Dwelling on blessings

It's easy in the daily grind to dwell on how difficult life sometime is. This week in particular has been trying for our new family. Little man is still trying to find his place and role in our family, so he is busy pushing every boundary. A lot is changing in his life, too. He's experienced more than many adults have, and because he's only four, he doesn't quite have the language to express himself. He expresses himself the best he knows how: through tantrums, fits, and negative behaviors. Oh...and we started school last week. It's been an exhausting week.

I'm still balancing this mother act (poorly, I might add), and this week I feel like my Bible time has been limited. Pre-kid, my quiet time was in the morning before school. It set a great tone for the day. I've tried to read the Bible in the mornings while we all eat breakfast, but inevitably I'm interrupted with puddles of syrup dripping from the table, at least six almost spilled glasses of milk, and random facts from little dude as he muses about the world over frozen waffles (I seriously never thought I'd feed my kid a frozen waffle...now I have a box of 60 in my freezer---thanks Costco). Morning Bible time= 0, little man= 17. I've tried reading at night after we put little man to bed and after I squeeze in an hour of work. This is usually an utter failure as I wind up asleep after two verses (no offense God). Tonight I switched it up. Right after we put little man down, I grabbed my Bible--before my work. I was heading to my favorite chair when little man wandered out in his Angry Bird pj's and whimpered, "I'm scared...will you come rub my back?" ASDOIUHAGER('8350q57717357! I thought. I love this child dearly, but I feel like the minute I might be able to sneak a bit of me time in, I'm needed again. After the week we've had, I was really ready for some quiet time in the Word. Nevertheless, I brought my Bible into his rom and laid out the conditions: I'd sit in his room with him, but I was going to read from the Bible...and not the one with pictures...and he couldn't talk and needed to close his eyes. I flipped to Ephesians for no reason other than I felt like it and began reading.

A few verses in I read, "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:3-8). The whole first chapter of Ephesians is gang-busters. I just love it. But these five verses really sunk deep into my heart tonight. This week I've let my frustrations claw their way into my heart and fill it almost entirely so that I was blinded from the blessings God has given me...the most important: My inclusion into God's family; His grace through His son. It was like a dope-slap from God.

This year will be crazy as we figure out how to be a family on top of teaching full time, and I'm sure the crazy will sneak up on me drive me bananas. But I know it's easier to be a good mother and a decent teacher when I'm overflowing with joy than seething with irritation, so my goal this year is to guard my heart from frustration replace it with gratitude. No easy task for sure, but a worthwhile venture, I'd say.

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