Today we’re excited to bring you a guest post from Amanda White, a friend of What’s in the Bible? and blogger at ohAmanda.com!
Today was a work day for me. Oh, as a stay-at-home-mom I’m always working. But today, outside of my regular make three meals, make sure beds are made and clothes are washed, I also had to do some bloggy-type stuff. I had to write with a capital W.
So, as my kids played in my periphery and my stress-level elevated…well, my stress-level elevated. By supper-time I was over it. You know, like OVER it? I was tired of whining, tired of questions, tired of ugh-I’m-going-to-have-to-do-the-dishes-and-sweep-the-floor-again, tired of being weighed down by my to-do list. I contemplated putting the kids to bed early–too bad my almost-second-grader is too smart for that. She knows exactly what time we turn off her light and say good-night!
Instead, I pulled up enough courage to get the kids in bed and read a bedtime story without fiery, barbed-wire words coming out of my mouth. I didn’t want to read them a story. I didn’t want to sit there with those little pajama-clad kiddos, with their soft hands rubbing my shoulder, their tired eyes blinking at me, their sweet little mouths asking for kisses. Ugh. Who am I kidding?! The second we all laid down and I controlled myself enough to start Chapter 4 of Little House on the Prairie, I was done for. My anger dissipated. My to-do list wasn’t important. I wanted nothing more than to be in their world as long as I could.
This should not be new to me. It’s happened a million times before. When I step outside of what I want, my selfish behaviors and extend the slightest bit of kindness and honor to my kids, I end up wanting to do more. Unselfish, kind actions somehow put out the fires of my white-hot self-centeredness.
And I wonder, do my kids see this? Do they recognize when I extend kindness to them? Am I modeling it? Or am I falling into it as a last resort?
I see my kids yank toys out of each other’s hands, breathe deep sighs when their sibling doesn’t want to play their way and I wonder—did they get that from me? Do they notice my selfishness or my ability to be kind in spite of that selfishness?
It’s not a question they could answer. But I can work on it. I can choose to step into kindness, step out of myself. I can pray that God uses my small gifts to my children as big stepping-stones to their own behavior, their own guidelines and responses.
I pray my life only mirrors my Heavenly Father in His perfect kindness, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)
Lord, thank you for never failing in your kindness! Help me to mimic you and lead my children with kindness.
Amanda White is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at ohAmanda.com and is the author of Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!