I have come to realize in the short time I have been blogging that other than scheduling times for me to write, which feels nearly impossible with my daughter out of school for the summer, that I better write when the time presents itself. So, as my daughter is outside playing with a friend, my husband is working late, and in between cooking tonight's dinner, I am writing this blog :)
At the beginning of the summer, I read a blog. Please forgive me I do not remember which one at the present moment...it's not one I follow on a regular basis The writer was talking about preparing for summer activities and travels, and she wrote something that really stuck out to me. Not only was she going to make sure during the summer she spent quality time with her family, but she was also going to spend time working with her children on their attitudes, and enforcing rules a little more consistently. Now, I'm not sure I have done anything consistently since the summer started other than staying up late, sleeping in, and, totally taking advantage of everyday that we have nothing planned by being lazy. I find that I actually thrive better with a schedule, so maybe the summer time isn't the best time for me to work on my consistency, but I have been working on being consistent with my daughter. And, once again God has been showing me that it's not just my daughter that needs to work on things...
On Saturday, my family was preparing to go over to a friend's house to celebrate the 4th of July. We had about 45 minutes before we were supposed to be there. My husband was in the shower, and while I was waiting on him to finish, so I could take mine, I was making cookies to take to the cook out. By the way, it usually takes me well over an hour to get ready, 1 hour if I am not distracted by my daughter, my cell phone, and little things around the house that all the sudden have to get done. You know, those pile of clothes that have needed to be put away for two days that all the sudden have to be done now, or the dishes in the sink from breakfast that could wait until you get home.
On top of already running behind, my daughter approaches me to tell me she wants to pull her tooth.
Let me fill you in about my daughter, and the two teeth she's already lost. With both teeth that have come out of her mouth it's been a pretty dramatic experience, not because anything terrible has happened, but because my daughter is terrified of pulling her tooth out, or letting anyone else do it. Both times, my husband has basically had to do a sneak attack to get her teeth out, and both times I have to be in the other room because it grosses me out so much.
So, with the understanding that getting the 1st two teeth out of my daughter's mouth took months of preparation, and hours of coaxing you understand that trying to get a tooth out with only 45 minutes before we have to be somewhere while we are all still getting ready probably wasn't the best time to try. However, my daughter convinced my husband, and I that she was so excited at the idea of being able to show off to her friends, and cousins that she had lost a tooth we thought it wouldn't take any time at all. Boy were we wrong...
Like I mentioned, the whole pulling teeth thing really grosses me out, so I stayed in the kitchen finishing up the second batch of cookies, while my hubby, and daughter started working on her loose tooth. My daughter had asked my husband to get a piece of string that might help get her tooth out. I heard them laughing because my daughter kept moving her mouth, and the string would fall off. All was going well until my daughter felt a twinge of pain...then the fear set in. I could hear her laughter turn in to whimpers, mind you, all my husband was trying to do at this point is get the string on her tooth- they hadn't even begun to pull the actual tooth out yet. With each whimper the string came off, and each time the string came off my husband grew more frustrated because he knew she had nothing to afraid of.
I bet you think at this point I am going to write about fear, and how my daughter over came her fear of loosing her tooth...NOPE...the tooth is still in her mouth. But, what I will tell you, as I stood in the other room hearing the fun turn to fear, and the fear turn to frustration, I began to worry. And, not only did I begin to worry, I felt it was necessary for me to intervene. I came swooping in from the next room, and told both my daughter and my husband to calm down. I suggested maybe they needed to take a break, and try to pull the tooth later. As my husband turned to look at me, my daughter bolted from the room in tears. I could tell my husband was aggravated with me for stepping in, but I hadn't done anything wrong...had I? After a couple minutes of a heated discussion, my husband said, "whenever you do that...whenever you feel the need to step in... you're telling our daughter that she doesn't have to listen to me, and you're telling me you don't trust me." That caught my attention. Up until that point, I didn't feel I had done anything wrong. In fact, I felt totally justified in stepping in, and "helping" the situation. But, when my husband mentioned me acting like I didn't trust him as a father it stopped me in my tracks. Anthony is a great father. He tries to make sure that everyday, at some point, he spends time with our daughter, whether it's talking to her about her day, or cuddling on the couch watching a show they enjoy together. Anthony, and our daughter enjoy laughing, wrestling, and playing rock, paper scissors together. When I worked full-time, I worked most every Saturday, and most every Saturday Anthony watched our daughter... no questions asked, and no complaining. So, for me to make him feel in anyway I don't trust him, or I question his ability at being a good father hurt me because I knew I had hurt him.
I began to think about the times recently where I got aggravated, and maybe over reacted to whatever our daughter was doing, and my husband didn't say anything. And, if Anthony did say anything, he waited until our daughter had left the room then asked me why I had gotten so upset.
When the Lord blessed us with our daughter, He knew we'd make mistakes...probably daily; but, that didn't keep Him from making us parents. The Lord sees us daily make mistakes not just with our daughter, but in many other areas of our lives, yet He continues to bless us. And, although, the Lord will quicken us we we are about to make a mistake, He's so loving, and so merciful that even we make mistakes, he forgives us, and helps us to move on from them.
I am not trying to say Anthony made a mistake with how he handled our daughter, and her loose tooth (it was me that made a mistake), I'm saying I want to treat my husband the way Christ treats me...with grace and mercy. I want to encourage Anthony, and let him know, I have his back as my husband, and as our children's father. The last thing I want to do is tear Anthony down, make him feel he's not good enough, or that I don't trust him. All that will do, in the long run, is build up walls of resentment between us, and possibly effect the way he parents.
Thank you for the gift of my husband. Thank you that Anthony strives daily to be a wonderful husband, and a wonderful father. Thank you that Anthony works daily on having Christ in our home, and in our conversations. Lord, please help me to remember that I fall short as a parent everyday, and neither You or Anthony condemn me for it. In fact, You, and Anthony encourage me to be better. Please help me to encourage my husband, and help me not to tear him down with my words, looks or actions, but to build him up. I know I am to protect my daughter from the world, but help remind me I don't have to protect her from her father. And Lord, if there is anyone else reading this that longs to be a better wife please encourage her. Please let her know the times she looses her temper, gives a scornful look, or discourages her husband with her words that You are not done with her. Please remind her that you knew from day 1 that she would mess up, and make mistakes, but her mistakes do not define her, nor define her relationship with You. Please help us to be women that see our mistakes, quickly repent, and seek forgiveness where it's needed. Please help us daily to be the wives you created us to be.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
Ps. In between writing this, and posting this, my daughter lost her tooth. YAY! We weren't in a rush to go anywhere, and I stayed out of the way. Anthony, and our daughter were just sitting, and relaxing with no agenda for pulling out her tooth. Our daughter was wiggling her tooth, and wanted to show my husband how loose it was, and poof, her tooth fell out (my husband may, or may not have helped more than our daughter realizes wink, wink.).