One of Those Days

IMG_4320

Lest you think it's always roses and sunshine in the Jones household, I'm going to be honest. I don't want to pretend to be a perfect mommy who has everything together. I don't. I try my best, but there are times (lots of times) when my little spitfire and I have epic battles. And, as you can tell from the picture above, she's not always smiling. Today has been one of those days.

It's been a trying morning...

Yesterday evening, after the storms had finally passed through, Dennis and I headed North to rendezvous with my parents and pick up Micah. We enjoyed a gourmet meal at the Golden Arches in Waynesboro, Tennessee, then we loaded up and headed home. As soon as we walked in the door, I got Micah into her pajamas and into bed. It was well past her bedtime.

This morning, she slept in, so I thought we'd have a pretty low-key morning. I don't know why I think things like that. It always turns out to be wrong.

At any rate, by the time Micah woke up, I had biscuits {the frozen variety} ready, so after I changed her diaper, we headed to the kitchen. Which is where World War III went down. Seriously. She didn't like the cup I got out for her milk, and she wanted nothing to do with her highchair. She writhed in the highchair wailing for at least 20 minutes while I sat at the table and ate breakfast. I guess she finally realized that she wasn't getting another cup, and I wasn't getting her out of the highchair, because all of a sudden, the wailing stopped, she picked up her biscuit and started eating.

What in the world??

After breakfast, there was more general crankiness, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of Iuka. We went into town and dropped by Caytee Belle's Closet to visit with Carly, and then we headed next door to dine at the Mexican restaurant. I dined, but Micah mostly sat there. Not much eating on her part, but thankfully, there was no more wailing.

As all of this was going down, I couldn't help but think of the curriculum series I'm working on at the moment. The lesson that I'm wrestling with this week is on Ephesians 6:1-9, which is about proper relationships in the household, including the parent/child relationship. Specifically, the passage instructs parents "not to provoke [their] children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

As I have meditated on the passage this week, I can't help but wonder if there are moments when I unnecessarily provoke Micah to anger. When it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter what cup she drinks out of or whether or not she sits in her highchair to eat. But teaching her to obey does matter. So does teaching her to be grateful for the things that she's given. To say please and thank you. To show gratitude for the milk, whether you like the cup you're drinking out of or not.

Part of bringing Micah up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is giving her a home where there are rules and boundaries. A home where her father and I are in charge and where there are consequences for disobedience. When we set boundaries and expect obedience and discipline her, we reflect our heavenly Father, who also sets boundaries and expects obedience and disciplines us. As one of the commentaries I read yesterday put it:

"The NEB well translates 'give them the instruction, and the correction, which belong to a Christian upbringing' ... This is the highest duty of Christian parents. As Dale puts it, 'parents should care more for the loyalty of their children to Christ than for anything besides, more for this than for their health, their intellectual vigour and brilliance, their material prosperity, their social position, their exemption from great sorrows and great misfortunes.'"

Francis Foulkes, The Tyndale NT Commentary on Ephesians

When it comes down to it, I deeply desire for Micah to grow into a young woman who loves and serves the Lord cheerfully. Molding her into that type of woman starts now as we are deep in the throes of toddlerhood. I care more about shaping her character than the crocodile tears she sheds when she doesn't get her way. Sometimes I feel like a mean mommy, but establishing boundaries is one of the most loving things I can do for her.

That's what I tell myself anyway.

Until next time, grace and peace.