Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thank God for Peed Pants

Lately in motherhood, I've found it all too easy to 'lose my head'. That's a nice way of saying that I freak out sometimes. It seems that the the very things I pray hardest for (patience, gentleness, joy in all circumstances) are the things that become most difficult. I know that it's God's way of working in me...if I asked for these things and suddenly my kids started behaving like angels and obeying the first time, and Brad agreed with me on every point and we never had opportunity or reason to argue, well, I might come across as patient, gentle and joyful, but really, I wouldn't be practicing these characteristics at all. It's easy to be joyful when things are going smoothly, but the fact is, God wants to grow these fruits in us, and when it counts most is when we are able to have patience or gentleness or joy in the midst of difficulty. Not just in the easy moments. So, I know that when I pray for patience, God will send trials my way which will give me opportunities to practice being patient. Sometimes I almost regret these prayers, as it seems like I'm just asking for a rough day! Today, for instance...
Today was one of those days. We went grocery shopping and here's a snapshot of just a few of the things that happened:
I got one of those stupid kid carts, you know, a bus or fire truck or whatever, where the kids sit in front together. First of all, I can't steer those things for the life of me and I ran into everything and couldn't get out of peoples way (by the way, it was the grand opening of a new grocery store, so it was packed). Second, within five minutes, I had to separate the girls who were pushing, poking, pulling hair, etc, putting Addison up on top, and thus inducing an epic whine session from her. Meanwhile, someone gave Lily a chocolate cookie and she managed to get chocolate all over. I mean seriously all over. But hey, she was happy for ten minutes so whatever. I was actually okay with my one-year-old being covered in brown.
Fast forward a few minutes: both of them yelling as loud as they can, seeming to feed off of each other. Lily is frantic and screaming and trying to climb out. I still have quite a bit left to get and determine to finish no matter what a scene we might be making. Head held high (but not making eye contact with anyone!), we continue on and eventually make it out. Sadly, we still have to go to Costco, which I almost bag, but it's right across the street. After grabbing our four things, the girls are still out of sorts and I realize it's lunch time, and I decide the food court is a grand idea. This is where things get really ugly. Addison runs amok, I set Lily down to go grab our drink and when I look back at her, she's hanging upside down, leg stuck between the table and bench, just dangling (I have no idea how this happened. Only Lily could get herself in this predicament!). I leave the drink and race over to save her. Addison is getting into everything. Lily wailing in my arms, I go to get ketchup and accidentally drop the hot dog on the floor. I decide it's still edible and we finally sit down to eat and Lily yells and and squirms but won't eat. We finally make it home after singing silly songs the whole way to keep everyone pacified. I tell Addison to go potty. Instead, she goes outside and pees her pants. I take a deep breath...and the Lord helps me practice patience and gentleness when I really want to snap at her for not going when I asked her to. I'd like to say I prayed my way through all of this, but in all reality, my joy at this point was my mocha freeze from Costco. Now all my afternoon plans were jacked up because I had to go run a bath for them.
Read on...the story's about to improve and I'm getting to the point.
By this point in the day, I was a split second from 'freak out' mode. But I calmly put the groceries away and started the bath. I strip the girls down and set them in the tub, and what had been an insanely stressful afternoon suddenly turned into sweet, giggling girls playing nicely together in the bath. Everything got calm. I let them play and play, longer than usual, and meanwhile, I cleaned up the day's messes upstairs, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed (upstairs is tiny...no, I didn't leave my little ones in the tub unsupervised!). I found stress relief in cleaning and organizing, and in listening to my girls laugh together instead of screech at each other...
I suddenly saw God's hand in the details of my life. I saw Him working for me, not against me. He gave me  multiple opportunities this afternoon to be patient. To speak gently when I wanted to snap. To remain joyful in the midst of chaos. I succeeded some moments; I failed others. Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of your patience produces perseverance... Because Christ loves us, he allows trials, big and small, to come in order to sanctify us. And because of His infinite grace and compassion, He doesn't give us more than we can handle. He calmed the storm before I lost it by allowing Addison to pee her pants. HUH??? Yeah, that's what I said. I make fun of Brad sometimes (which I shouldn't) for attributing every single thing to being 'a God thing', but honestly, I believe He knew I was just about to my breaking point and He knew a nice bath was just what was needed to calm the storm. In an instant, everything was resolved, and all because I had to drop everything else and go run a bath because my toddler peed her pants. 
God works in funny ways sometimes. And sometimes we just have to step back and laugh as we see the situations He uses for our good. I mean really, who would think that my day would actually get better at the point of Addison having an accident? I'll argue the person who says that God doesn't have a sense of humor!

1 comment:

  1. hi! saw this post on casey's blog. I posted a similar post on motherhood. :) I think I pray every day for patience for myself to be able to deal with my children. Glad to know I'm not the only one! <3