I am not very good at staying unruffled when circumstances (or people) interrupt my plan. Mark says I like to fit accomplishing 10 things in a 4 thing time span. It is my nature. But that also means this is a huge area where they Lord tries to refine me. Especially when it comes to mothering.
For you see part of my nature is also to hurry and for any of you that have one or are a related to a toddler, they don’t so much hurry! So recently I am trying to take on a new mind set of slowing down to their pace.
Instead of dragging them across the parking lot, I am trying to relish in the fact that they like to examine and touch each bug, leaf and crack they find. And instead of rushing through bedtime books, snack and tucking in I am trying to allow enough time for snuggles and giggles and wrestling. It really does help my frustration level but it truly, truly takes willpower and discipline.
Of course I love the little moments with my little guys but why is it so easy for me to rush through them so I can accomplish the “next thing.” I tend to look at their childishness at times as an inconvenience instead of what it is, a gift.
As I was thinking on this and beating myself up with “mom guilt” I was reminded of something I read by Elisabeth Elliot. She is one of my absolute heroes and if you have never read anything by her, please go get Gates of Splendor, Keep a Quiet Heart or The Shaping of a Christian Family. She and her husband Jim Elliot (along with their toddler daughter) were missionaries to the Auca Indians. Jim and four other men were massacred by the Indians but Elisabeth returned to live with the same indians and share Christ with them. She is tough stuff.
Elisabeth Elliot shares two challenging quotes. One by Emily, wife of missionary Adoniram Judson, who says…”the person who would do great things well must practice daily on little ones; and she who would have the assistance of the Almighty in important acts, must be daily and hourly accustomed to consult His will in the minor affairs of life.”
Hmmm..convicting. How bout this one of Janet Erskine Stuart, “She delighted in seeing her plan upset by unexpected events, saying that it gave her great comfort, and that she looked on such things as an assurance that God was watching over her stewardship, was securing the accomplishment of His will, and working out His own designs. Whether she traced the secondary causes to the prayer of a child, to the imperfectionof an individual, to obstacles arising from misunderstandings, or to interference of outside agencies, she was joyfully and graciously ready to recognize the indication of God’s ruling hand, and to allow herself to ge guided by it.”