As we settle in, we hear my husband's truck finally back into its parking spot. We've been apart since 4:00a.m. this morning. Sixteen hours of working, serving, living life---connected, yet apart. Relieved to hear the sound of another grown up is now present in our home, I look down at the Children's Adventure Bible that's on my lap.
I read the words. The way Jesus was betrayed grieves me. It made me anxious. Despite my best "patient mommy efforts" the kids are quite restless. I snip a quick reprimand at Lydia who is pulling my hair out of it's pony tail holder. As I turn to address her, Micah who was sitting snuggled on my opposite side, felt compelled to do the same thing. As he pulled on the holder, one of the tiny little hairs at the base of my neck was pulled.
Frustration bubbled up, hot and ready. No snipping about it. This time I yelled. Micah and I stared right into each others' eyes for thirty solid seconds. As the stare-down continued, snippets of frustrating words are flying through my mind. "Why can't they just listen to me? We are reading the Bible. This time is sacred." I find myself wishing they understood how sad the words were---how heart wrenching the betrayal of Jesus by one from his inner circle is.
Just as soon as the thought passed, I realized that for this time in their lives, I'm so glad they do not realize the gravity of the words I read. I'm glad they do not know how people lie, cheat, steal, and sin against other people for a few extra coins in their pocket or a few moments of fame or just simply because it feels good to them. I'm so thankful that my kids are growing up in a safe home where we protect them, love them, pray for them, and read them the Word---whether they actively listen every night or not. Yes, sometimes their silly mommy gets annoyed and yells---but then their mommy apologizes and we pray together.
My heart aches for the children who do not get apologies. I cry for the babies going to bed with hollow tummies and empty hearts. I can't help but wonder if there is a child sitting next to one of my kids in school who would love to hear someone encourage them or pray for them...or simply have someone not scream at them. What about those precious little ones caught in slavery or the sex trades around the world?
And so in keeping with the goal of my Wednesday Attitude of Gratitude, I am making a decision here and now to let go of the last sixteen hours and the frustrations that I've held on to through the day. I choose thankfulness for what we have here in our home. I choose hopefulness that someday maybe God will still allow us the chance of adoption where we can share the safety of our home with another child. And I choose faithfulness to keep doing the things with my children that I'm supposed to be doing, no matter how long and tiresome my days may be.