Well, I can't anyways. . .
I was not feeling the love. At all. The only things I was experiencing were frustration and a complete sense of being overwhelmed. The day did not end well. They were spending the night, thus drawing out the long day. One kid had gone inside of himself and refused to cuddle and two others whimpered to sleep, while writhing in my arms. Finally, I went and crawled into my own bed and as I laid down I told God, "I can not do this. I simply can NOT!"
In that moment I got slammed with the loving rebuke,
"Melissa, you didn't try praying for them today."
"Oh, you have got to me kidding me!" was my first thought. I'm supposed to stop and pray with screaming, naughty toddlers that are drinking toilet water and drawing on the walls!?"
"Now Melissa, don't be dramatic". I swear I could hear God laughing at me. "I don't mean in that moment. But you could stop and pray with them in the non-naughty moments. With them and for them."
I'm ashamed to say I fell asleep that night with a "yeah, whatever" mindset about that whole concept.
The next morning, God was back at it. (He just doesn't let things alone sometimes . . . ;-)
The first thing my eyes fell on that morning was a prayer shawl draped over the chair in my bedroom. I do not attend a denomination that uses prayer shawls but I have a friend who does - -and when I first learned I was pregnant she gave me the prayer shawl to later use to swaddle my little one in. As I glanced at it, my heart stirred.
"Today, if those children are naughty, you get that prayer shawl and you get right on the floor with them, draw them into your lap, cuddle and snuggle them, and pray for them and you."
There is no magic in that prayer shawl. That's not why I am using it now. It has nothing to do with power or magic or anything else.
What it does carry, is a reminder to
Stop (running through my to-do list)
Love (on kiddos who may be misbehaving because I was so busy with my to-do list)
Cuddle and snuggle (cuz I can use a cuddle and snuggle as much as they can)
Pray (for them - - and especially for me to be who they need me to be)
Can I challenge you today, if it's a particularly trying day, to stop, love, and pray!? See what a difference it makes. It might not stop the cat from being baptized or the pots from being un-planted but it will help you cope with those things without assuming a fetal position and wishing for death. :-) And guaranteed, you'll get some love bursts for the kids out of the deal while you're at it! Yes, even the kid that just cut her brother's hair. . . .