After construction traffic, detours, and 5 minutes of looking for a parking space, we found ourselves in front of Clinic #2's reception area, out of breath and 6 minutes late. whew. Needless to say, this was the last place I wanted to be with three of my four children. I was so angry that everything takes so long. I was just SO irritated. They took Josh back and I was left in the waiting room, happy for the TVs blasting the Disney Channel. I didn't want to have to entertain anyone or even talk. I just wanted to "zone out." Emma Faye was happy. Thomas- well, he's always happy. I began to retreat into my own world.
But Emma Faye, in her "happiness", kept lifting her dress over her head and elbowing me in the face during the process.
"Emma Faye, please stop doing that. We don't need to show our panties. You're bumping into me. Please put your dress down," I said in such a cool and calm "Mommy" tone. Instructive, yet kind.
She did it again- as if she had forgotten what I had said.
"Emma Faye, what did Mommy say? Please stop lifting up your dress." My tone was a little more stern.
This time she looked at me and lifted up her dress.
"Young Lady.. DON'T YOU DO THAT AGAIN!" (when the 'young lady' or the 'young man' s come out, my children tend to pay more attention to me)
But Emma Faye stared at me. She had dropped her dress, but she kept her hands on it as if she were about to lift it up again. I was watching her. We were now in a stare off.
I remember thinking. I'm just going to look away. I don't feel like having to deal with this. We are in a public place. I already notice the parents watching all of this. What would they think if she does it again? They've totally heard me put my foot down. Oh, Emma Faye please don't do it again. Please don't. I'm going to look away. Then, I won't see what she does. Yeah.. look away. I'm looking away.
And I stopped myself. God never sees our sin and looks away. He stares down right to the bottom of our heart and brings it to our attention. He addresses it. It is NEVER ignored by HIM.
Praise the Lord God Almighty that He never looks away. He never gets fatigued by our rebellious hearts. He ALWAYS strives to grow us and teach us. He ALWAYS follows through. He is strong. He doesn't care what people think. He is truth. He is righteous. He cares about our sin. He never "zones out." He loves us. He is truly FOR us.
I have no idea why that thought occurred to me. But I was thankful and in that moment, empowered as a mother. Sometimes I get discouraged as a parent. I've read so many books. I've looked to so many different people for advice and input. What an excellent parenting teacher I have in my Heavenly Father. He is slow to anger and so quick to love.
Emma Faye never lifted her dress again. Josh came out soon after and we headed back to the car. As she was screaming on the way home because her older brother was kicking her seat, I passed an old church sign. It read, "Love is Patient." I smiled. Thank you sweet Jesus for teaching me two lessons in mothering today. Thank you for reminding me that you are patient with one of your own particular daughters..... me. We picked up Will from school and headed home. With a car now full of four precious children, my heart was overjoyed; my cup, overflowing.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
Make your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your decrees. --Psalm 119:130-133, 135