I read a book this week that changed me.
A 3-year-old boy went to Heaven and back and reported what he saw. Hoax? Not hardly. This little boy told his parents exactly where they were sitting, in separate rooms, and what they were doing while he was undergoing the surgery that saved his life. There is no way he could have known those things if he hadn't been out of his body, watching. That, and many other details of his experience lead to one conclusion: he was really there, really hung out with Chr!st and John the Baptist and his own great grandpa, and the Holy $pirit who is "kind of like a blue color" and Gabriel and the child his mother miscarried before he was conceived.
So of course, my faith has been bolstered considerably because of Colton's account. It is much easier to have "faith" when there is proof involved. But that is not how I have changed.
I'll be a monkey's uncle if I won't be a HECK-of-a better mother after this, and if I won't enjoy my life 3-4 times more.
Here's the thing. Colton came away from his experience with a mantra: "Jesu$ really loves the children." He said it over and over again, all day long, for three years. His annoyed parents finally got it, and so did I. Children! THAT'S what tugs at the heart of G0D. He really loves them. They are precious in his sight. I could do nothing, therefore, to grieve the heart of G0D more than to grumble in my spirit against children. Oh, I know I am a "good" mom. I don't raise my voice and I carve out lots of time for them, but in my spirit, I am grumbling against them. I do it with my friends, and I do it on my blog, and I do it in my daydreams, and I do it behind my teeth right in front of Bright and Zion and Brave. Gosh, how BLIND I've been! Just exactly who do I think I am? I wouldn't grumble against my husband to my girlfriends. I've read enough books about wifery to know that tearing your husband down at the city gates is the fastest way to trash the gift G0D gave you when he gave you your husband. And yet, I gripe about motherhood to my friends all the time! A good laugh over a really tough day is one thing, but self-pity over "having" to raise "these children" is bitterly ungrateful and, without a doubt, breaking G0D's heart.
The good news is, I repented last night after finishing the book - at 1 in the morning - and it was a beautiful experience. Tears fell onto my pillow as I saw my sin for what it was. More tears fell after I felt the wave of grace wash over me and my transgressions evaporate like a mist in the sun. At that moment, I felt G0D saying to me, "You were a child once, too, and I love you now as I loved you then. You are precious to me."
Oooohhhh...hooo...hooo. Let me tell you, if you are not a believer in Chr!st, these are the kinds of intoxicating moments that make believing in him worth it. I highly recommend it.
So here's the really cool thing. Today, after sharing everything with Daniel, who is always stoked when G0D hiccups into our human lives, I was a TOTALLY DIFFERENT WOMAN. I kid you not. We both had patience with the kids like never before, and we didn't even have to try. It was just...there. Not only that, but we enjoyed the kids - I mean really delighted in them - like we have not done since our parenthood journey began. It was AWWWWWWWESOME.
That said, I am aware of the fact that my sinful, selfish, humanness is going to fight really hard to regain the upper hand around here, but something is different now. Now I know that seeing my kids, even at their worst moments, as anything short of G0D's honored guests in my home, is not only wrong, but no one is the fool for it but me.
p.s. Bright, Zion, Brave, and Jubilee, don't think this means no more spankings! ;)