Friday, August 12, 2011

Being Held Accountable

Sometimes when I write a post, I have to ask myself, do I really want to share this?
Because if I do, I will be held accountable.
Before my husband, my children, my family, my friends, the world.
Before God.
Do I really want that?

When I write this about loving my husband, he could bring it up sometime when I'm not loving him.
He doesn't, because he's not like that.  
But he could.
Or when my kids are older and they read the things I wrote about loving them, and being with them, will they say, "that's not the mom I remember."
Do I really mean it when I say,"I wouldn't trade it for more time to myself, more quiet, more money or more freedom.  I wouldn't trade it for less mess, less laundry, less bickering, less whining or less work."  (it being having 4 kids)

William has been especially challenging this week.  
I would go so far as to say, exceptionally challenging.
And Tuesday, the day I published that post, was the worst day by far.
As the day progressed, growing worse and worse, I thought how ironic it was that only that morning I had posted those sweet pictures and memories of my kids wrestling on the bed.
We were all laughing together and it was just picture perfect familial bliss.
All I heard myself saying that day was, "William, settle down.  William, stop yelling.  William, stop being so crazy.  William, go outside and run some laps.  William, don't pester your sister.  William, leave James alone.  William, stop whining.  William!  William!  William!"
I knew I was riding him too hard, but it honestly felt like he was causing some sort of problem every moment. 

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs15:1

I know that this verse is so important to put into practice as I parent, especially with my William, but I ignored it.
By 4 pm we were both spent.
I could hardly stand being around him.
He was beaten down by my constant pestering.
I know, I knew, he only wanted attention. 
And gosh darn if I wasn't going to give him good attention, well, then, he'd show me.  
He'd just drive me crazy!
It was working.

If I had just stopped and held him, if I had listened to the words I wrote here, I could have salvaged the day and made a positive impact on my son's heart instead of a negative one.
But in my frustration, my anger, my "poor me" attitude, I carried on.
The divide between us grew wider.

As I was busy with some task or another, Davy began fussing from where he was laying on the couch.
Without being asked, told or prompted, William came to the aid of his little brother.
I could hear him talking to Davy in a soothing voice.
"Did you loose your paci, Davy? Here you go.  Do you want Bubba to stay with you?  I'll stay with you Davy.  It's OK.  I'm here."

My heart melted.
All the things I should have been saying to William, he was saying to his brother.
I could have loved him in his bad attitude, his pestering, his crankiness, through all the things he was doing that annoyed me.
I could have loved him like God loves me.
Through my very worst moments, hours, days, years, God loves me.

I checked on the two of them a few minutes later.
They were both sound asleep.
William was tired.
He needed a nap.
He needed to be held, loved and he even needed to be needed.
I, the adult, failed to give that to him, but he found what he needed in the form of his baby brother.
The two of them slept together for hours.

William held Davy's little hand in his.

As I watched them sleeping together, I was reminded afresh of God's steadfast love for me.
What a picture, the two of them.
William comforting his weak, helpless brother, the way my Saviour comforts me in my own weak moments.
William offering love even when it had not been offered to him.

Over and over again, parenting has shown me how great is the love of my Heavenly Father.
He is the parent I can never be.
I will fail.
I will seek forgiveness.
I will start again.
And I will pray for His grace to permeate my heart and our home.
The kind of grace that my William showed me.

I won't complain about the good days.
Those days of laughter, smiles, grand adventures and quiet moments are the stuff of memories.
But the hard days are good too.
They are the days that teach me much about myself, my kids and my walk with God.
For all of it, I am grateful.

Love from,

PS.  I have just begun reading this book, Give Them Grace, and it is truly wonderful.  It is thought provoking and challenging.  I am sure the reflection of this day was brought on in some ways by the thoughts stirred up in this book.  I am looking forward to sharing more with you as I read more.
Thank you Kimm for sharing it with me!


Amanda said...

Amazing post! Exactly what I need to hear! ( I don't have a William, I hav an Owen ;->)

JDzJane said...

I look forward to reading your post almost daily. I too have 4 children - 3 of which are REALLY close in age. My days sound like your days. My frustration and motherhood "trials" (if you could call them that) sound like yours. God speaks to me through your posts. He's teaching me through your writing on the type of mother He wants me to be. Today, I felt so convicted by reading your post - I cried out to the Lord and He heard my cries. I am thankful that he's teaching me through your blog - you seem like such a wonderful and very Blessed mother. Thank you for writing what the Lord places in your heart and thank you for being obedient.

