My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
After the struggles I have gone through lately these are the verses that I read last night and they really hit me. As you can tell from previous posts I have had my struggles with Michael lately, which is also part of the reason I have not posted lately....I didn't want this to turn into a complaining blog. To Paul and I it seemed that Michael was really starting to push the limits and really get into the terrible two's (even though he's almost 3). It was amazing though....the other night I brought up something about disciplining Michael and said I felt like we really needed to sit down and talk out how and when we want to discipline him so we are on the same page. As we were talking about it we realized we have both been struggling with the same feelings lately. We had felt we were doing a good job at raising and disciplining Michael, but all the sudden because of what one couple said we started doubting ourselves. Now we don't feel this couple said things to make us feel this way, but they are a Christian couple that we admire and we just started listening to what they were saying and weren't really talking things through ourselves. In talking the other night though we realized what works for them may not work for us. As we talked more we also realized that Michael's not the whole problem. Yes, he is a child and he is learning to push limits, but we had changed rules and expectations that we just expected him to adapt to with no problem. We also realized it's only been 3 weeks that we have really felt this way and been frustrated with him, ourselves and each other, but it has felt like a lot longer. We realize now that we just need to work with him in a different way to help him adjust to these changes. He is still such a good boy! We also had to remind ourselves of all the people (family, friends, and strangers) that have complimented us on our parenting and disciplining to help us be encouraged. I'm not saying we are perfect parents or that we haven't made our mistakes (or won't make more), but I am saying that we have been less stressed the last couple days as we have realized we were most of the problem!
As I was reading in James last night and saw the verses I quoted above I realized that this time has been a test from God...not a temptation, but a test. He has been testing us through this trial with Michael to see how we would respond. I don't know that we responded the way He would have wanted us to (ok, so I know we didn't at first), but I think that us talking the other night was a step in the right direction. Even today when we went out to the grocery stores and the kids were tired and getting hungry, we were able to keep our cool and not get stressed.
As I read the second set of verses I quoted, I realized that God won't tempt us. It is when we are drawn away by our own desires that we are tempted.
Then the last set of verses...Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above....just made me realize that Michael and Grace are a gift from God. I need to remember this even in the times of struggles with them.
The last few days have also been a struggle because Paul hasn't been feeling good and I've started having contractions. Paul is fighting a head cold, but getting better. Having today off has helped him rest some too. The midwife is not concerned about my contractions. She says it is normal at this point, especially with the 3rd pregnancy. It just means I need to make sure I'm drinking LOTS of water and resting as much as I can. I have such a wonderful husband that is not letting me do much if he's around! For me this is good and bad...I rest, but I also feel lazy and think there is more I can do without hurting anything.
I am so thankful for my husband and my kids and I praise God for giving them all to me!