Leave him alone!
Please do what I asked you to do!
These, and many others, are the phrases I found myself repeating over and over again this past Monday.
In recognition of Veteran's Day there was no school on Monday, so the kids and I were all home together.
I decided that it was the perfect day for switching out the closets.
The girls and I could do it together and make the work go faster.
Many hands , light work and all, right?
The trouble is this.
And as the argued and fought and argued and fought and accused one another of meaning every last little word and every last little look in the worst possible way, I found my own words getting more and more unkind! And louder.
Yes, we got the job done, but by the time it was finished we were all frustrated.
Now, you could say that maybe I shouldn't have had the kids help with this chore.
I could have done it all myself as I've done every year for ....well - since they've been born.
But, I do believe that my girls are old enough to help and so that is why the decision was made.
I went to bed Monday night feeling like a parenting failure.
I've been reading the book, Give Them Grace by Elise M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson.
And, boy -- did I fail at giving them grace or even remotely showing Christ to my children that day.
Combine that with the ever present reminders I have lately that my children are no longer tiny people and it was just a recipe for guilt.
I mean, Allie is 11 years old.
She is now officially a tween.
In EVERY sense of the word.
I am reminded often that I only have 7 more years before she graduates high school.
And the rest are not far behind.
I, honestly, have to stop myself from thinking about it too much or the lump in my throat can bring on a full scale panic attack.
It is so easy for me to get caught up in the moment.
In what I am asking them to do
and the things I need to accomplish
and not just enjoy my kids.
This morning I saw this.
and while the beginning of that quote brings on the lump and panic attack,
the end of it is such a poignant reminder for me today.
I long to enjoy each moment and truly relish in who each of my children are this day.
And, in light of the book I'm reading -- give myself and them more grace.
By the grace of our Father above, and through His Spirit, I can do this.
This is my prayer today!!