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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Saying I love you

Monday, June 18, 2012

Saying I love you

Playground fun

I'm not going to hide from you that the last couple weeks have been hard.

Hard emotionally.

Hard physically.

Hard as a mom.


Mashing bananas for daddy's birthday cake
Among the difficulties is my sweet Little Man.  Combined with my lack of energy and my being pulled in multiple directions (i.e. pumping and bottle feeding to name a few), Little Man has an overdeveloped willfulness that has come close to pushing me over the edge a time or two (or more!)

Candidly, I've found myself downright angry... even livid!

Winter fun
In the last week I've found a bag of yogurt covered raisins widely dispersed on my living room carpet.  Little man sitting in the middle of the room with loaf of bread in his lap, large chunks gone.  Permanent marker on toys and shirt.  Hands, smeared on my favorite skirt, covered in ink from my printer.  Breast milk dumped all over the ottoman and carpet (on a positive note, I was going to dump it anyway, but not in the living room.)  There are so many more I could list, but I've blocked them out.  And I thought I was watching him... imagine how bad it could be. 

Do any of these things, or the outright disobedience, justify my anger?  No.

Just the same, I have been.  Time and time again!

A favored way to slide
I've found myself yelling, or seething through gritted teeth, "[Little Man]...", and the next words were not going to be pretty.  In my heart I was poring out my feelings toward that Little Man without restraint.  Sinfully.

I praise the Lord I was willing to restrain myself from actually saying them.  No little one (or his siblings) should ever hear such terrible things said to them by their mama.

So what did I do about it???  That, my friends, is the whole point of this post.

Playing ball with grandpa
In the heat of my desire to punish my sweet 22 month old baby with my words, I would begin... "[Little Man]..." but I would shift my words, and my heart, in that last minute with... "I love you!"

Sometimes those words were spoken in a whisper.  Sometimes they were through same gritted teeth.  Sometimes they sounded sweet, but most of the time they were said in the same sinful mean place my heart was.

Little Man just had to have a towel over his shoulder like mommy always does!
Funny thing though.  Not only did saying those simple words make my little boy smile, or even laugh (as mommy was using her "funny" voice... *sheepish grin*), but saying that I love you changes my heart... every time.  It reminds me that I do, indeed, love that little boy!

Please realize, this isn't a permanent solution.  If it were, I wouldn't be repeating the whole process scores of times in a single day.  The true issue is my heart... not his.  He's still a baby!  And, apparently, an untrained one at that.  

Saying these "I love yous" is simply a way out of the moment without injuring my little one.  To be truly affective, each one must come with repentance and a pleading for God's help.  Each situation will require different help.  For some it's a matter of learning patience and developing His heart for your children.  For others is wisdom in coping with your current situation (i.e. so many young children, sickness, etc.)

Know this.  He can and will forgive you if you take your sin to Him in broken repentance.  He can and will help you if you seek His wisdom (James 1:5-8).

Anyone ever been there?  Ready to yell horrible things at your precious children?  Next time, try an I love you.  It works wonders.

But don't forget the rest of it!

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