Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tantrums, Time, and Truth

You know the fit that a child throws when they are forced to share, or comply with a request from their parent that they don't want to heed, or give back something they have taken that doesn't belong to them but they feel altogether entitled to?

Yeah, I've been throwing one of those lately. (mostly internally, since its frowned upon when a child does it but would be downright horrifying for an adult to indulge in.)

Something about returning from a once-in-a-lifetime, 12 days of romance, kid free trip to Europe, and being instantly greeted by real life, has thrown me headlong into an "Oscar the Grouch" kind of mood.

Real life is kicking my butt.

Laundry.
Groceries.
Discipline.
Exercise.
Bills.
Toilets.
Yard work.

Those things all had to be restarted, as if from scratch, after 2 1/2 weeks out of town.

Which is just plain unfair.

But, on top of that, it seems we have been in a full blown "how much extra craziness and drama and calamity can we cause before we start back to school?" phase. And the answer is...A WHOLE LOT.

Skulls nearly cracked on bottoms of swimming pools.
Eyes accidentally sprayed with laundry detergent and requiring an hour of saline flushing.
"Accidental" urine aiming malfunctions, resulting in a child's ARM being peed on.
Flooding of a bathroom, with the cleanup using every single towel in the house. (19, to be exact)

Yes...I am suffering from a severe case of European postpartum.

Because I never had to ask the question "Did you pee on her arm on purpose, or was it an accident?" while I was in Italy.

I'm totally in denial that it's only a matter of weeks before I start back to home-schooling for another year. I'm irritated that time seems to be marching on fast-forward. I can hardly fight the longing to sit on my couch and watch movies while painting my toenails and eating chocolate. All. Day. Long.

I am pitching a full blown fit.

When kids do it, we recognize it instantly for what it is.

Selfishness.
Rebellion.
Irrationality.

It's easy to see it in a kid's tantrum.

But I don't want to see it in my own.

And there-in lies the problem.
I want to call it "European postpartum" rather than good old-fashioned selfishness.

I want to say the kids have been extra out-of-control, rather than admit I have been extra irrational in my expectations of their behavior.

I want to believe that the summer actually did fly by on fast-forward, thereby justifying my foot stomping at the arrival of August, rather than admit the truth; time is moving as it always does, but I am rebelling against what the forward march requires of me.

Ick.
I'm a big baby.

I need someone to look at me and say "You're being totally irrational, and selfish, and rebellious, and you need to snap out of it right now."

Okay.
I heard you.

I'll be happy to help you out with the same pep talk if you need it.

Because the truth is we all experience the blasts of selfishness and rebellion and frustration.

If you say you don't...I think you're also experiencing denial.

Take a deep breath.

Take another step.

Repeat as needed.

This morning the Word has spoken, and this is what He says to me, and to you:

"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

"Why am I discouraged? Why is my soul downcast? I will put my hope in God!" (Psalm 42:5)

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken..." (Psalm 16:8)

"You, O Lord, are a shield around me. You are my glory, and the One who holds my head high." (Psalm 3:3)

Don't just breathe in and out. Don't just muscle through your steps.

Breathe in His promises.

Walk His steps.

And know that we all have the selfish, rebellious, irrational moments.

And still...still we can trust His promises.

"Thank You, Lord, for Your Word that doesn't fail, even when I am stomping and complaining and pouting. I am grateful for Your grace, and it's unfailing work in my life. Your mercy is enough for today, Lord, and new again tomorrow. Thank you. Amen."

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