Faith · Motherhood

Blood Pressure and Waffles

I don’t have high blood pressure; but I do love waffles.  
And fortunately, they DON’T raise your BP.  

But this post has nothing to do with either, really.  Blood pressure and waffles are what may or may not be present during my weekday mornings during the school year.  Case in point: 

This morning, my amazing God-given ability to be impatient and my 3 year old’s defiance collided.  And when I say this morning, envision this:

6:30 a.m…

Coach gone to tend to his team’s weight lifting time…
Me rushing around like a mad woman barking orders at anyone who will listen…
and then…my girl and I.  Just us two.  Readying ourselves for battle.

Being tested with a ‘dig your heels in’ little girl is nothing new.  I knew when she was born that God had blessed me with a girl who had some serious will.  Her birth story…I’ll save that for another day, but that’s when I knew.  Her and I are either a match made in heaven or worst enemies depending on the day.  I am tested DAILY with her determination and her many ideas of doing things.  I often feel like I’m throwing around negotiations like candy.  The hard thing about this one morning, is that she chose to argue over everything…even her traditional waffle and syrup breakfast, and I had NO time to wheel and deal with her.  To add, the fact that she was taking longer to wake up, but yet still debate with me, on a day where I had consequently woken her up later than usual was making my blood pressure sky rocket.  Yeah, I know, get a grip mom.  As Coach would remind me, “Hey, listen, it’s okay.  Just calm down.  You won’t be late, and if you are, that’s ok!”  Well, too bad for both my girl and I, my voice of reason had already left the building.

To make a long and dramatic story short, I ended up ‘hollering’ (my southern word that sounds much better than yelling) and she ended up crying.  And I mean, really crying.  But wait!  I will not disappoint.   I couldn’t stop there, right? I was on a roll!  I somehow ended up yelling ‘hollering’ at my boy about his listening skills because I was having to repeat things and he just wasn’t going fast enough for me at the moment.

We miraculously ended up in the car with backpacks and all, and drove to school in silence.  Which, if you know me, I LOVE music..  We all do.  We love singing along to songs in the car like teenagers with the windows rolled down and the music blaring. The silence was golden, but that was short lived.  As a matter of fact, it became piercing to my heart.  And then, it hit.  The EXTREME guilt. I’m talking some serious gut wrenching, nauseous guilt.  I felt horrible.  Not only did I holler like I had lost my ever-lovin’ mind,  I was fully responsible for the start of THEIR day being crummy.  Me, their mother.  What had come out of my mouth could not be put back in.  Dang it!

I looked back at both of their sweet faces as they looked out the window to the roads and cars that passed, and I wondered what was going on in their precious heads.

“I’m sorry, you guys.  My yelling was way out of line.  Yelling is a big ‘NO’ and I should not have done that.”  My apology was so sour coming out of my mouth.  I was so sick at the fact that here I am, 34 years old, and needing to apologize for my unprecedented actions just because I was worried about getting out the door in time. BUT… just like that, “It’s okay, mom” came rolling out their mouths; easy as Sunday morning, not missing a beat, with complete and utter GRACE and mercy.   We exchanged heartfelt “I love yous” and drove on through the rain (fitting) to school.  The irony?  I got to school with 7 minutes to spare.  That 7 minutes at home in a more patient manner would have been just fine.  I love the way God humbles us ever so perfectly. We prayed together as we sat in the car for a few minutes and I asked God for forgiveness of my impatience and holler-…ok, fine, YELLING, and then thanked him for the opportunity for us all (especially me) to start on a clean slate.

We walked on in, had a few laughs, gave each other hugs, and were on with our day.  Time check:  7:30.  A roller coaster ride in just 60 minutes.  Geez.

But, let’s go back a bit.   My children showed me such grace when I needed it the most.  Just like that y’all.  When I was 100% completely in the wrong, yelling me head off, all I had to say was…”I am sorry. Please forgive me”. And there, like a beautiful gift, I was forgiven and grace fell like the rain outside; a burden lifted off my shoulders, and the opportunity to start anew.   THIS, my friends, is what Jesus has done for us.  What an amazing depiction of Jesus’ love for us.  When we don’t deserve to be forgiven for something most see as despicable. When we have messed up for the one bazillionth time.  When we find ourselves doing the same darn thing over and over that we promised to stop doing.  I know…I’ve been there. It is Paul that says:

18For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NIV-28110a" data-link="[a]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[a]<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-28110G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 
Romans 7:18-19 

But then, in the darkest of the dark, in the guiltiest of the guilty, in the pit that we have dug ourselves into… is Jesus.  Waiting.  Waiting for us to turn to him, waiting to pour over us with such forgiveness, grace, and mercy.  And ready to redeem us once again and wash us clean; as white as snow.  It is THIS, that makes me strive to be a better woman of God.  It is this unconditional love and forgiveness that makes me want to run as hard as I can toward Him. Do you know what this all means??  It means He is head over heels for us and loves us despite anything we could ever do.

And He forgives. Just. Like. That.   

Seeing my kids forgiveness toward me in an impatient (and humbling) moment overwhelms my heart and soul to its brink.  And gosh darn it, don’t you know I will do everything I can with God’s strength beside me, to be the best mother I can possibly be.  I WILL lose my patience again.  I WILL find myself struggling with the urge to, you know, yell.  I WILL feel my blood pressure rising.  I mean, that is life.  It’s going to happen.  However,  I am praying now, that when those moments come, God will gently (or harshly – whatever works) remind me of that moment in the car when my kids’ hearts gave me the real picture of God’s love and grace for us.  

Parent on with courage, friends.  Parent on.  

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