Lately I have been praying for patience. Being a full-time mom sometimes leaves me feeling frustrated with my children. Don't get me wrong. I adore my kids. Just recently I told someone that I wish I could do each year twice just to double the time they will spend in my home.
But sometimes the not listening, whining, crying, fighting and general toddler and preschool behavior leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Me being me, I internalize this behavior and look for the failure within me that is leading to my children's frustrating behavior. This led to the prayers for patience. I don't want to be the grumpy momma that is always correcting my children. I don't want to let the work of raising them consume me to the point that I miss out on the blessing of them.
After some reflection what I realized is that I wasn't actually praying for patience in myself. What I really wanted was my children to behave perfectly. For them to be different. For me not to have to do my job of teaching them boundaries and correcting the challenging behaviors. In a way I was being self-centered because the perfectionist in me was viewing myself as failing because they do not always behave perfectly. Instead of seeing the truth which is that kids are supposed to test us. This is how they learn right from wrong. Acceptable from unacceptable. Kindness from selfishness.
I can simultaneously play, giggle and see the joy of these little loves while also teaching them to be responsible and generous people.
Isn't it funny how prayers are often not answered in the way we want but instead in the way we need. I am thankful for this lesson of insight as we approach the holiday season.