Blessings on the Beach

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Blessings on the Beach

  Here I am sitting on the shore looking at my beautiful children playing in the surf…just loving them so much.  There are moments when I’m overcome with the depth of my love for them. Watching them laugh, play and even help each other in the surf blesses me immeasurably. We needed this time.  This fun and laughter and late nights and late mornings and sunburns and splashing and way too many sweets and card games and lots of hugs and kisses.  We needed this very, very much. My children have been champs this past year.  We have had our fair share of changes and challenges, BUT God has blessed us in the midst of it all.  (As He always does.) I’ve been a bit grouchy, impatient, and a little emotional this past year.  I’ve had a hard time just being in the moment.  Just enjoying the day. Today we went to a store that had all kinds of reminders about living in the moment, choosing to be happy, and enjoying the day…those are all great sentiments, but boy do I struggle with that sometimes. It’s more difficult than you can imagine to get myself into the right frame of mind each day.  I want to be the fun-loving, joy-filled, gracious, patient, loving momma I envision in my perfect world. Any given day I’d have to say that I choose fussy words rather than encouraging words. Inevitably a situation occurs when I don’t hold my tongue or I simply lash out in anger.  And each time I think afterwards, “I could have handled that so much better.  It could have ended with a hug and a smile instead of an apology.” Why can’t I remember that before I open my big, fat mouth? This week, I’ve noticed less conflict and more laughter…and I know much of that is because I’m relaxed. I’m enjoying my children instead of worrying, fussing, or stressing about something. I’m taking a breath. I’m breathing in the joy of life with my children…I’m choosing to see the beauty in the chaos of a large single parent family. I’m seeing my oldest as the amazing young man he is…a leader and encourager. I’m seeing my oldest daughter as the beautiful young woman she is…willing to make brave and mature decisions about her future. I’m seeing my middle son as the compassionate young man he is…willing to share difficult things and care for others. I’m seeing my middle daughter as the joy-filled little girl she is…a tender hearted sweetheart. I’m seeing my youngest as the wonderful little girl she is…loving, daring, and filled with zest. And I’m seeing me, a blessed momma. When I’m not sitting beside the surf, relaxing with my journal, Bible, book, and sweet tea…ahhhh, perfection…how do I choose to rest rather than react…to love my children rather than lose my temper? I don’t really have the answer at the moment, except the obvious.  Get more sleep.  Get organized. Get a better perspective.  Get my priorities right.  Get relaxed.  Get peaceful.  Get in the Word.  Get on my knees. Just get busy getting it together girl! As always, God brings me back to Him and His word. I’m looking for the 10 steps…no make that 2 steps to becoming the best parent ever!  I don’t know what those would be…I don’t need steps anyway.  This week has reminded me of what I do need… I need to rest. Rest on my pillow.  Practically, I need more sleep. Rest in His word.  Mentally, I need more time gathering wisdom and perspective from His word. Rest on my knees.   Spiritually, I need more time in His company. Rest with the people I love.  Emotionally, I need more time enjoying the people God has blessed me with.  Just enjoying them. Maybe the secret to my grumpiness is a good dose of joy.  Maybe what I need is a good night’s sleep and a good kick in the pants to get my attention and remind me that I am blessed. My 5 children are my 5 biggest concerns, challenges, and craziness-inducing blessings.  How can I not enjoy them? Lord, help me to remember the blessing of parenting, not just the stressing.  When things seem overwhelming, please overwhelm me with You.  When I want to focus on the struggle, give me the perspective of the sweetness of a life filled with the chaotic joy of single parenting.  When I want to speak angry words, hold my tongue.  Please bring to mind edifying and encouraging words.  Allow me the ability to speak only words of life to my children, and help me to show them the joy of knowing You! I gotta run!  The waves and five beautiful people are calling my name!    

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