Waiting for blooms

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Galatians 6:9-10  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Last week, I had some “bad mom” days – the ones where you feel like you’ve made all the wrong mom decisions or maybe you’ve been making some right ones, but there doesn’t seem to be any change in your kids’ behavior. On those days, I felt like I was failing. I’ve been punishing some bad behavior, but my kid is still spitting or throwing a million tantrums or not taking a nap… Furthermore, my 2.5-year-old is not potty-trained. In fact, she has taken control of the whole potty-training scene; she gets candy or stickers or potty dances for any glimmer of hope, and yet I’m still cleaning up poopy diapers…and maybe I wouldn’t feel like a failure there if everybody (or at least it feels like everybody) didn’t have an opinion and success story for their method. Yes, I’ve tried all those tricks, and my kid has an iron will and is not grossed out by poop or pee in her pants… or her bed or her carpet or her hands, for that matter. (It’s like all those people who want to tell you how to breastfeed your newborn since you are obviously doing something wrong if they are not eating every two hours during their first 24 hours on the outside.) Yes, I was having a few days of feeling sorry for myself and down on myself, and when I’m tired, it’s all me, me, me.

Meanwhile, people around the world are having real problems.

In the midst of these fail days, we had a potted bulb growing before our eyes in the kitchen. It was an after-Christmas special, a barely sprouting amaryllis bulb that was growing taller every day, and Pen Elaine would point out its growth to us on a daily basis. It was very magical. The sprouts grew buds, and the buds grew bigger, and one day, we could see some red peeking out of the buds and knew that big, glorious blooms would be coming any day! We were waiting for blooms with excitement and anticipation. Then, God showed me how I was waiting for blooms. I may be “tending the soil” for a while before I see the growth that is occurring, but I shouldn’t lose hope of the upcoming blooms. I have the hope of His calling in my life, His calling to be the mother to my sweet toddler and sweet baby who are growing every day as they watch how I live. I realized how God was waiting for blooms in my own life, to grow to be more like Jesus, whose love never fails. I started looking for blooms in my daughter’s life, in small changes that are barely perceptible on a daily basis but will seem so sudden when they’re fully grown. Furthermore, I read a post by GraceCoversMe that came at just the right time – about how God is always at work. How crazy that I had forgotten about that! God is at work in the life of my 2-year-old! He is working on her character and knows her heart so much better than me. Sometimes, I just need to take a breath and trust that. I need to work on me and my relationship with Christ, instead of “working” on her. I need to be modeling the behavior that I want to cultivate in my daughter – things like keeping my voice low and calm, not losing my patience, praying for other people and looking for ways to show kindness, remembering that out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

We bought our plant/bulb just two days before my son was born, and in just over a month, there were big, red blooms all over it. A month is so short a time to have patience.  My honey and I were reminiscing the time when we were trying to teach Pen Elaine the sign language for “more” as a baby learning to eat solid food. I must have made the “more” sign a million times, for months, before she even attempted it and made the sign herself, but let me tell you, there was practically a ticker tape parade when it happened! However, when we watched home videos months later, and I saw myself making the more sign to a blank staring baby in her high chair, we thought, oh yeah – remember when she couldn’t make the more sign? As suddenly as she started showing the success of all that training time, we forgot all about the long time of waiting with no hint of success.

So, I can catch blooms now and then, but my daughter still throws tantrums and still is not potty trained. However, that is okay because I know God is quietly at work and because I am seeing some buds in my own life. I’m becoming slower to speak and slower to anger, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” James 1:20. I’m still getting a little less rest with a 6-week-old in my care, but I am resting in the promises of God.

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Galatians 6:9-10  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

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2 responses »

  1. Great post and reminder. She will be potty trained some day. You are a great mom and you guys are doing great with her! Take heart! The rest of the world may have ‘real’ problems but this is a real problem too and God cares about Pen potty training, her heart and yours. Love you guys and you really are doing such a great job with her.

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