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.


jessie said...

yep, exactly what i need to hear, too. there was a moment this morning that i held joseph really close in a hug and told him how much i loved him instead of launching into the usual "what were you doing that was a no-no? was it kind and respectful? what do you need to tell mama?" it was, clearly, a moment of divine inspiration because this isn't at all typical. and God spoke to my heart in much the same way as this william moment. thank you for sharing! and i'm interessted in this book, too -- excited to hear your thoughts on it.

Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

this is a fantastic post greta.
i just bought the sounds like EXACTLY what my heart is calling out for. i can't wait to get started on it. thank you for sharing it.

Life with Littles said...

Any time my friend :)
What a wonderful Savior that we have who would live perfectly in our place to satisfy the law so that we are free to be imperfect yet still be called righteous. Even on your worst days you are the perfect mom in God's eyes because you are covered in Christ's righteousness...what a gift!

Summers Family said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you Greta for sharing this moment in your life. I love to be reminded how lucky our children to have each other, especially when we are unable to be there for them.

As a mother I couldn't help but get emotional looking at the pictures. They were just precious. It also reminded me that the 3 month romper I bought and never sent you is probably too small for Davey now - ugh!!! ha ha oh well, back to Target I will go to get him something else.

Have a wonderful weekend!

mygirl said...

this post brought tears to my eyes. for many reasons i suppose, but being able to relate and those feelings of sometimes falling short and missing the mark, mostly the sweetness between these two boys. i love your posts greta. i love that you are not afraid of being real. thanks again friend for the encouragement you bring to my life and many others. xoxo, christina

p.s. you know i am loving that paul frank onesie!

Betsi* said...

I'm also reading this awesome book ( thanks also to Kimm!) and it is really challenging my parenting, in a good way! I am really enjoying it.
I have had "William" moments with my Isaac too. Where the raging beast suddenly steps aside and the Father reveals himself through Isaac. And the conviction is heavy but also so sweet. Loving you!

hannah singer said...

this picture, the lesson in william with davy, wow.
thank you for sharing, i am just convicted and humbled. can't wait to get that book! xo

Adrian said...

This is a wonderful post. God is amazing! And those pictures of your boys holding hands made me tear up, so precious.

Aaron Eskridge said...

Thank you for for your thoughtful words. As parents, it's so easy to fall into the trap of trying to make our kids compliant. Thank you for reminding us about the infinite grace that was given to us, and that we need to in turn share with our own children.
And, thank you for the beautiful photos. William melts my heart.
I love you,

Jennifer said...

Oh, I LOVE this. Thank you so much. We are not alone in motherhood, are we? in the good or the bad.

Thank you for sharing this.

Laura said...

and that is what life is all about. thank you Greta, for the reminder.

j e n n i f e r said...

Mad props to you Aaron. I love that you take the time to read your wife's heart/blog and share yourself as well.

This was a beautiful post G-girl. I love it. And you. So very much. Thankful for your wisdom. I'd love to chat more about it with you. On one of those, I'm swinging by your house to nurse my baby while in the midst of running errands in the old hood days. :) xox

Alima said...

Wow, what a beautiful post! I needed to read this! I have many days like that with my wild 2 year old. After reflection, I always realize that his wild behavior was usually just the result of me running around cleaning/cooking, etc and him wanting just a few moments of my attention.
Like you said, I need to just give him a few moments and hold him and he would probably calm right down.
So sweet the way William comforted Davy and fell asleep next to him. Those pictures and your words had tears streaming down my face (happy tears, of course). Such a sweet moments that you captured!
I've heard Give them Grace is wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading it. Right now I am reading "Loving the Little Years" It is wonderful also.

annettethebrunette said...

I'm in tears! Thanks for the reminder to be Jesus to my babies. I have three close in age (4, 2 1/2 and 16 months) and my challenge is named Aiden.

Rachel said...

Beautiful reminder for all of us.

Family of Four said...

Hi, your blog was recommended to me by a friend and I love it! I'm excited to follow along on your life adventures! Those pictures of your boys sleeping together are so precious and you will treasure forever! God bless!