Just before the new year my mom gave me the most amazing book, Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. She is a mom of 5 kids 5 and under. She know what she is talking about because she is living it each an everyday, not remembering through rose colored lenses what it was like to have little ones. Time has not faded her memory.
I read this wonderful, short (100 pg) book over a weekend. It was inspiring, funny, and truly spoke to my heart. I am learning that the state of my house and my children is directly tied to my heart attitude. If I am not focused on Christ, in control, organized, prepared to love and discipline, my day will be difficult. That doesn't mean that it needs to remain that way. I can re-focus on God and be deliberate in showing grace. Oh how wonderful grace truly is. We are shown it over and over again, day in and day out. Not only by God but by our spouses, children and even strangers. Does it every amaze you that we are much more able to show grace to those we don't know than the ones we are with always? I wonder why that is. She gives great examples of how to deal with everyday issues when you have little ones.
She reminds us that we are still being sanctified daily, especially when we have children. We need to remember that they are not just children, who perhaps bother us at times but that they are eternal souls that need guidance. We need to be the example of what repentance and forgiveness looks like. We need to show them how to be kind. We need to be patient with them as we are continually telling them to be patient and wait! I have become increasingly aware of the impatient tone in my voice when I am telling them to be patient and wait. We are the example by which they live and learn.
She also reminds us to look at our children as individuals and deal with them accordingly. Just because the day might not be going as smoothly as we would like and its a little loud and crazy and one(or many) of your children is disobeying, you must deal with the sin on all levels. Perhaps this means dealing with your sin first so that you don't fly of the handle over a minor infraction. Nope, I would never over-react, not me! Ok, so maybe I would and maybe I do more often than I would care to admit. But lets remember we are sinners, not yet perfected, nor will we be until we are with Christ. We are continually being sanctified and worked on.
I don't think that I can recommend this book enough. It has already been a blessing to me and I am sure to re-read it many times. Lets face it, I want to love the little years and they are tough.
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the trenches Go buy it!!