When I went to pick the girls up from day school everything started out fine. Anna was in a good mood, listening and obeying well. Then, something horrible happened in her little world. Putting her right foot in her leotard before her left foot was catastrophic. It was the start of the torrential downpour of tears, shouts and disrespect. I wasn't having it so, no gymnastics.
We were about half-way home, granted we only live 4 miles from the day school, but it was 4 miles too far for me and my temper and patience. I wanted to turn around and drop them back off at day school and tell them how nice it had been but, "I'll see you in about 20 years." But, I settled on drowning out the two precious miracles God had given me out and started to pray, "why are these two precious gifts so horrible sometimes?" No. I didn't pray that. But, I did start off with, "God, I need you." The song, "Lord, I Need You" immediately came to mind and I started singing pretty loud,
"Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You!
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You!"
I kept singing the song over and over and as I sang the cries and wails from the back seat started to grow softer and softer. I glanced in my rear view as I was in full-on praise mode, one hand on the wheel, one hand in the air singing away and Anna was looking at me like I had in fact gone crazy. "I am back here crying and you're singing?" It wasn't the reaction she expected.
I started to laugh each time I sang the line, "My one defense..." because it is so simple but so true, God is my one and only defense in any and every situation; parenting especially. I can't do anything without him and it was amazing how one little prayer set to song, declaring my weakness and my wholehearted need for Him could calm me and my two temperamental tantrum throwing toddlers in the back seat.
The rest of our 2 minute drive home was enough time to calm down. We all got out of the car, I prayed with Anna, sent her to her room for a time-out and that reset the afternoon. Does everything go this smoothly, even other times when I have prayed? No, but knowing that I have the greatest defensive coordinator in the game called life/parenting is so reassuring and exactly what I need every hour.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13
That was one of the first Bible verses I remember memorizing by myself. It wasn't a Sunday School teacher telling me to but me sitting down with my Bible deciding to put it to memory. But, it was only after being a parent that I really got it. I can do all things THROUGH Christ. It isn't about me doing all things just because I am a Christian. It's me, totally surrendering myself and going through Christ can give me strength. I have to go through Him to have patience to get me moment by moment through a tantrum (multiplied by two). Without Him, by myself, I can do nothing but through Him I can do all things. That's the best defense any person can have.