I'm not the most patient of people. I have a short fuse. I'm easily frustrated.
So, what does God challenge me to do? Homeschool of course!
I always knew that this part of my temperament would be a struggle for me throughout my life. In fact, I actually remember hearing my first sermon by my school principal when I was four years old. It was about the power of the tongue and I remember him saying "Tara. Listen. This is the most important lesson you will ever learn".
Oh, was he right!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18: 21
Just this week I was stressed out. Big time. My baby wasn't sleeping and I was getting around 3 hours of broken sleep a night. My husband travels for work so he wasn't around to help and I felt overwhelmed by all the things I had to do. I had friends popping out babies left right and center and wanted time to make them some meals as well as visit them and then there's a normal day, coffee dates, playdates etc...But although that may explain my behavior - it doesn't excuse it.
I lost it.
I got frustrated at everything. We went to begin our homeschooling day and we couldn't find the whiteboard markers for our morning boards.I got angry. I felt like this was setting the tone for the day. We looked for 10 minutes before I realised that they were nowhere. We started late. I made sure the kids knew I was annoyed at them for losing the markers.
We sat down for our devotion and my bible wasn't where I left it. Once again, I let them know I was frustrated that they moved my things. As I read the boys were wiggling all over the floor. I snapped at them twice and told them if they didn't stop moving I was going back to bed (I wished!).
DS6 didn't feel like maths that morning and was bouncing around on his chair. We couldn't find the glue to glue our handwriting sheets in our scrap books. My 2 year old knocked my coffee over.
The afternoon was even worse. Someone had spilt water all over the library books and hadn't told me and the boys were fighting...constantly.
I ranted. I raved. I yelled.
DS6 disappeared and I heard him sobbing his room. I went in to see if he was okay knowing that my behavior had eventually worn him down. I embraced him and he was hysterical. "Mummy, I'm so sorry I'm such a horrible little boy". My heart broke and before I knew it, I was sobbing too.
I'm pretty sure I hadn't used those exact words but it didn't matter. Whatever I had said and the way I had behaved made him feel like that. I knew I couldn't take back what had been done so I told him I was sorry and asked him to forgive me. I told him although his behavior was sometimes horrible - I NEVER thought HE was horrible. Ever. I told him I loved him and we cried together.
So, there was this weeks wake-up call. Words (and tone) matter more than we realise.
All day I had ranted and raved and felt that it didn't matter because no one was listening anyway. It wasn't true. They heard every word and it had left an imprint in their fragile little beings.
Worst. Mum. Ever.
Homeschooling tests me. A lot. This is good as God is refining and shaping my character. I wish I was born with the "patience of a saint" but alas I know this is something I need to work on.
I have to keep saying to myself "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" because I can!
I also have to remind myself that "Love is patient...love is patient...love is patient..."....because it is.