Today my six year old decided to sprinkle thousands of teeny tiny beads all over her bedroom carpet so she could have an imaginary "celebration" with pretend confetti.
Another child poured himself a bowl of cereal that would easily feed Paul Bunyan and his ox.
After school, the kids thought it would be great fun to get out all sorts of tools, an assortment of screws and nails, and the cordless drill. Then they proceeded to take the wheels off of something in the garage. After acquiring the parts they needed, they screwed and nailed the four wheels on to the bottom of our wooden saw horse and attached a roping dummy head to the top so they could rope the saw horse and drag it around the yard like a steer. They did all of this while I was folding laundry. And I just thought that they were playing nicely in the back yard. Rookie mistake. When the kids are quiet, there is sure to be mischief brewing.
Couple these things with spilled drinks, bickering children, incomplete assignments, and a hot ember from the wood stove that landed on the carpet and you have a mama that looks like this:
But before I felt like this,
I decided to take a deep breath and ask the Lord for some help with my attitude. In hind sight, it seems silly to let the little things get to me, but at the time, they seemed like big, irritating problems. After walking away, taking a few deep breaths and gaining some perspective, I was able to take it all in stride. I may not have handled it perfectly, but I tried to make the most out of what was thrown my way.
I thanked the Lord for my precious girls as I vacuumed up a million little beads from the carpet. My son ate the bowl of cereal. It took him until lunch, but he finally finished it. I thanked God for my children's camaraderie and commended the kids for their creativity in making their own portable roping dummy.
Yes, there were lessons to be taught! We learned about wastefulness, starving children, the importance of taking care of tools, putting things away, carelessness, etc....
Yes, there were consequences as well.
And of course, there is always a lesson for Mom, too.
I'm studying the book of Philippians right now, and it really spoke to me today. There are only 4 short chapters in this book of the Bible, but they are full of important lessons. The apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians when he was sitting in a jail cell. He didn't know whether he would live or die. However, Paul didn't despair. He rejoiced because he knew that his blessed Savior was indeed in control of everything! He uses the words "joy" and "rejoice" 16 times in this little letter to the people of Philippi.
The bottom line: We can't let our emotions dictate our joy. We must rejoice in all circumstances! Paul knew that God would work every trial he had for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. God takes everything that happens to us, and works it for good. If Paul, a prisoner in chains, had reason to rejoice, then I should certainly be able to rejoice through spilled milk, beads in the vacuum, and tools in the yard. Those aren't even trials. They're more like little inconveniences.
Learning to rejoice in all circumstances,