This last week has been tough. The kids have been acting out, being mean to each other, whining, crying... you get the picture. This morning was especially bad. I lost it numerous times - yelling, being really short, harsh, and spanking more than usually (*gasp* yes, we spank as a last resort on occasion). I finally caught my breath at nap time and started lamenting to God (who I hadn't really talked to up till now in the day). The Holy Spirit smacked me in the face, and then I realized...it was ME!!
I have been physically present with me kids, but I haven't really been here. I ignore them while reading a blog, working on a doula or CBE project, cleaning the house...the list could go on. Then I find myself constantly putting fires out, losing my cool, and everything melts down. This is not okay.
I have been reading in Ruth this week and was really struck by the sweet love story between Naomi and Ruth, between Ruth and Boaz, and most of all between Naomi and baby Obed. Naomi's joy was returned to her in the form of this sweet baby boy. She held him in her lap and cared for him. Tears were streaming down my face when I thought about the fact that my baby boy is turning 4 on Sunday. I have not been treating him like the treasure and joy that he is. I have not been showing him and his sassy sister the extent of my love for them. My heart hurt today as I confessed these things to God. More tears streamed down my face as I apologized to my children after nap time for the way I had been acting and the way I had been treating them. They were very concerned, but I think they understood. We had a wonderful afternoon playing together.
Don't get me wrong, there are still consequences for my kids' actions. They will still disobey even if I am fully engaged all of the time. But it is 100% worse when I am not. I realize that this is going to be a continual struggle for me as I have a bit of OCD tendencies when I start some project or idea and don't want to stop what I am doing. I also rely (too much) on the internet to feel connected to the outside world and am therefore on it A LOT. So I greatly covet your prayers. This moment in my life is going so fast - I don't want to miss it or them.
Thank you Lord for your word and the story of Ruth, for your Holy Spirit to open my eyes, and for my children to teach me how to live now, in this moment, for you. AMEN.