Heart over behavior.

I looked at the clock. Poop. We’re going to be late.
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This would normally be a recipe for disaster as I run around like a crazy person, except I had a parental epiphany a few months ago. When we are running late.. it’s my fault. It was my failure to manage our time. All they know is one minute they are playing and the next minute Mommy is losing her mind that they aren’t putting on a shoe fast enough.
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Now, I confess to them that I messed up, am running late and ask them to work with me to meet a goal. A lot of times this works. But they are 4 and 3 which means sometimes none of this matters—they are going to make it as difficult as possible. Like today.
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Jovie wanted to wear a sleeveless jumper to school. I agreed, but only if she wore a long sleeve shirt under it. She refused. I didn’t feel like budging, either. It wasn’t pretty. Demonic sounds came from her lips and I was so close to throwing in the towel and skipping school.
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I left Jovie upstairs screaming. I’m in the downstairs bathroom with Rem who decided a last minute poo would be helpful to getting us out the door. I was losing my cool. I started praying for my heart.
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“God, help me. I literally don’t know what to do.”
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I wiped a butt, got upstairs and saw that Jovie had started to get on the outfit she didn’t want to. Ok, this is good. We get the clothes on and she holds up tap shoes. “I want to wear these.” Ok, this is bad. My decline was met with more screaming, I asked if I could pray. She allowed this.
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I started to confess my stubbornness in getting us to this point.. (So what if she doesn’t wear a shirt under? We’ll bring a jacket.) I asked for forgiveness for not being more prepared for our day. For not being caught up on her laundry so we had more choices. And more things like this. When I ended, she grabbed me for a hug and didn’t let go. She apologized for the way she was acting. She apologized for not doing what she was told. I cried a little.
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I had won her heart. I did more than modify her behavior. She repented because she loved me.

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I missed her a tad more today than normal. At pick up, she ran out of the classroom. She embraced me. Squeezed harder than normal. I think she missed me too.
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She climbed into her car seat to a fun surprise. Her tap shoes were waiting there to be worn.
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I cried a little more while driving as I thought of how today was a magical representation of how I am God’s child. How His love and patience brings about my repentance. How His forgiveness moves me to be better, not because guilt but because LOVE. And He is most glorified in me when He has me heart, not my behavior.

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