I joined a women's Bible study at my church last week. We are reading A Woman's Walk with God: Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
I've been thinking a lot about how these words apply to my everyday life as a Mom. Just the other day I was incredibly frustrated. Lucas and Ryan both needed a nap. But the baby was screaming and resisting sleep and Ryan was chasing the dog around the house. I decided to put the dog in our bedroom in the hopes of calming down Ryan without the dog around to excite him. But as soon as I turned my back to tend to screaming Lucas, Ryan went and let the dog out. I firmly told him not to do that. He understood me, but did it again. And again.
At this point I was getting angry. The baby's crying was getting louder and I was making no progress towards getting either boy to sleep. I could literally feel my blood pressure rising as I locked the dog away for the 3rd time and chased after Ryan, yelling at him while carrying Lucas on my hip. Just as I finally caught up with Ryan and grabbed him harshly by the arm, I heard a quiet but distinct voice in my head.
That's all it was, just the one word. But I instantly knew it was God telling me to calm down and be a little gentler with Ryan.
I'm having a hard time finding a balance between being gentle and patient, while still being firm enough with my discipline. I feel like I'm either too easy with Ryan, or too quick to get angry and yell. How does a parent remain "fruitful" amidst the frustrations of disciplining a toddler?