pent up anger of the day and the frustration of the night came out in those few words.  It feels good...momentarily.
When my husband came home 15 minutes late (and 15 minutes seems like an eternity when dinner's waitin' and you've got a baby on your hip) and said, "you all start without me, I will put the baby to bed"--well, I decided I'd best holler at him, too. 
When dinner was done, and I had a few moments to myself to reflect on my behavior, and sigh, and wonder if I'll ever get it right, the words I once read at Elizabeth Foss came to me:
"Faithful Christians Begin Again."
That is what we do.
We start. We stop. We fail. We try again. We fail again. But we always Begin Again.

It's like the way I try to parent my children. Through Biblical Parenting I have learned a technique where I allow my children a sort of "time out" to think about their wrong behavior. They have to tell me what they did wrong. I ask, "what should you have done?" They tell me. And then, the crucial part is looking them kindly in the eye and saying, "well...let's try again! I know you can do it!"
(Taking a break and Positive Conclusion)
(For another great resource related to the site read Parenting is Heart Work)
So, I began again.
I went to each child and my husband and apologized for my behavior. I asked for forgiveness. I gave myself some grace. I took a deep breath. I began again.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~Philippians 4:9


Rebekah said...

I ran out of patience with my daughter tonight while I was trying to make dinner. She kept running in and out, hanging on me, sticking her finger in things (like raw chicken), trying to pick up huge knives... you know. Normal stuff. I raised my voice. More than once. Her response, "Mom, you should try to be nice. You're a big girl." I confess, I did not receive it well, but she's right. I am a big girl. Thanks for reminding me that tomorrow I get to begin again.

Jennifer King said...

Bless you and your words tonight..."I gave myself some grace."

It was a rough day here, too.

Aimee said...

Love the "positive conclusion"...just read the practical and helpful. thanks friend!

Natalie said...

*sigh* I know. And you've been the one to encourage me to forgive myself and live in grace- trying again. I'm so glad you took your own advice! (((HUGS)))

Elise @A Path Made Straight said...

We must never stop believing that we can start over... ever!

I have so many days like this. Thank you for your honesty; thank you for loving your family so much that you want to start again and give them what they really need.


Mama Bear... .. . said...

this was beautiful and humbly sweet to read and so encouraging. every mom should read this, first take a deep breath, let go of the guilt and remember your words. i think i needed to hear this today.

Christine said...

Starting again in my house many times a day. :) Love that grace!

laurel said...

I need a big dose of grace. Patience has been hard to come by lately. thanks for these words.

babydoc said...

Really thankful you shared that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'd write more, but my eyes are too teary. I love you, Andrea! ~L

blessedmommie said...

This was just what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing honestly from your heart, such truth.