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     On many days, I regret making the choice to become a parent. (And yes, I am well aware how awful that sounds.) But you have to understand... when you unexpectedly get pregnant, there's no turning back. There's rarely the moment where you say to yourself, "Hmmm, should we keep him/her or just do this as a trial run and then decide if we like this little person?" So, when those mom's have a bad day, they don't have themselves to blame. When I have a bad day with the kids (which tends to turn into bad weeks, and even months), I have that voice that rings in my ear saying, "You did this to yourself... You can't blame nature, your husband, or even God... you made the choice to take these kids, so you have no right to hate your life now!"
     Sadly, when those bad days have turned into bad months, that's exactly how I feel. However, my husband and I were referred to a lovely man named Jim.... our good friend suggested we talk to him and try to get our bearings back, vent, and allow someone to deal with my issues of begrudging motherhood so often! Jim, after spending a matter of minutes with me, said, "Oh Darlin', I hope you don't expect that you're actually going to be able to change your kids' behaviors..." As the blood drained from my face and the lump in my throat became too large to swallow back, he added, "There's nothing you can do to change these kids. It's not your job, it's God's. The only thing required of you is to rest... and that's obviously something you're not doing. When you rest, you feel content. And when there's rest and contentment together, you know what happens?" I shook my head 'no', lump still preventing me from speaking. "Joy, that's what happens."
     Well, didn't Jim just hit the nail on the head! For the last several months, I know I've smiled on occasion, and allowed myself momentary glimpses at happiness.... but joy? That's not even been in the foreseeable future for me! So, unless Jim has himself some sort of Holy Binoculars, I don't see how I'm going to get to joy!! But since joy seems unobtainable, I need to go back to square one.... Rest. If I rest, then I can I find contentment, and then I can venture into joy.
     I gotta say, resting is freaking hard work! But why in the WORLD am I trying to think that I'm big enough to do God's job? Getting angry at the kids for breaking my things is not resting. Screaming at them for lying to my face is not resting. Feeling frazzled at work because I'm a disaster at home is not resting! Barking at my husband for lashing out on one of the kids (when I just did the same thing myself not 5 minutes before) is not resting!! No Rest = No Joy.... no wonder I feel exhausted, depressed, and ready to blow my top all the time! Their actions towards me are just actions, and I'm not accountable for those. But what I am accountable for are my REactions to their actions. And I've decided that I really don't wanna face my God one day and tell him that I know he's super awesome and all, but that I just couldn't get past my kids' behaviors enough to trust him and rest. "Thanks for the dying on the cross thing and raising from the dead, but I just don't think you can handle Taylor and Cameron...." I don't know if God calls people 'idiots' or not, but my guess is that if He does, my name tag will have a capital 'I' printed on it in bold type.
     Living off the premise that I need to rest, I have to say, I haven't regretted becoming a mother in 2 full days! (That may seem ridiculous to some, but when you're starting to question your sanity, 2 days of rest feels like a month on a tropical island!) Have the kids behaviors been perfect? Uh, not a chance. (Someone got into my hair gel, which is now missing, leaving me looking like a hot mess for work today.... who in their right mind messes with a frizzy-haired woman's gel??) But both of them have made efforts towards improvement, which is no thanks to my fantastic mothering (sarcasm...sarcasm...) but complete thanks to resting in God's ability to keep me from turning into the uni-bomber. There are no guarantees what tomorrow will hold... I'm pretty sure that my kids will push most of my buttons before 8 am rolls around, and I'm positive that I'll mess up at least a dozen or so times before I've even had my morning coffee. But one thing that I AM guaranteed is that I can choose to rest. (Can I get an Amen from the Mommy section of the choir?)