I'm too tired to blog.
My back hurts.
My foot hurts.
Okay, I'm out of excuses. I guess I should blog.
Can I just pause here to thank the Lord for coffee? It just helps everything. It makes everything just a little better. I like honey and cream in mine. It's beautiful.
Okay, so onto today.
Can I just say that the past three days have been a big "mom fail" for me. I don't know what we did exactly or why. I can't name specific instances, I just know that there was lots of yelling and screaming and anger coming from all three of us. (Simeon doesn't count, he's just a baby and really, he probably cried the least of all of us.) Aria and Levi kept fighting and then I was distracted and would come in on the end of things and pass out judgement and punishment however I saw fit (probably unfairly). One night Ben was asking if he could run an errand before coming home and I told him he better come home or he might not have three kids by the time he got there.
It was a mess.
I was a mess.
I'm not sure how it creeped in, but I was becoming very angry. Yes, the kids were more needy this week, they are coming down with colds. Aria has been more whiney and has resorted to screaming. Levi has taken up a habit of scaring Aria when he wants her to do things. She will sometimes be okay with being scared, but usually it ends up in her screaming and crying. Then I lecture Levi about not scaring his sister and I say, "next time you scare her, you will get a spanking." Oh the threats. How I hate threatening. How I threaten.
On top of this Ben has been extremely busy at work. His company is implementing a huge new system and he plays an important role in it. He will be working strange, round the clock hours for the next few weeks. All that to say that he is working today. And it's a Saturday.
This morning started when Simeon woke up at 4;15. I nursed him in bed until Levi came in at 5 crying for a cough drop and someone to blow his nose. Ben went ahead and got up to read the Word. I decided to get up and shower at 5:30. Levi came back into our room at 5:45. I told him to go back to bed to which he whined "Nooooooooo!" There was no reasoning with him and I knew if he went and laid down he would just continue coughing. I hate coughs. They are from Satan.
Aria might have started crying at 6, I'm not sure. It doesn't matter.
I don't like mornings like this.
I want to start my morning ALONE. With my husband and the Lord and maybe Simeon, he's quiet so he can stay. I don't enjoy trying to read my Bible with my kids climbing all over me asking when they can eat breakfast. I go and fix them breakfast and then they start fighting, which in the world of a 2 and 4 year old that consists of yelling "Yes!" and "No!" for no particular reason. Jesus, help me, I might yell over all of them.
I sat on the couch wondering if this is what the rest of my day would look like. And I started to cry.
The only thing I could pray was "Jesus, I need You."
I wrote in my journal: Lord, I am struggling! I need You. I am bitter and angry at my kids. I don't want to be around them. They are annoying me. Everything they do is getting on my nerves.
Please help me Jesus! I don't want to feel this way! I want to love my kids. I want to not be annoyed by them. Please! I need You.
Verbatim. Seriously, I just copied that out of my journal. Ah, the rawness of motherhood.
Every morning before Ben leaves we pray. Sitting on the couch Ben and I told our kids to go to their rooms so mommy and daddy could pray. And don't come out or else. Parenting is never perfect right? We are a mess. Without Jesus we are a mess.
So we prayed. I don't remember what Ben prayed. He was in a much better state of mind than I was. I remember confessing my bad attitude and asking that the Lord would give me a new heart. I knew that the day could go either one of two ways: I could continue in my miserable attitude and have a miserable pity party day OR I could cry out to God and He would change everything. I didn't know what that would look like, but I have experienced His new mercies enough times to know that they really are new.
Ben left and I didn't feel any better. I was still angry and still bitter. Still dreading this awful day.
I felt like I needed to ask a friend to pray for me. So often I am willing to pray for others when they are in need, but I neglect to ask for prayer when I'm in need. I have this weird pride thing that says I have to struggle through it alone. It's ridiculous.
So I just sent an emergency text message to a friend who I had been able to lift up a few weeks before because she had sent me a text asking for help.
Then I put my phone away. I knew that Facebook and instagram could not fix any of my problems, as much as I wanted to post on them or run and hide into them, my only need in that moment was Jesus.
I started to pray.
Lord, what should I do?
It was probably 6:45 in the morning. Aria went to my computer and said "Fireworks" This is code for a song Praise Like Fireworks from Rent Collective's Campfire album. The kids LOVE it. I'm starting to get tired of it. But for some reason (maybe it was the Lord) I said, sure. Let's do this.
So we turned it on.
These are the lyrics
Can I just say, that in a moment the Lord spoke into my heart.
He's given me a heart and a home. I will sing and praise Him and I'm not going to let my concrete, angry, hard heart stop me. I will sing like it's the first time…
Every lyric in that song was what I needed in that moment. The Lord showed me that there is power in praising Him. Even when I don't feel like praising Him. He gives us new hearts. That was what I needed in that moment. I started dancing around our living room like a crazy person. I did not even care. Worshipping at home where no one can see you but your kids is the BEST way to worship. The looks on Aria and Levi's faces were shock and delight. I was jumping up and down and declaring His praises. I don't know what came over me except that the Holy Spirit was so rich in our home, it finally felt like I could breathe. All of my anger was GONE. Levi even started to act up and try to scare Aria in the middle of the song and the Lord allowed me to deal with him in my softest, kindest voice. I felt like a new person.
So we listened and danced to the song a few more times.
Then we just let the album play throughout the whole morning. I heard from the Lord about several other things I had been struggling with and He gave me a peace about them, a direction to go.
I picked up my phone a little later and saw that my friend had texted me back. Her text was that she was praying for me and that I needed to PRAISE Jesus and have fellowship with Him. I texted her back and got to tell her that her prayers had been answered.
I texted Ben and told him that he didn't need to worry about us, we were doing fine and that God is truly good.
I finally felt free. Free from anger. Free from bitterness. I felt like I could truly love my kids and enjoy them.
The scripture from Psalm 73 "The Lord is the strength of my life and my portion forever." kept ringing through my head. He is my strength and my song. I needed Him and He came through.
Thank you Rend Collective for writing that song, the Lord used you in my life.
Thank You Jesus for being so faithful, even when I have such a bad attitude and an angry heart. Thank You for a new heart.
"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."
Ezekiel 36:26 NLT