I usually feel like I have a pretty good perspective on sickness and sleepless nights and I really don’t like to complain on my blog. I know there could be much worse things. I can be thankful for the fact that my kids are here for me to hold and comfort. I can be thankful for doctors and medicine that is so readily available. I know that the sickness and sleeplessness soon will pass. And after fighting cancer with our daughter, I can even be thankful for a little sickness that is treatable and will go away after a few days of antibiotics. We are blessed.
I know all of those things in my head and it is easy for me to type those words out, but when I was stuck inside for several days with two grouchy sick boys and I was not feeling well myself, I could tell I was losing perspective by the things I said and the way I acted. The words that I just typed didn’t match the condition of my heart. Just ask my husband. He would tell you that my perspective went out the door…and it went out fast. I quickly started feeling sorry for myself and even found other things to add to my list of complaints. I found myself having to seek forgiveness and focus on Truth to reclaim perspective…and it took me a couple days to even figure that out.
I recently started reading Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson. It is so good and challenging to me as a mom…especially after these last few days with my boys. Susie’s words couldn’t have come at a better time:
That was totally me. I was feeling overwhelmed, out numbered, and insufficient to take care of my boys…and myself. I felt like I didn’t have the strength to do it. And I didn’t. But instead of relying on the strength of my God to fill in my insufficiencies, I just tried to survive on my own and threw myself one big pity party along the way. Nice. You would think I would know better.
And as my boys are getting older and Levi starts mimicking so many of the things I say and do, I am realizing more and more the ugliness in my heart that I don’t want him to imitate. Susie says,
Cultivating a heart of gratitude in our children is impossible unless we ourselves are grateful. We can’t impart something we do not possess. Always as moms, first and foremost, we have to keep close watch on our own attitude, which is fueled by our perspective.
In good seasons and in difficult ones, we are under God’s care, and he has promised to meet our needs. Therefore, we are called to give thanks (p30).
My attitude at the end of last week was definitely fueled by my perspective…and it wasn’t a perspective full of God’s truth. I want to cultivate a heart of gratitude in the lives of my children and I know that needs to start right here with my own heart.
The last few days were definitely not my most shining moments as a wife or mother. But I am thankful for these difficult days as a mom (I can say that now, right?) because I know God is using my kids to mold me into a woman after His own heart. There is lots of work to be done in this heart of mine.
This lesson on gratitude is one I have learned before, but one that I obviously needed to be reminded of…and will probably need to be reminded of again and again. I am praying that next time I sense my perspective going out the door that I remember to first go to my loving Heavenly Father with my needs and allow Him to make up for my many, many insufficiencies. And that I would be a mama who models a truly grateful heart to my children.