As always to tell you what I learned, I am going to tell you how he taught it to me.
On Friday we started off the morning by going to the fair and seeing the animals. We had a fun time (that will be blogged about later) and then had lunch with some sweet friends at Firehouse. Firehouse is right next to the Dollar Tree so we went in there to look for a couple of things I needed for the upcoming birthday party. For most of the time in the store (which, admittedly took me a while) the kids were angels (especially considering they were both in one tiny cart with a good amount of stuff).
Lilly and Reid were both holding a bucket and I was putting the items we needed inside the buckets. Also in the back of the cart with Reid was my drink. (Stay with me...these details are important.) In the buckets I had put some board books, sponges, candy, etc. At some point during our shopping the kids dumped the buckets out and were just playing with the stuff. As we were pulling up to check out I remembered I needed 2 gift bags for a birthday party we were going to that night. I ran to go get them and when I came back to the cart Lilly had climbed from the front of the cart to the back of the cart and in the process knocked my drink over onto the board books. My sweet friend Rebekah and I dried them off as fast and as best we could (and praise the Lord there was no permanent damage done but at the time I didn't know about this blessing and thought I was paying for destroyed books).
I sat Lilly outside the cart and told her to hold on to it and not let go...after the third time of me telling her...she finally listened.
Then we get to the car and Lilly grabs this glitter star that Reid made at school and starts waving around prompting a glitter shower all over the back seat. I tell her to put it down and she does but throws a fit.
I finally get her buckled in, load the bags in the back seat floor board, and am putting my purse in the car when Lilly goes to grab her bucket out of the bag...which sent ALL of the bags cascading out of the car.
At this point, I was at my breaking point and I said (in a loud and harsh tone), "I have HAD it!" Now this is one of those moments that I felt the Lord tell me to shut my mouth and take a time out. I was truly at a crossroad where I could take a minute or I could go on an ugly rant.
I decided to get in the car and drive. But instead of just sitting quietly for a minute and calming down I called Matt...and let it go. I word-vomited on him every single frustration that had happened in the past 7 minutes (yes...all this happened in 7 minutes or less) which of course made me more frustrated.
After I got off the phone, God was able to prompt me to just start giving thanks. (I had read in a previous bible study that when you are frustrated to just start giving thanks so that He can put things in perspective.) As I thanked him for my children, their health, their sweet voices and laughter, the fact they learn and grow and have all of their senses, etc, I began to have more clarity on the situation.
1--we had been out for 3 hours and we had a rough 7 minutes. That is a pretty good day!
2--there were several times in the store where I just let things go that I should have addressed immediately instead of letting the behavior and frustration get worse.
3--I am blessed to have my children. Plain and simple. And, never, will I have "had it" with them. What I NEED to do when I am feeling that way is stop, seek God, and give Him time to guide me and THEN address the situation when I am not angry and frustrated.
So easy to say...so hard to think of in that emotion-fueled moment...this week I will be praying for the ability to do this in all areas of my life, especially in my parenting!