There are many moments in the day of a mother that require you to make crucial decisions quickly.
These decisions may be simple ones that don't require much thought, or they may give you a headache and cause your car to drive itself through the Starbuck's drive thru for a much needed cup of coffee.
Oh, your car doesn't do that? Mine does on really tough days!
Many of the decisions we make are a result of our motherly instincts kicking in.
I am always amazed at how my cat like reflexes will show up just in time to catch the cup of milk that is going to hit the floor and make a terrible mess, grab the arm of a toddler sprinting out into a parking lot, or deflect a flying object from another sibling that was "accidentally" aimed at the victim.
Other decisions are a result of advice we have sought from our fellow mother friends, our own mothers, spouses, the internet, or books.
Or the Lord.
I have been spending more time reading, praying and quieting myself before the Lord recently as I am hoping to be a better mother and wife for my family.
One thing the Lord has been teaching me is to be more patient with my children and be more careful how I respond to them. I have been spending my days trying to be thankful for my role as a mother regardless of what that may be and praying for God's grace to bathe me and His patience to engulf me as I embrace the challenges the day brings.
Rather than allow myself to become frustrated by the endless trails of trucks, superheroes, legos, and clothing articles I pick up, I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve my boys in this way.
Jonah and Elijah are becoming more responsible and able to help as they get older and often Isaac challenges me most during the day.
When he is throwing a tantrum, clinging to my leg as I try to finish a task, or demanding my attention with his screams or creating another mess for me to clean up, I am thankful.
Sometimes it is with a clenched jaw, and other times it is with a smile and a big deep breath!
When I want to cry, scream, or express my extreme frustration I am trying to instead respond calmly.
Today, while in the middle of doing 10 things (doing laundry, getting supper ready, picking up from the morning, emptying the dishwasher, and pulling out baby clothes to wash), I realized I hadn't seen Isaac for a few minutes or heard him. Both could equal trouble very quickly.
I asked Elijah to check on him and he disappears for a minute and casually reports, "Oh, he's in the porch breaking eggs."
Just to give you the full picture, I was standing in the hallway with a tub of clothes in front of me and piles surrounding me as I was choosing what to wash and what to save for later.
I had also almost had a panic attack thinking about all I had to do today and feeling exhausted and had just finished giving myself a pep talk about how I could do it!
While my heart might have stopped for one second, I took a deep breath and asked Elijah for more details.
"What kind of eggs Elijah? Plastic eggs?"
"Nope. Real ones."
While attempting to remain calm I may or may not have started hyperventilating picturing the full carton of eggs I had just purchased on the floor of the porch.
Then I somehow hurdled the bin of clothes and all the piles, despite my large pregnant belly being in the way, and ran to the porch to see this...
Now this is a point where you have to decide if you are going to cry, scream, laugh, or take a picture.
I would have preferred to scream and cry, but chose to laugh and grab my camera instead.
Isaac sat down to marvel at his work while I did that.
When I asked him what he was doing, he simply said, "Cooking mommy."
Then he smiled at me and clapped.
Fortunately, the egg shells were empty, but it is one more thing to do when I was already feeling the day wasn't going to be long enough for my to-do list.
So, I encourage you to pray God would give you the patience you need to just take a picture when you are faced with a "helpful" toddler.