15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.Can I get an Amen!? Oh, how this passage sums it up for me!
The morning is upon me. After nursing Chloe at 4:30am, her occasional morning drink, I go into the bathroom for a drink myself. I hear the first birds of the morning start their song outside my bathroom window. For a moment I delight in their sound, but the moment passes and I fumble back to my warm, soft covers, hoping for another couple hours of slumber. It was a difficult night. Chloe had some crying bouts up until 12:30am, then Emma came in at 2:00am for comfort after a nightmare. Needless to say, this mama was tired at 6:15am when Emma was up and in chipper form for the day. She crawls in the covers between us. I know it's coming, but perhaps this once, this one blissful once, she won't say it..."Mommy, get me some juice please!" "Just a minute," I grumble. Five seconds later, "Mommy, can you get me some juice please, I'm thirsty?!" With a little more volume I answer, "Just a minute! Mommy is very tired, I need to rest a little longer, please be patient." This banter goes back and forth several times, complete with rolling the other way in a huff. Travis finally succumbs and gets her the juice, what a guy! It's about 50/50, but we never know on a given morning who will make the self sacrificing choice to jump out of bed. Shamefully, when I decide to answer the plea, it's usually in a big huff of covers thrown, storming down the hall to the kitchen. By the time I make it back to the bedroom, I'm already feeling guilty for my little tantrum, and then we ease into the day as usual. By post shower, I'm in a better mood, but invariably, the next irritating whine or tantrum from Emma will evoke in me the teeth clenching, complete with steam out the ears, and of course an occasional (as Travis calls them) toothpaste tube yelling episodes when I must resemble the Wicked Witch of the West. James 3:10 says: "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."
I long to be the patient, gracious mother, always calm in response to chaos, always seeing the greater character goal in all my discipline, only administering consequences for behaviors that truely need correcting, not simply out of selfish annoyance when Emma is just being a normal child of her age. I long to be Christ to my children, ever patient, always seeing the best in them when they are giving me their worst, responding in love when it seems they must surely exist to reveal all my shortcomings. My days are full of choices, continue doing the dishes, or grant the request to "play with me mommy", sweep the floor, or get down on it with my sweet little Chloe, clammering for my attention? To make a house or make a home, how does one do both? Some days I am lonely, isolated in my car-less existance, longing for an adult conversation and an end to the incessant whining from my two year old. Sometimes it's hard for me to see the emmence value of the position I've chosen as a stay-at-home mom when I feel that I fail at being the mom I want to be at least once a day. Some days, I just want to be selfish, I just want to do something that I enjoy, without interruption, but then feel sorry for myself when I can't.