"Don't fuss at your brother."
"Eat over your plate."
"Go outside and play."
"Put your shoes in your room, not in the middle of the floor."
"Go to the bathroom."
"Take a bite."
"Flush the toilet."
"Because I'm the MOM and I said so, that's why."
These are just a few, obviously, but by the end of any given day, I have been exasperated more than a dozen times because I've had to repeat myself, repeatedly.
"Are y'all listening to me?" I have been known to ask. "Am I even speaking English?"
To which my kids have been known to reply, "Our ears aren't grown up yet, Mom. We can't always listen."
I won't shock you with my response to that particular comment, but I can tell you that they get their smart mouth tendencies from their father. I am totally compliant and never, ever smart off about anything. I am also never sarcastic...and I never lie...
It's so frustrating that, no matter how many times I tell them to flush the toilet more than once in order to avoid clogging it...I end up using the plunger at least once a day.
It drives me crazy that, regardless of how many times I say my bed is OFF LIMITS for wrestling matches, I have to re-make it because the sheets and quilts are twisted into a knotted pile in the floor.
It's terribly annoying to have to remind them, over and over, to brush their teeth and put on deodorant and take a shower. In fact, I recently gave my 11 and 9 year-old an ultimatum. "The two of you are old enough to remember this on your own. I'm not going to remind you anymore. If I ask you if you brushed your teeth, or put on deodorant, and you say no, I'm gonna smack you on top of your forgetful heads to help jog your memory." Confession: I've said that sentence more than once, as well.
In my moments of internal ranting about the injustice of being ignored, or the exhaustion of having to say the same things repeatedly, I am usually seated firmly on my self appointed pedestal. The one where I never have to be reminded of the same thing twice, and I never screw up the same way more than once, and I am always quick to know the right thing and DO it.
But, just yesterday I was in SERIOUS need of a smack on the top of the head about something...and when it came, I was smacked with more than one thought.
I've heard this before.
I've been here before.
I know this already.
I am just like my kids. I have to be constantly monitored, and reminded, and reminded again, and again, and again.
And my Father is repeatedly patient in His reminders.
He smacks me on the top of my head, sure, but always in love, and always because He wants my life to be full, and fully abandoned to Him, and willing to listen and obey His voice, and devoted to reminding others of who He is, and how He loves, and how great His mercy is, and how strong His arms are, and how deep His rivers of grace flow.
I know who He is.
I know who I am because of Him.
I know that He is the place I find peace,
But even though I know, I need to be reminded. I've forgotten, and I need a smack in the head to jar my memory. And sometimes, I need to just obey, without understanding, because HE'S THE DAD AND HE SAID SO. Even if I don't know why, I just need to do what He says, and trust Him.
Because KNOWING is the parent's job. And TRUSTING is the child's job.
So, today, when I am reminding my kids to brush their teeth and put on deodorant for the tenth time this week, I am going to remind myself that I need to spend some time in fellowship with my Father, listening to Him, and focusing on the things I already know.
The things that give life to my soul when it is weary and thirsty and broken and desperate...I know them. They are wrapped up in HIM, and sometimes I forget, and need to be smacked on the head.
I'm very glad He loves me enough to give me that smack, over and over, every time I need it.