I've been praying for the ability to discern what thoughts, desires & inklings come from my flesh (meaning my body...like say, cravings), which ones come from my soul (mind, emotions etc...) and which one's come from my spirit (which, praise be to God, includes the Holy Spirit who lives within me). I'm hoping to get better at following the leadings of my spirit and less likely to follow the leadings of my body and soul. Tonight, I am not sure if the writing of this post stems from the spirit (which, I am surely hoping) or from the body (as I gave into my ever-tempting desire for multiple pieces of dark chocolate). Either way, here I am - fully awake at midnight - with words pouring from my fingers.
I just climbed down the ladder of my three year old's loft bed. He and I, we had a rough day - and I just wanted to be near him. To reassure him of my love (though, I'm not sure if he even knew I was there), to pray over him (something new to me, I'm ashamed to say) and to beg God for wisdom. Those of you who know me well, or maybe even just barely, have probably heard me say more than once that I have found parenting four kiddos easier than I found parenting two. That over the years, God has been working on me and changing me, and that I like who I am now so much more than who I was a few years back. Today, however, I wasn't feeling that way at all. It was definitely one of those I CAN'T DO THIS kind of days. A day where, more than once, I was dumbfounded, begging God for wisdom and guidance, and wasn't sure I got a response. A day that I struggled with anger, discouragement, disappointment, and doubt (wow, that was a lot of d's).
To be honest I am not sure exactly where I am going with this...other than perhaps, for records sake, to admit that I have these kinds of days. Sometimes I feel like when I am chatting with other moms and I casually say that I've found four kiddos easier than two, it may come across like I've got it down. Like, I'm put together - and that perhaps, some day they can join me on the "I've got it all figured out" side of things. I don't mean to sound that way, and I definitely don't feel that way - but I just thought I'd put it in writing in case somehow it has or ever does seem like that is what I mean.
There was one moment today where I found myself questioning the "blessing" of the tough times with my precious middle child. I mean, I KNOW that he is a blessing - beyond a shadow of a doubt. As a matter of fact, his heart is so big and his love is so deep that I am often amazed we share the same genes. But, if I am honest, certain moments with him FEEL like a curse rather than a blessing. Thankfully though, the Holy Spirit reminds me ...
"2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4"
And I remember that my precious boy is not the only one being parented here. God is parenting me. These tough times, they are probably some of the biggest blessings of parenting.
A friend recently reminded me that if you help a butterfly get out of his cocoon, he dies because he is so weak. That the struggle of getting out of the cocoon is what gives the butterfly the strength to fly. Today, I wanted an easy out. I didn't want to struggle. But, now that I've had some time to reflect, I'm thankful that God is strengthening me so I can learn how to fly.