You ever have one of those moments that make you feel like a complete failure as a parent? Well I did this afternoon :(. I woke up this morning with a long agenda of things I needed to get done and left the house without my usual quiet time with the Lord. The morning started out fine until it approached noon. We were making our last stop at the grocery store and E was sitting happily in the shopping cart. We got to the produce aisle and E immediately noticed the cherry tomatoes. "Ahh Ahh Ahh," E yells as he excitedly points to them. This boy LOVES cherry tomatoes. LOVES.
No problem. I picked up a package and placed it into the cart. I'm pushing along, looking to the side to see what else I needed, when all of a sudden E started screaming at the top of his lungs, threw himself back and completely broke into a tantrum.
"What's wrong, E? What do you want??" You can imagine how big my eyes were as I'm asking him and how many people were watching us. He pointed to the tomatoes and just screamed and screamed.
"E, we need to pay for those first ok? We can't just eat them right now. When we go home, you can have some."
Unfortunately, my explanation was met by even more screaming. By now, his face was covered with tears and snot; the top of his jacket was soaked as well. For a good 5 minutes (although it felt more like 30 min), I tried to calm him down and explain to him that he had to wait. You must be thinking that I'm crazy. What one and a half year old knows anything about waiting??? So yes, nothing I said worked. He just kept screaming and throwing himself all over the place in the middle of the store. My patience quickly ran out and by now I was pretty upset with him. Multiple people walked by and I felt like the worst mother ever. Ever.
Desperate and frustrated, I opened the package and handed him a tomato. Instead of calming down and taking it, he shook his head and started screaming again; this time even louder and higher pitched. He reached over and tried to grab the entire package from my hands. My first reaction was to not let him have it, but it was just met by more screaming. I finally gave up and dropped the whole package into his lap.
Silence. I thought it would never come. The crying stopped and E just sat there and popped the tomatoes into his mouth like nothing happened.
On our drive home, I felt defeated and completely frustrated. I started softly calling on the Lord. "O Lord Jesus... O Lord Jesus..." The Lord gently reminded me of how I missed my time with Him and started the day without Him. All I could do was just repent.
I got home and put E down for his nap. I made myself some hot tea and just sat quietly on the couch. I spent some time with the Lord, praying and reading over the Word. In chapter 2 of 1 Thessalonians, it was talking about the work of fostering new believers. The apostle Paul cared more for the cherishing and nourishing of the new believers then teaching them knowledge.
Just like in a family, there is the need for some amount of teaching. However, the focus is not on teaching, but on raising the children by cherishing and nourishing them so that they can grow. As parents, we have to be such patterns for our kids. This will help water them, supply them, nourish them, and cherish them.
Without spending time with the Lord everyday to be cherished and nourished by Him myself, how can I expect to properly do so for my son... or for others?
Lord Jesus, I love You. I really need You. Forgive me for not spending time today to be fed by You first and running on my own energy.