It was one of those days. You know, THOSE days. The kind where you are just done, DONE by 7pm. The kind of days as a mother when you see your children less as the precious, adorable gifts that they are, and more as the most annoying people on earth. The kind of day when there was such a string of frustrating events that you just want to get in bed and pull the covers up over your head, but you can't, because there are four children to put to bed and your husband is working late or out of town.
Somehow we made it through baths and pajamas and teeth brushing and lotion. I was short with everyone, impatient, and just no fun at all. Whereas many days I might delight in their stories and antics, today it all just brought irritation. I could not wait to get them in bed! But first it was storytime and Little Girl reached to pick a book from the 3rd shelf, the one with the longer books, "No, pick one from the bottom shelf." I quickly corrected. The bottom shelf has the board books, the super short, one sentence per page with a total of 8 to 10 pages.
I read too fast, hastily turned off the light, started her music, and settled Little Girl in my lap with her blanket to rock for a few minutes. On this night there were no feelings of awe or thankfulness for this little girl who we were desperately trying to bring home from Ethiopia this time last year. I just wanted her to go to sleep.
I said a very quick prayer and then she asked, "Can I pray?" I sighed way too audibly. I mean wasn't it just a stall tactic? But a very advanced tactic for a 4 year old because who can deny a child who asks to pray?
"Go ahead" I said wearily.
And she prays (she used her own name in the place of "Little Girl" but since I don't share my kids real names on this blog, I'm substituting), "Dear God, thank you that Little Girl is so happy in her family."
And suddenly I can't breathe. God's mercy and grace pouring down. She prayed thanking God that she is so happy in her family!
"Oh Lord, I don't deserve this!" Really, I don't. I deserve her to pray, "God, next time please give me a nicer Mommy." That's what I deserve.
It's why I cringe when people tell my husband and me how great we are for adopting Little Girl. Because we are not great. It is God who is great. Our Little Girl is thriving despite us. God did that. He set her in our family and He is an amazing healer and creator of families! We fail so many times in so many ways, like on my "choose a book from the short-book shelf" night. We run out of energy and patience and thankfulness and get caught up in our own selfishness. But, God? He is good. All the time. Even on THOSE days. Especially on THOSE days.
Find more Thankful Thursday here.