Just the other day, a friend of mine (and fellow homeschool mom) reminded me of one of the coolest place in our town....the lending library. We were at the regular library for our weekly story-time/craft when we had the discussion about what wonderful, educational items could be checked out across town at the lending library. Usually, after an hour of helping a 4 year old pick out books, chasing a 2 year old, feeding snacks to a 12 month old, keeping all still for the duration of a 20 minute story time, and helping with crafts...I'm sort of ready to go home and call it a morning!
Well, I was just too excited.
So, we headed across town and I began the talk. You know, the one about how it is very important to use our manners, stay close to mommy, use our inside voice, yada, yada, yada.....
We get out and load Levi into the stroller, Noah walks beside me holding the stroller strap, Savannah holds Noah's hand and we head proudly into the overly quiet office building. I'm feeling good because, we talked!
A nice middle-eastern lady escorts us down a long hallway into what is known as the lending library. It is a single room with floor to (nearly) ceiling industrial shelving holding more clear plastic tubs than I could possibly count. I've never seen so many educational items so organized and in one place! Of course, all tubs are labeled making it easy for mom to pick and choose! =)
As I am noticing the beautifully typed labels, I'm realizing that my 2 year old is also amazed by the room and has wandered out of my sight.
Seconds after my realizing this, the nice lady with her middle-eastern accent raises her eyebrows and says, "Ma'am, are you watching him? (begins
She comes back around the corner gently guiding him in front of her and most politely, but assertively makes this request....
"Ma'am would you please monitor your son? He was on my computer!"
2 minutes inside this place and I am starting to sweat.
I kneel down beside sweet little Noah and remind him of the talk. We find a toy he is interested in and after checking on Savannah, who is thankfully doing as she was told, I browsed.
Overwhelmed by all the "stuff," I begin to make my allotted 7 choices. Pumpkin puzzle, Bowling game, little people set, 2 counting peg board sets... Savannah spots a bright pink bouncy ball and is excitedly asking if we can check it out. So, the nice lady gets it for her and then kindly gives her permission to bounce with it in the hallway. How nice.
Noah picked up on what was going on and dashed out the door to join her. I hear some giggling (including a little from the lady)...and some bouncing. Then, running. Then the sound of this...
"Miss, are you finished? Your children are quite unruly!"
Unruly. Unruly. Her words just resound in my head and I can't get past...Unruly.
What is it about that word that makes me think of a child screaming to the top of his lungs at his mother in the grocery store while jumping up and down in the shopping cart crushing all the cereal boxes?
Feeling a little disheartened with my unruly children, I replied calmly AND with a smile, "Yes, ma'am."
She needed to go over all the procedures with me about check-out. (Oh, and my heart rate is on a continual climb).
I have Savannah and Noah sit down by the door in the hallway.
The lady and I finish and she helps us to the door.
The talk resumes.
You know, as I'm learning how to be a mother (because it really is a never-ending cycle of learning) I'm realizing the task is quite huge. It involves day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second guiding...nurturing...modeling... and the list goes on. I must see their heart as Christ sees their heart. I could have scolded, in anger, both of them in that hallway. But, despite my embarrassment (for my "unruly" children), I saw their hearts. So, I'm thankful today for that.
So you want to know my prayer? It's simply this.
"Lord, you gave me three precious children to mother. May I see them as you see them. May I correct them as you might correct them. And may they see your unending love through me. Amen."