Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have always been looking forward to the next phase in life. I have always struggled with being content. When I was little I remember wanting to be in the next grade, once I was in middle school I wanted to be in high school, then in high school I could not wait until college, in college I anxiously awaited finding my husband, once I got engaged I could not wait to get married, then once I was married I could not wait to have children, and now that I am in the middle of having children I cannot wait for each stage and for the next baby to come along. Recently I have remembered things from my childhood and realized I have missed so much. I have been so focused on what is coming next that life is just passing me by. I am like a little kid at Disney World so excited to see everything that when I get on a ride I do not even enjoy the ride because I am so focused on what ride I will be on next. God has been convicting me about being content with whatever season of life I am in. I love my family and I do not want to miss a single second of my children's lives. It is a process. Every time I feel God working in my heart it reminds me of the kid's song "He's still working on me." I guess as a Christian it is our life song, because God is always working on me. Thank you God that I am still clay.
Yes, you read that right. I have come to realize that having a two year old will increase your faith. I pray more now than I ever have. While this is funny, I am being very serious. Everyday I find myself praying more and more about each situation, in my desperate attempt to not respond in anger and to better understand why in the world he is doing whatever it is he is doing at the time. I have learned a few things through all of this.
1. Pray for the child in the morning. Before your day even starts pray, even if it is a quick prayer.
2. Pray before you respond. Now this one is tough. Many times you will need to respond quickly, but say asking for the right attitude and the right way to handle whatever it is that the child has done.
3. Pray for the child at night. I pray with my babies before bed. I thank God for our day and I ask help for the next.
4. Pray for yourself. This may be the most important! We as parents need to make sure our response is appropriate, timely, and effective.
I know these things sound very simple, but believe me. I have found if I do not do one of these things, my day is terrible. I am reminded of the verses about "soft answers" and "not provoking to wrath." I am so relieved to know I do not have to go through this alone. We have a Heavenly Father is the perfect parent to carry us through this difficult time.