My husband is head of our home, so I must be the "heart." As such, my mood (good or bad) sets the tone for everyone. When I am full of Jesus (and a good night's sleep helps a lot) things seem to run pretty smoothly. When I'm not...watch out! After a rocky few days this week dealing with discipline issues with the kids and tottering on the brink of emotional exhaustion, yesterday ended really well. So much so, in fact, that my oldest was inspired to make a sign for the door that said "Welcome to a happier family, daddy!"
So what changed? I am ashamed to admit that the rampant lack of joy around here probably had more to do with me than I first realized. Yesterday, when I allowed God to "reset" my heart, my joy once again overflowed into my parenting. I felt renewed, invigorated, able to lovingly guide the three beautiful little people in my care. Conflicts were able to be resolved without feeling frustration (or exhaustion). I felt the Holy Spirit guide me as I tried to guide the children. It was right and we all knew it.
We put on worship music and danced and sang. We cleaned up in record time. We all (even little one) pitched in and made dinner. By the time my hubby got home, we were ready with a delicious dinner and, more importantly, new attitudes. Yes, it was a happier family than the one my husband had left at breakfast.
I think I tend to downplay my own needs and focus on everybody else first. As moms we all tend to try and ignore our own needs in favor of those of others. I often think of the airline stewardess who, during our pre-flight instructions, explained that parents should put on their own oxygen masks before tending to their children. It is absolutely counter-intuitive, but essential. I have to learn that my time with God is not a luxury, time to unwind from a stressful day is not "stealing" time from my kids and husband. It is a necessity! As a homeschooling mom who spends 24/7/365 with her children it is essential that I make certain my First Love has my full attention. If my own spirit isn't overflowing with God's love, how in the world am I to pour out to others?
I am so thankful to serve a God who is patiently fashioning me into the wife, mother and teacher I am called to be!