I lead a Moms Group on the second and fourth Tuesday mornings of the month. We sit around our dining room table, and we drink coffee and eat bagels and other goodies. I put together a little devotion each time we meet, you know, something to support and encourage. And this morning, we were scheduled to meet, but to be honest, I was about two seconds away from cancelling.
Being a mom is hard. And trying to be a good mom, well at times it seems nearly impossible. I had one of those days yesterday. And it was even one of “those” days that led into one of “those” nights. I lacked compassion and I lacked patience. I said things I shouldn’t have. And I could actually feel my lack of control when it came to the anger I felt.
To shed a little light. I’m currently the mother of a teenage boy. So, really, the struggles there are probably obvious. But I’m also the mother of a mostly darling ten year old. And yesterday, when she wanted to do a project with nail polish, my first instinct was to say, “no.” Nail polish is one of those things that is a blessing and a curse. Sure, it makes our finger and toes so much prettier. But it also is messy, has headache inducing smells and unless used in a controlled environment, is a danger in itself. But she begged. Because she found a “Science” project that somehow took nail polish and made it scientific. Being busy and not paying as much attention as I should, I told her okay, but insisted that she cleaned up any mess that was made.
Well, about fifteen minutes later, when I stepped out of our room, I could instantly feel my irritation rising. Because somehow, our entire house smelled like nail polish. And when I walked downstairs and saw splatters of purple and glitter pink all over my dish scrubber and all over our kitchen sink, I lost it.
I’ll spare you the details. But needless to say, within minutes, she was in tears and I was so angry that all I could do was yell while trying to ignore the instant headache I had gotten from the overpowering smell. I sent her to her room and proceeded to clean up the mess (using nail polish remover when then added to the strong, annoying smell).
When I had cleaned it all up, I could still feel my irritation lingering. So when she came downstairs, I continued to voice my disappointment. After telling her how upset I was, I noticed she was holding something and I demanded to see it. She tearfully opened it her hand and showed me the small “I love my Mom” magnet that she had found in her room. She apologized through tears and gently placed her peace offering in my hand.
And instantly, I felt the weight of my guilt for having overreacted and letting my anger get the best of me. Some days, I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle with myself. I know what I should do, but struggle to live the love and grace that I so badly want our kids to have. And it’s so incredibly discouraging at times.
Which brings me back to my Moms Group. This morning, I was two seconds away from cancelling. Because I really didn’t feel I had anything to give. But then I looked through our lesson and realized that the topic of the morning was faithfulness. I read Lamentations 3:22-23 which says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
And I was reminded. Yes, I fail so many times. But God’s love is my example. It never fails and never ends. It’s merciful and full of grace. It’s new every morning and so very great and needed in my life. If you, like me, have had one of the “those” days, hang in there. Live in God’s love and in His faithfulness and let this flow gently over the areas of discouragement and struggle.
*For the record, I ended up not cancelling and had a great morning with a small group of my mom friends. And also, the pictures I shared of Ellee were made more fun by the green truck we always see in East Moriches and a beautiful bouquet of purple balloons that she got to take home after a wedding shower we attended this weekend.