So, as I said, ONGOING lesson. Today I heard him playing during nap and of course they can play with their "bed toys" (aka quiet stuff). I went in and he had gotten out of bed to grab a container of his little people. He was caught in the act but quickly changed his expression of "busted" to a BIG, wide smile and said "Here Mommy" and held his two little arms out handing me the bin as if he was helping me out SO much. I took it and he said "You're welcome, Mama". Ok, I have to admit I really just want to grab him and squeeze him every time he says "Mama" to me but instead I calmly explained that he is not to get out of bed and that it is time to rest. Score one for me because by this point in the day my patience is wearing REALLY thin.
I realized a couple of months ago that this was a "trigger" time for me, right before nap and bed at night. It was then that I began thinking, usually after I had lost my cool, that if I had just been patient for 5 more minutes (sometimes even less) things would have been very different and I wouldn't have to feel horrible for being grouchy to them right before bed. 5 more minutes. It seems measly but sometimes is just takes a second to feel overwhelmed and it is definitely something I work on regularly.
In my Bible reading last week I came across the story of Esau who sold his birthright for some soup. I can so relate to this guy. He was hungry! I've read and heard this story several times but this time that stood out to me. My New Living Bible study notes say: Esau acted on impulse, satisfying his immediate desires without pausing to consider the long-range consequences of what he was about to do. " It goes on to say: "We might feel such great pressure in one area that nothing else seems to matter and we lose our perspective. Getting through that short pressure-filled moment is often the most difficult part of overcoming temptation."
That moment when I am about to lose my patience with Jared or the boys. That moment when I don't feel like exercising when I know it is best for my health. That moment when I just. want. some. soup. (o.k. unlike Esau mine would be a 2nd brownie or another slice of pizza) but know that I should give it a rest. They are all short term decisions that have a lasting consequence. I am trying to be more mindful of this. So that is what "works for me". Think of Esau!
Head over to "We are that family" for more tips!