I’m in a bible study called Unglued, based on a book by Lysa TerKeurst, recommended by a friend and then later organized by my best of friends. It’s a great book, though the bible study format isn’t one I have liked very much. Regardless, last night I did my homework and I wrote a prayer.
Father, please keep my focus on You by reminding me to surrender first, then ask for heightened spiritual senses to see and hear You throughout the day. Jesus, please help me to be gentle and humble in heart, and be my Counselor.
Today I was different. It wasn’t an active choice, I just realized partially through the morning that I wasn’t handling things my normal way. I’m a yeller for sure. Last night, the obvious notion that yelling never resolves or deescalates a situation really hit home to me. And so I walked differently today. I remembered that The Little One is just a 2 year old, and when I expect behavior beyond that, it’s not HER that begins the meltdown, it’s ME. I can see the buildup; small things that snowball until there’s a verifiable meltdown, and then chaos. And it happens daily.
Not today, though. Today I let her be two. I redirected her calmly. I distracted her before things could snowball. Yes, she licked the icing out of nine Oreos and discarded the cookies; but haven’t we all? Yes, she scribbled in my bible study book; but I write in it as well. Is it the end of the world? Will it matter tomorrow? Or, like a friend of mine, if this child wasn’t here tomorrow, would I suddenly grasp desperately for those scribbles?
The morning was good; better than any I can remember. The Little One even went down for a nap without a fight.
And Hubbin commented several times how much easier the morning was because of my interaction with The Little One. See, he’s the calm one; he’s normally that way, but I further denigrated him to that role because someone had to be, and it surely wasn’t going to be me.
No anxiety. No frustration. No raised voices. No tension. Just relaxation and rest.
The afternoon may be different, but I will try my hardest to remember what I wrote last night, to remember that The Little One is only two and that’s all I can ask of her, and to really cement in my conscience that if I am falling apart, everything else around me will as well. And yelling back at a two year old will never end the tantrum. Ever. It serves only to rile the rest of us up until we throw our hands up and give up.
Will everyday be this way, or even the rest of the day? Surely not, but it’s a journey of imperfect progress.