This picture is the perfect symbol of my life the past few weeks. The good blending with the bad, the desirable mixed with the undesirable.
The good: My oldest son bringing me a wildflower he picked for me, and my middle son copying his big brother with the only thing he could find--a dandelion, brought with a heart of love.
The bad: Quiet time upstairs resulted in several of my necklaces being cut by little hands (who knew someone--not me!--had hidden scissors upstairs for such a time as this?!).
The ugly: Awhile ago, while putting our 18-month old down for a nap, I kept hearing a thudding noise. The boys have been rocking the rocker quite agressively lately, so I chalked it up to that. But no. They were actually playing "ninjas," wielding kitchen knives at the wall. Lots of damage. Lots. Good thing I investigated when I did.
The thing about motherhood is, even though we always desire the good, we get the bad too. It all mixes together, like waves on the seashore. You get some bad days (sometimes several in a row), you get some good days; they follow each other continuously. Our correction and discipline is like the sand of the seashore; it sets the boundaries for where the waves can go, what they can do.
Thankfully our bad days of last week are being followed by great days this week. I think that's how God's grace works. He never gives us more than we can truly handle (even though I felt like I had reached the max last week). That's why, sometimes people looking in on a bad day, will reach awful conclusions about our children, our mothering, our home in general. They'll wonder why we have so many children when we can't manage them, why we homeschool, why we stay at home. They're probably right to wonder. I sometimes wonder myself, too, to be perfectly honest. Yet the piece they're missing is--they're not here to see the good on a good day.
And that good is what keeps us going.
Especially on bad days, we must remain faithful to sow good seeds in our children. We can't give up on training and discipline, even when we're weary. Faithful instruction results in the harvest of beautiful flowers from those seeds. Yet, if we ignore the dandelions--the undesirable--their destructive seeds will blow, creating more weeds to tarnish an otherwise nice landscape. Plant the good, weed the bad, and do it over, and over again, like the waves in the sea.