I had a terrible day yesterday. Terrible. Okay, even as I write that I realize that "terrible" is relative, so since all my children are alive and we have a roof over our head I guess it wasn't that bad. But in my world, it was bad.
It began with my intelligent, beautiful, gorgeous 5 year old. He's driving me nuts these days. He defies everything I tell him to do, argues with me constantly and replies with "why" to any thing that comes out of my mouth. It isn't in a I-want-to-understand-how-things-work-way, but a are-you-really-the-boss-way. And I engage him. I argue with him, attempt reasoning with him and try to prove that I am in charge and what I say goes. If I just had one child then that would be difficult, but instead I have 4 and it is exhausting.
So Caleb tried me all morning and I lost it. One of the worst parenting moments that I have had yet. I talk to the boys all day about patience, kindness, self-control and gentleness and exhibited none of these characteristics. No mother of the year awards here.
After calling my amazing mentor mom and calming down, I brought the boys in bed with me and we talked under the covers. They forgave me, I forgave them and we laughed, giggled and wrestled under the covers until I got hurt.
5 minutes later Caleb is at it again. Driving me nuts. So much for our honeymoon.
I decide to take the kids to Mickey D's for lunch with some friends. Caleb was in a...mood on the way there and the whole time we were there. Pushing all the buttons. And once again I engage in the drama with him.
Then once we get home, he completely changes personalities and is sweet the entire afternoon.
One storm passes, just in time for another....
Ella starts throwing up. Now, let me stop here and tell you that I HATE stomach bugs. Colds, coughs, runny noses, & blood, don't bother me the way that stomach issues do. In my mind, my worse case scenario is all 4 kids throwing up and Joseph gone. Seriously, some moms consider childbirth your "badge of motherhood". Not me. When you have a child that has fluids coming out both ends and you do too, it is then that you have the badge. Until then you are only wearing a patch. An iron on patch. But once again I digress...
Ella starts throwing up. So I bathe her because it is all in her hair, bed and clothes. As I am bathing her, Lily is crying and the boys are fussing because they are hungry for dinner. And Joseph isn't home. The next 2 hours were difficult with lots of tears from all of us. Lily and Ella on a normal day fuss from 5:30 pm until they eat for bedtime at 6:45 pm. They only stop fussing when they are being held or when in the car. So when Joseph isn't home to help me hold a baby, then I load the kids in the car and we go through the drive thru and eat while looking at Christmas lights. Last night Ella threw up in the car, Lily was screaming and food was taking forever at Sonic.
Not feeling like mother of the year. Children eating fast food, driving aimlessly to keep kids quiet, and being impatient and frustrated with the boys who are desperate for some attention so fighting and arguing and crying. Nope, no mother of the year here.
I started praying. Out loud. For Breath of heaven to hold me together and pour Holiness over me. For angels to surround us and help me. Because I'm not sure how much more I can take.
And Grace arrives. Poured on me. I hear Caleb tell Luke, "Let's pray for Mommy." And so they start praying together. For their family. Their Mommy, Daddy and baby sisters. (I heard something about trees, Christmas lights and cups too!) Lily Kate stops crying. Caleb says, "See Mommy, God heard our prayer and the angels helped Lily to stop crying. She's not crying anymore!" Then I hear Luke ask Caleb where angels live. His reply: "They live in heaven. You have to go up, through the sky and past outer space to get there." Grace poured.
Holy God, use me to reflect your image to my babies. I want them to know you, seek you and love you with all their heart. Raise these little oaks into believers who see righteousness and holiness. Use me, in spite of me.
End note, we are so blessed. A good friend of ours is a pediatrician and he came over last night. Ella slept all night and hasn't thrown up today. Neither has anyone else. It really wasn't such a bad day.