At least that's what happened to me today. And I was the choir.
My two oldest were bickering in the car this morning on the way to school. I'm not even sure what in the world they were fighting over... something about Allyn saying words and Riley not wanting her to. Sheesh. So we spent time on the way to school talking about God's gifts. I reminded the kids that God only gives good gifts. And to Riley, I said "God has only given you one sister. She's the only one you have." To Allyn I said, "God has only given you one big brother, that's it." Then to both of them: "And if God only gives good gifts, how are we treating this gift God has given us in our family? Our family is a gift from God and we should be so thankful that we have one another." I reminded them of the fun they have together, of the things they both love to do together.
Riley got it. He got quiet for a minute and said that he really is so thankful he has a sister and a brother and how glad he is that God gave us our family. Allyn just stayed quiet. I'm never sure with her just how much she's understanding (she is only three, after all).
But you know who got the most out of my little sermon this morning? Me.
I had gotten really frustrated with the kids on Saturday. REALLY frustrated. I was trying to do a pinterest (ha ha) craft with them and they weren't as into it as I was. And by that afternoon I was just annoyed with my kids that they weren't appreciative of the time and energy I was trying to spend with them. And Allyn peed on the floor. I'm not the most patient with accidents that happen looooong after potty training is done.
Sometimes in the midst of the craziness of parenting three kiddos, I forget what an amazing gift my children are to me. Even on days when they don't appreciate my efforts, they are still gifts. And if I truly believe what I teach my children, that God only gives good gifts, I need to recognize my gifts even in moments when those gifts are testing my patience.
Some days I'm not sure how I wound up where I am. I always said I didn't even want to consider marriage until I was 30. I always said I wanted kids but not until I had really done everything I wanted to do in life. God had other plans for me: I was married at 24 and by 30 I had two kids and we were starting the process to adopt a third. So much for sticking to my plans!
And I am so glad God knows me better than I know myself. I can't imagine life any differently. Now my celebrations and challenges are much more domestic in nature. This weekend I was thrilled because I made yogurt in the slow-cooker and made some pretty soy candles to give as gifts. I celebrate potty achievements and kids being "good listeners." If you'd asked me when I was 20 if I'd ever find joy in that, I would have laughed at you.
My family is my gift from God. The opportunity to be home with the kids during the week is a gift. Motherhood is my gift from God. And I thank God for the opportunity to remind myself of that this morning while thinking I was teaching my kids. Sneaky... but I think I needed the lesson! :)