September 14, 2010

The coliseum

We should have turned in last night, but we stayed up late and watched the BBC miniseries Sherlock.  Six hours later my alarm went off and it was raw determination that got me out of bed and into the window seat to read John 20 and pray for my family and plead for energy, patience and perspective for the grinding out of another day.

Today was day 1,618 of my motherhood (including Leap Year, of course).  After crawling out of my window seat, I burst into tears.  Daniel in his towel, dripping and steaming from his morning bath, came to my side and listened to me cry and cry about my life (he's heard it all before).

"I am set up to fail!" I wailed.  "Every morning I face a day of work that tests my patience at every bend and if I make one mistake I break a little heart, if even for a moment.  How does one hold up under that kind of pressure?!  And tell, TELL ME, who on this earth can make it to the end of the day with three young children and all the squabbling and whining and time-outs and spankings and diapers and butt-wiping and outfit-changes and sippy-cup lid malfunctions and busted lips and "take three more bites or you won't get a cookie" and on and on and on (on top of trying to run a kindergarten) WITHOUT losing one's patience at least ONCE?  Introduce me to this person and I will faint, I really will!!!"

*sobbing into hands*

"It's pride," my husband quietly says.  I look up at him with relief.  If my problem is my own pride, I can do something about that.  If the problem is my own sin, THANK G0D because that can go away!
"Go on," I say.
"If the success of your day is measured by whether or not you can make it through your day without making any mistakes, then you are under the impression that the power is in your hands.  That's pride."
"Go on."
"To think that you can make or break these kids, that's pride.  The success of your day should be measured by whether or not you gleaned the treasure G0D intended to give you that day - the unique treasure that can only be found in the unique circumstances you are in.  Our trials are a breeding ground for the things of G0D that we long for.  Grab them.  Don't miss them.  In your weakness, his power is perfected."

Right about that time, the kids began hollering, "It's 7:00!" from their rooms (they are not allowed out of their beds until we fetch them).  I looked at Daniel through puffy eyes and smiled.
"And so it begins," I said.
He laughed and said, "It's like in Gladiator when they are standing ready to enter the Coliseum and they hear shouts and stomps from the people of Rome..."
"And they are peeing themselves," I point out.
Daniel laughs again, "Strength and honor, baby, strength and honor."

Big hug. Quick prayer. Another day rolls on.