As I try to be thankful for the hard day

1:30pm finds my older two out playing in the rain. My youngest is napping. Meanwhile, I’m listening to one of Sarah Fink-Jensen’s Spotify playlists thinking about yesterday’s hard day. “We are not as strong as we think we are” by Rich Mullins comes on. I pop another sweet cherry in my mouth and my eyes tear up.

Yesterday was hard. We were with friends at a Canada Day BBQ. Thankfully our friends feel more like family and I feel brave enough to go there with our crazy family, knowing that we are loved even if things go south and I wish the world would open up and swallow me. Isaac is 8 now. He’s still non-verbal and was recently given his first official diagnosis (aside from the stroke and epilepsy) of intellectual disability. During dinner, he would not stop swatting at us, wouldn’t stay seated to eat. It escalated from there and it was bad. As a result of the meltdown, we had to leave.

Could it have been after effects of his morning seizures? Perhaps it was that he was out of his element? He hadn’t had his nap. It was hot. I don’t know what set him off. I didn’t know how to reset the course.

When I fell into bed that night, though I was so tired, sleep wouldn’t come. I got out of bed and went to the sitting room to kneel in prayer. I needed to ask for forgiveness for not being as patient as I should have been, for being angry at him, for resenting the task of raising him sometimes, for not praying enough for him. Tears, prayers and a sweet sleep are good medicine for the soul.

Parenting is hard. Parenting him is hard. We aren’t strong enough. I’m not as strong as I think I am. As I want to be. Actually, I’m not strong at all.

I praise Him and I am thankful that we have more good days than bad days. It’s not always like this.

Today I was thinking about how prideful I am. Yeah, I have to ask forgiveness for that constantly too. Because honestly, though they were dear friends, it’s hard on the pride to be unable to control your child/the situation.  Anyway, I’m also prideful, in that, I have one great day and I’m mentally awarding myself a parenting trophy. You know those (maybe infrequent) days where you were able to have a {mostly} uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord, you’re pretty much caught up on everything, the cookies are coming out of the oven, you’ve read and snuggled your kids, went for a walk and everyone is {mostly} getting along? I have one of those and I’m on top of the world. I have a few of those and I can feel that pride creep in. I’m doing a great job, I’ve got those ducks in a row. I can do this on my own.

And then along comes a bad day, a hard day, or sickness and it all starts to unravel. I have to admit, I tend to cry out to God in humbleness more on those days. He always answers with peace, grace and mercy. Maybe these times are the ones I really need to thank God for because they show me just how weak I am and how very much I need Him? Honestly, everything is better, calmer, sweeter, and more freeing when I rely on Him.

Lord, I praise You for all my days. I thank You for the good ones, for the sunshine and the joy. Help me praise You for these hard days too. Humble me, grow me, conform me to your image. Let me see how weak I am so that when I am strong, I recognize that it is Your strength in me and not my own. Transform my impatience into your loving patience as I seek to understand my children, and others in my life, and love them in a way that shows them how wonderful You are. Help me to joyfully accept the people, circumstances and limitations in my life with joy, knowing they are gifts from You.