Sunday, July 17, 2011

My evil children

This has been a really tough week with my kids. My oldest, who is strong willed and can be very stubborn and proud, decided she was going to raise her ugly horns this week. And her little sister, "the sweet one," decided to follow suit with a fresh bout of terrible twos. So between sibling rivalry at an all time high, stubborn and prideful disobedience and tamper tantrums as a response to my every request, a pregnant, physically exhausted and zero-energy mama, and the highest temps of the year, let's just say it's been miserable around here.

It don't cry very easily or very often, but I've come close a few times this week. Every night after bedtime I've found myself collapsing on a chair or couch, zoning out, and kind of moping, feeling helpless and pitiful. Despite my study of Philipians and how to have joy in all circumstances, satan has been using my kids and our situations this week to try his darndest to stip me of all joy of mothering.

Last night as the kids were brushing their teeth I found myself trying to express my feelings to my oldest without crushing her spirit the way I felt she'd crushed mine. I said, "You know how I'm always telling you girls that you bring me so much joy? Well this week your attitude and disobedience has only brought me sadness. You've been no fun to be with this week." My intent was to ping her with a little guilt and to try to get her to think of someone else's feelings. Instead she responded with all the fun memories we'd had during the week. "Didn't we have fun playing Bingo today?" "Remember when we did this and that? That was fun, wasn't it?" She wasn't being fresh this time, she was so serious. Despite all of the discipline she'd received from me, she was easily able to focus on our good times. My plan foiled.

A few minutes later as they crawled into bed I pulled out a quick kids devotional. It was too late to sit down together around a Bible story so I figured I'd find something fast I could read to them before I shut the door. Well, I could NOT believe what I flipped open to. The big bold verse on the front page hit me like a ton of bricks:

"And he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart." Genesis 6: 5-6   The verses that immediately follow these in the Bible go on to say that God decided, as judgement, to destory the earth and everyone in it with a flood. Only Noah, his family, and two of every animal were to be spared.

Woah. My first reaction was that God knows how I've been feeling, but to the 10,000th degree. I haven't even come close to feeling like I'm sorry my kids were ever born. Though I've issued some pretty strong judgements this week and have desired a vacation from my kids, I haven't wanted to wipe them out completely. But all of mankind had become so bad, so evil and had such disregard for God that he was grieved he had even made them. I have a feeling the world is probably close to, if not at, that point again. I know there have been plenty of times my own attitudes and actions have broken God's heart too. Any time I sin, He is grieved. While kids have a way of illuminating the fact that we are all depraved and full of sin, I love how parenting has given me such a greater understanding of God's love, discipline, mercy, grace and forgiveness as well.

So of course last night I took advantage of the opportunity to remind my kids how God judged the people for their sin by destroying them with the flood. My little smarty pants was quick to reply that that will never happen to us (she knows God promised never to flood the whole earth again and has given us the rainbow as his sign and continual reminder of this promise). And as further proof of her pride, she explained that even if there was a flood, she'd hide under her bed so it wouldn't wash her away anyways. I just rolled my eyes and as we prayed I asked that God would replace their stubborn pride and disobedience with the fruit of his Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. And then later I asked him to replace my self-pity and sorrow with the same.

My little angel

Cherub #1

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