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Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

No More Perfect

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69d6168455a264b40058433b684cc5393e6e0e8e.jpgYou may have noticed I haven't been here much lately. Did you notice I haven't posted a menu plan in I don't know how many months? I've been too busy and I've had some pretty big things to deal with. So I have given myself some grace.

God doesn't expect us to be perfect so why should we expect the impossible from ourselves. All we can do is give the best that we can give at any given time. Sometimes this may look like perfection and sometimes this may be far from it and that's ok. We can't expect perfect. Not from ourselves or from those we love.

Yesterday about 5-10 minutes before we needed to leave for my 3 year old's afternoon preschool, I discovered that he and my 4 1/2 year old had gotten into glue sticks in the office supplies drawer of my desk. My 3 year old had bright yellow glue plastered to his head. His white uniform polo shirt was covered in multi-colored streaks of glue. On top of this, he had a pull-up explosion that had leaked through to his uniform shorts. Oh yeah and my blue and white quilt and white sheets had huge streaks of hot pink glue running up and down them. I let the bed go until later, it could wait. Preschool could not.

I somehow managed to handle the situation gracefully. Instead of yelling, I kept it together and got my 3 year old into the tub for a serious cleanup. There was some lecturing about staying out of Mommies things, but no harsh yelling. I'm sure I raised my voice, but I felt like I was keeping my cool. I found a uniform in the clean laundry and got him ready for preschool again. We were 10-15 minutes late, but it was ok. (Luckily we live about 5 minutes from the school.) Life went on and he had a great afternoon at preschool.

I read an article today at titled Perfect Isn't the Point. It really resonated with me. I have been trying to change my perspective and become more flexible when it comes to my expectations for myself and my family. A couple of months ago, my husband told me that I yell at our children too much. He was right. Too much yelling becomes ineffective anyway. I have been reflecting on this and trying to come up with better ways to redirect our boys and calmly handle messy situations. Simply stopping what I am doing and focusing on my children and their needs seems to go a lot further than yelling.

Our house is not always a peaceful and quiet retreat. It's often loud and rambunctious. There is always a mess to clean up, but there is also a lot of love and increasing amounts of grace. I am and will always be striving to give us all a little more grace.


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