Today started out so well! The boys were off from school today because of a teacher inservice day, so there was no morning rush to get out of the door. For that, I was thankful! I truly think that is one major reason I love holidays and summer days---just a laid back morning! And the boys, oh they love it too! We lounged in our jammies on this dreary, cold morning and read together, made muffins, had sweet conversations. So thankful. The boys played well together and were encouraging and thankful and thoughtful. It's days like these that make me want to homeschool! There's just something about all of our attitudes when we're together. We're just better! I even made our first trip to Target with just my 4 littles and me. And they were awesome! We came back, played more, ate, had rest time and we watched a movie this afternoon (a super special treat since tomorrow is a school day) with yummy popcorn and then sent the older 2 off to shower up before dinner.
Then, it went downhill. I have no idea what changed from the entire rest of our day, but the simple instructions of "Go get undressed, put your clothes in your dirty clothes basket and get in the shower" proved to be much too difficult this day. There was all out silliness (which I expect some of), and then arguing, and then screaming (while baby is taking a late afternoon nap) and it was taking forever for them to accomplish anything in the shower! I was monitoring it all, in between monitoring little Miles trying to take all of the toys out of the big boys room or removing everything from the bathroom counter. And basically, my attitude went downhill fast. I was snappy and yelling, "Boys stop!" "Don't do that!" "Do you hear me?" "Stop screaming (as I'm yelling it)" and they were pretty much oblivious. My whole plan was to have them bathed before dinner so we could spend more time reading together tonight. Chad's been out of town for a funeral the past couple of nights and I know, in order to get the boys tucked in at a reasonable time, I have to start early. Bathing before dinner just seemed like it would help. But then, the boys were wound up at dinner, and me trying to get everything on the table to feed them and answer every question being shot my way, and everyone talking over everyone, sent me spinning. At one point during dinner, after one of our littles blatantly disobeyed, I put my fork down and went into the kitchen. I heard Luke and Charlie discussing what was happening. One of them said, "She's going to get the wooden spoon!" The other said, "Or maybe she's just going to pray in private!" And in fact, the latter was right. I had to remove myself from the table in order not to scream, but more importantly to pray! The Lord is my strength and I'm so thankful for that!
Later tonight, Chad and I talked on the phone and I relayed a lot of the day. I spent the majority of the day feeling incredibly thankful for lots of little things, and then an hour and a half of craziness just about ruined the rest of the day. But, my sweet husband in all his wisdom reminded me of how he and I want so badly for our littles to have perfect hearts at their young ages, when we, at 36, don't! And never will. However, we have a Savior who is our refuge and strength and joy and song and Shepherd. He is made perfect in our weakness. If we were perfect, why would we need Him? If our children are perfect, why would they need Him? Tonight I am thankful for struggles. It's the eucharisteo thankful. Have you read her book? Ooohh, it's my favorite and full of truth and full of pondering and encouraging on how to be thankful for the hard things.
Sure, it's easy to be thankful for sweet moments with my children, and cold, snuggly days, and I should be thankful for those. It's harder though, to be thankful for struggles. But tonight, I am. I am thankful that I had opportunities to apologize to my boys for snapping. I'm thankful that I had a chance today to tell them about how far from perfect I am (it's not the first time they've heard it, nor will it be the last), but that the Lord is perfect and He loves and forgives perfectly. I'm thankful this day has come around full circle!