Most of this blog is dedicated to funny stories and sharing the happy times we have as a family. But sometimes there just isn't anything funny to write about and for some odd reason, I feel compelled to keep this silly blog going, so today's post might get a little real.
Living in a new (as an adult) city without close friends and missing that southern hospitality we encountered when we first moved to Texas is hard. Living here and having a sweet little boy in the midst of the very trying Threes is even harder. I have never seen the depths of my own selfishness as I have seen it in the past several weeks. I really want this parenting thing to be easy. I want to do what the parenting books say to do and have it work quickly. I want Benjamin to desire to obey. I want to not have to be inconvenienced by his lack of obedience. I want to sleep a whole night through instead of being awakened at 4am. I want to have a little peace and quiet. I I I I I. And yet when I look back on my life, I've never really had to give up that "I". Granted, I've dealt with a lot of circumstances that didn't go my way. Infertility and having to let go of a child we thought we were supposed to adopt taught me a lot about not being in control of my circumstances. But now I am finding myself facing the fact that I want to be in control of my son, and my reasons are often driven by selfishness. And when I find that I cannot control him, I find it difficult not to become frustrated with him.
Today, after almost a full week of Ben deciding to get up somewhere between 2am and 4am, we are both tired. After an attempted nap, I got up and decided I needed desperately to meet with the Lord while Ben was still sleeping. And wouldn't you know it, my study today was on patience. Not patience with circumstances, but patience with people. Not only that, but I was reminded that I cannot achieve that kind of patience on my own. It's a fruit of the Spirit and can only be attained through His power. On the one hand that's so freeing. On the other hand, I feel like my selfish ambitions so often keep me from being filled with the Spirit and bearing His fruit. Living Spirit filled is just not something that happens once and continues. I have to be surrendered every single minute of the day. And lately, I haven't been.
For the past several weeks, I have been seeing a chiropractor about a hip problem I've had for a couple of years. Ben always goes with me and usually we don't have to wait at all before going back to our room. Today however was a super busy day and we waited in a full waiting room. Benjamin does not have a shy bone in his body and usually thinks that if there is another person around, they are desperate to interact with him. I love this about him, but I'm usually cautious about encouraging him because he quickly gets out of control and starts doing crazy things to show off. One of the ladies sitting next to me kept staring at me and for some reason I just felt judged. She said something to me about how energetic Benjamin was and I said something jokingly about how amazing it was that he had that much energy since he'd been up since 4am. She quickly told me I should probably think about putting him to bed later. Right after that, the showing off escalated and after Ben threw magazines at two patients and was about to dump the contents of the trash can on another, I decided it was time to take him outside to settle down. As we walked out the door, Benjamin said "where'm I going?" That same lady said "sounds to me like you need a good paddling." It was all I could do to keep from losing it. I mean, in reality she was right, but did she really think I would just do it right there in the office, or in the front yard of the office? I stewed about it for quite some time before finally seeing myself and how often I've judged others around me without really knowing their circumstances. Before having kids, I was one of the first to look at a harried mother and her misbehaving child (ren) and think that if she would just give them a good spanking or be a better mom, they would be much better kids. Ha! So here I am getting lessons both in humility and in patience.
And that's enough rambling for today. Maybe next week will be funnier. :)