This was originally posted on my devotional blog, Mirror of Ink, in 2010.
Sometimes my kids drive me crazy.
Yesterday was one of those days. Zoey is 3 1/2 and Kylie will be 2 next week. I’m sure there are scientific explanations for why they act the way they do at this age. Most likely there are books I could read about it and insight I could obtain from studies done about the toddler brain and what causes them to be obstinate, disobedient, defiant and just downright naughty. But when in the world between changing diapers, timeouts and trying to single-handedly keep my children from killing themselves and each other am I ever supposed to read any of these enlightening books? Alas, I must be destined to raise two completely adorable, yet often rotten children.
Wait a minute…am I talking about my children, or myself??
Because although I see myself oftentimes as my children obviously think of themselves (adorable, sweet, innocent, lovable) I am most definitely just as innately obstinate, disobedient, defiant and just downright naughty as they are.
That is why my Heavenly Father amazes me so. With my girls, I can try my best to deal with them justly and in love, but I am human. I fail. I get frustrated. Overwhelmed. Angry. Fed up. And then, like most normal mothers I know, I lose it. I overreact and become motivated by my anger or frustration rather than by love. I yell a little too loud. I place blame without finding out the whole story. I give in and let them do what they want instead of holding firm to our rules.
Being a parent is hard. That is why I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father. You see, many times, I am that obstinate, disobedient child. But unlike me, my Father never overreacts. He never gets overwhelmed or fed up with me. He chooses see past my wrong actions and see the daughter He loves. And although he disciplines as all parents must, He does it in love. He is love. He doesn’t lose His temper and yell at me. He doesn’t pin blame on me. He loves. He disciplines. He forgives. And as a daughter, I love Him for it.
Oh, that I would be a mother that would follow in her Father’s footsteps. I want to be a parent that will look past the disobedience of my children to see the daughters that I love. I understand, just as my Father does about me, that their wrong actions do not define who they are. More importantly, they do not define who they will be. If I, as their mother, can discipline them with love, justice, and forgiveness, I will help to shape them into children who will accept and learn from correction- whether it be from their earthly parents or their Heavenly Father.
So today, I am choosing to stop, pray, take a deep breath, and look at my sweet little girls as gifts that I have been given to protect, teach and mold. I will never have these moments again. I will never get a do-over. Every day counts. And I want them to remember me for my unconditional love for them. Because if they do, perhaps they have caught a glimpse of my Heavenly Father’s love through me.
And that would be the ultimate compliment for such an imperfect mommy.