Irritation Is Not Tribulation

I wish I could say today was out of the ordinary.  That my patience doesn't always run thin.  That small things my children do throughout the day doesn't irritate me.  That I don't say their name sternly more than I go down to their level and have a heart to heart when they are arguing with their siblings.    

But today was like any other day.  There were moments that I yelled when I should have been calm. There were times when I sent my boys to their room instead of sitting them down at the kitchen table and addressing the issue.  

My problem is that I treat the small things like big things.  I expect my children at times to behave like adults.  I actually told my six year old one day to stop acting like a child.  What?!  Right after the words came out, I realized how ridiculous that was.  

Irritation is not tribulation.  There are far worse things than food on the floor, shoes on in the house or toys not put away.  Yes, I should correct.  But, I don't have to get so upset and angry over it. (Even if it is the 5th time today I've repeated myself.)  They will never be perfect. There will always be something they aren't doing right.  Each time they need my guidance it's an opportunity to show self control and patience.  That's what I want them to see most.  Not the emotions of how annoyed I am they didn't obey me, but the assurance that I'm willing to correct them again and again for their benefit.  

Tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up and the day is going to be filled with my kids acting like kids.  There will be whining, toys on the floor, spills because of carelessness, and lots of repeating myself.  How I choose to respond to those things will change the course of our day.