Saturday, September 23, 2006

Patience Is a Virtue...Just Not One of Mine

It's been another one of those days.

Here it is, Saturday, we've been cleaning (under great protest from the children), and I haven't quite figured out what the deal is. All of a sudden I can't go through a weekend without housework. Now, I'm not sure if this is because some of you have been praying about the state of my house, or if I'm hormonally prone to it (as evidenced by the migraine I feel coming on at this moment), or if I'm just sick and tired of the state of things, but it is happening. Little by little, it IS happening.

Today has been a constant battle, though. I feel almost like Attila the Hun in dealing with my children. At 14 and 12, they're both in that let's-ship-'em-off-to-Borneo-until-they're-30 stage. If I come through today with all of my hair and two living children, I'll count it a good day.

It started out just fine. I made whole-wheat pancakes for breakfast, and the kids actually LIKED them. Point for me. Then the tough stuff began....

I asked Son to do the dishes. We trade off weeks between the two of them, and it's his week. After asking a few times, I started telling. After telling a few times, I started threatening. After threatening I grounded. And then, and ONLY then, did he move.

It took him TWO HOURS to do the dishes. With a DISHWASHER.

In the meantime, I asked Daughter to do a load of laundry, then help me pick up the living room. In return I received a verbal assault. She yelled long, and she yelled loud. I took it to a point, and then ended up yelling back. She was sent to her room with orders to stay there until it was clean, with that task being accompished before she was to leave for the Homecoming dance tonight. Failure to do so would result in her forfeiting the dance. She had 5 hours to finish it.

Back to Son. After completing the dishes, he was asked to clean his room. Then he was told. Then he was threatened. Same yelling, same outburst of temper on both our parts.

I was in need of reinforcements. Or a vacation. Or both.

I went into my room and woke my husband, who sleeps until early afternoon due to his job. I told him the whole, sad tale. To his credit, he went in and laid the law down with Daughter. "It is now 1:20 p.m. You have one hour, and one hour only, to completely finish this job, or there will be no dance for you tonight."

It was amazing how quickly her room got clean.

Son was also given a deadline. As of this writing he has 30 minutes to complete the task, or risk losing a game night with the youth group that he's dying to attend. He's had two hours to do it, but didn't begin in earnest until five minutes ago.

These are the times that try my patience. Of course, patience was NOT one of my strong suits to begin with, so trying it isn't hard. And I really do try to hold my temper in check. Honest I do. But these are the times which try a mom's soul as well as her patience.

In comparison, I can only think of how I, as a child of God, try His patience sometimes. How many times does He have to explain things to me? How many times does He tell me what I need to do and when, only to have me ignore Him?

And yet, He is the epitomy of patience.

He tells me, then tells me again and again. He doesn't threaten, but there are eventually consequences if I refuse to listen. I know this, and yet I continue to disobey. Sometimes I even yell at Him when I don't see the reasoning behind what He wants me to do. The funny thing is, He never yells back, never loses His temper.

He simply loves me through it.

God, please give me Your wisdom and patience with my own children. Help me to love them through their disobedience, even as You love me through mine. Forgive my temper, Lord, and help me to overcome the lack of patience I have. You alone know what that will take and what I must do to accomplish it. Teach me Your ways, Lord.

Romans 5:3-4
And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope...
King James Version 1611, 1769


HeyJules said...

Ahh...the teenage years. # 1 reason why I have dogs instead of children.

God bless you for even trying!

His Singer said...

Like I have a choice? :0)

I guess I could just let 'em run wild, but I have a feeling the authorities would be too scared of them...and rightly so.