Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Toddler Logic

I read a blog post the other day entitled, "Toddler Logic." It talked about how like toddlers who don't want to share, adults often have a self-centered attitude. We expect everyone (spouses especially) to cater to our needs. If we get our feelings hurt, we take our ball and go home unless they downright grovel in apology. I have to admit, I am that way. 

The next day however I was feeling even more toddler-like. The kids were being difficult; it had been a hard week. At least one person in our family had been throwing up for seven days straight. I was tired. I was cranky. And I was trying to do more than I should have. 

During weeks like this I suppose a mama really should just enter survival mode. Lock down and wait for the enemy to retreat. I, however, didn't want to. I wanted things my way--perfect. I wanted to still do school. I wanted to play outside with our new kites. I wanted to maintain a clean house. I wanted to cook hearty suppers. And like a toddler who has been on the playground all day without a nap, I had a meltdown. I'll spare you the details because it was ugly. 

And it was so stupid. I should know by now that life comes with limitations. I should know by now that not every day has to look a certain way to be an okay day. Some days (weeks) we don't get school done--GASP! Sometimes we have to go get McDonalds for supper--GASP! Sometimes there are piles and piles of laundry to be folded and still no one has underwear to wear. Hey, it happens. And no one dies. We get through it. I just wish I could get through it more cheerfully. I don't want to be an insane wife or mother! 

So then I had another little breakdown to Jackie. "I'm an awful person," I cried to him. I even asked the kids what they thought. "Am I a bad mommy?" I asked. Don't ask Ryland something unless you really want to know the truth. "Yeah," he said, "But I love you anyway!" 

"What do you do," I asked Jackie, "To get better? To be better?" Pray, he told me. But I kind of felt like I needed more concrete answers. Aren't there instructions I can follow? Something with steps on how to be wonderfully perfect 24 hours a day every day forever?! I haven't searched Pinterest yet but I'm guessing there really aren't instructions out there like that. I have a sinking suspicion I am going to have to learn the hard way. Sigh.

My favorite verses in the Bible are in Pslam 51. Verse 10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." This is my life verse. Forget a clean house (or complete lessons and, yes, even healthy meals), my life's goal is to procure a clean heart. To do whatever it is I am doing for the right reasons. To love purely. To let go of my wants and the way I think it oughta be. To be more like Jesus. 

And to do that I've got to learn something better than toddler logic. Growing up is hard.

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