There we are again, all buckled in and driving down the road. I’m at the wheel. My two girls are behind me strapped in their car seats. The music playing on my Christian radio station is uplifting, but my heart–it’s heavy. I’m weighed down by my own actions, not five minutes before.
Getting ready and out the door is a chore, as any mom of littles will tell you. No matter how much extra time you allot yourself, it’s never enough. It seems those last 10 minutes before leaving are pure and utter chaos.
It never fails. Somebody poops right as I step out the door. Did I get the paci? Oops, I forgot to water the dog.
It’s enough to drive someone mad–at least if that someone is me.
I like to think I am a good mother. But I know for a fact I have one motherly flaw that protrudes like a plank from my eye–I lack patience.
At no time is this flaw more evident than when my girls and I are trying to get out the door to go somewhere.
The problem is, I’m an “arrive on time” kind of girl. Or at least I used to be. Now, with two kids, I rarely reach my destination on time, but the drive to do so still pushes me to run over any obstacles in my path. And let’s face it–those obstacles are often my children.
Today my four-year-old, finally strapped down behind her five-point-harness, asked me, crying in the back seat, “Why are you being so mean to us?” I was buzzing down the road, my eye on the prize of my destination, but in that moment my heart stopped, and I knew I was in the wrong.
At the next stop sign, I turned around, looked her straight in the eyes and asked her to please forgive me. She said she did, as she always does, and we kept on driving. But my heart couldn’t move on because I knew the truth–this wasn’t the first time this had happened. In my determination to get out the door and to wherever we’re headed, I tend to plow over those I love. (I know my husband’s been in the line of fire plenty of times too!) The fact is, my actions show that I place more value on the opinion of whoever is waiting for us than on that of my own family.
I decided right then and there that enough was enough. I don’t want my children to remember their mother always in a hurry or always about to burst from frustration. I want them to remember examples of patience and love.
Lord, please help me remember the power of my words and attitudes on my children’s hearts. And in those moments of frustration, help me reflect on your word and remember that my character is more important than them perfectly meeting my expectations.
[verse reference=”Ephesians 4:2″]“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”[/verse]
[verse reference=”Proverbs 14:1″]“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.”[/verse]
Kelcie Huffstickler has a B.S. in Journalism from Arkansas State University and has written for a number of family publications and websites. She and her high-school-sweetheart hubby have been married for seven years and parents for four. They have two daughters, Eden and Selah, and sometimes feel like they’re swimming upstream in the toddler years. Kelcie’s husband is a firefighter, and she works part-time as a high school abstinence education instructor. Despite feeling overwhelmed by this stage of life, Kelcie is committed to intentional parenting and passing a heritage of faith to her children. She enjoys living among family in the safety of a small town and writes about it on her blog This Beautiful Inheritance.
Kelcie Says: “Hi y’all, I’m Kelcie. I’m a small town, southern girl through and through! My hubby, two girls, and I live a simple life with more family in a two mile radius than you thought possible! On most days, you can find me playing Cinderella, making “cheese sandwiches,” and pretending not to see the worst hiders ever in a game of hide-and-seek. We also enjoy popping in on my parents who live three blocks away and rounding up cousins for a play-date. During those rare moments of Mommy Time, I enjoy cups of coffee, writing, and a little Dr. Phil. I’m a far-from-perfect Mama but thankful for God’s Grace that covers me anyway.”