Just a day or two ago, I was up to my eyeballs in frustration with my whiny children. Some days are just WHINY days for them...and I can't, for the life of me, figure out the trigger.
I had been saying the same things over and over to them that day: pick up the toys, get your junk out of the kitchen, no, I can't hold you while I'm cooking, etc. We finally made it through dinner and bath time - thank God - and were getting everyone calmed down and ready for bedtime. I was so DONE with children and my "no-more-little-voices alarm" had gone off in my brain about 7:00. But, when I went in to rock with Graham and read him a bedtime story (our nighttime ritual), I found myself surprisingly relaxed and ready for snuggle time with my little man. We were able to read about Curious George and laugh together - we talked about the silly things George did and silly things that Graham does. I looked into the bright eyes of my precious toddler and felt the warm ooze of joy flood my heart. Graham went to bed happy and snug as a bug (also our little ritual).
Then, I helped Claire get her bedtime snack and choose some books to read together. I cosied up on her bed and she sat beside me crunching handfuls of goldfish crackers as we were transported into the world of Almanzo Wilder in Farmer Boy. The dog sneaked his way into Claire's room and hopped up beside me...and took all of about 30 seconds to commence with a full-on snore. I was sandwiched in between two little warm bodies, who each love me in their own different ways. We enjoyed our story and marveled at all the things that people knew how to do back then...making their own shoes, using every part of an animal when you slaughtered it for food, making soap, projecting how much food to store away from the harvest so you could eat during the winter... Once we had prayed and were ready for lights to go out, Claire had to blow one more kiss toward me and say, "I love you, Mommy!"
Most of that day had been a struggle. But those precious moments at the end of it all were shining and spectacular. The joy in my heart as I allowed myself to become fully immersed in the moment was such a sweet reward for sticking with it.
I know this is a short, simple thing, but I hope you will highlight the sweet moments. Choose to frame THOSE moments in your mind, and not the other ones. There are plenty of whiny, fussy, screamy moments to go around...but the little things (like my snug-as-a-bug with Graham and my snuggle/story time with Claire) can be stored up like treasures in your heart. And I know you all understand how important it is to train your heart and mind on the good things! It helps me see this verse in a different light:
"A good man (or mama) out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things..." Matthew 12:35a (NKJV)
If you have given your heart to Jesus, then your heart is good! (Gotta read Waking the Dead by John Eldredge - just sayin') So, it is fitting for you to store up good things in your heart. Focus on the good, pleasant, lovely things...my, that sounds familiar!
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
And then....when you find yourself in the middle of an eye-bulging, hair-pulling moment with your little ones, you will be able to access the peace of God. His peace is always available to you - but you have to know where to find it!
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
Here's to a fuss-free day coming your way soon...but until then, here's to a treasure box full of precious little things.