So a few hours later I lay her down for her nap dressed in a skirt and tank top. Then I exercised, peeked in at her to make sure her diaper was still on, and then took a quick shower. And that is when it happened. I heard her talking to herself so I stuck my head in her room and saw an awful scene. Autumn had shimmied out of her skirt, pulled off her diaper, and thrown pebbles of poop around her room. Her hands were covered in poop, her blankets had poop on them, there was poop on the floor, poop on her clothes. So much poop.
And what was the first thing that popped into my head? "I have to clean this up... There is literally no one that I can pawn this job off on. I have to clean this up... by myself. Ugh." And then I lost my patience. I pulled Autumn out of bed and started cleaning her up while yelling that poop is yucky and that she needs to leave her diaper on. Then I parked her in time out while I got another bath ready. Once she was in the bath, I tackled her room and started yet another load of Autumn's bedding. All during Autumn's bath she kept repeating "Poop ucky. No, no" over and over.
Finally, it was time for Autumn's second nap, so I laid her down (now dressed in jeans that had a zipper and a button). Once I finally was able to sit down for a minute, I realized that I had completely lost my temper. And then defeat settled over me. I had yelled at a child that did not know that she was doing something wrong.
Oh, my heart sunk.
Immediately, I realized my deep need for patience and gentleness. So throughout the rest of this week I have been consciously trying to practice patience. I have been purposeful in lowering my voice and slowing down my speech when I am trying to communicate something important or disciplining Autumn. I have been focusing on the joy she brings to my life rather than the brief moments of difficulty.
But, on bigger picture, I need to be patient with her because the Lord is patient with me. Autumn did not know that she was doing something wrong, but how often to I purposefully disobey God? How often do I act out of rebellion? Yet, God is gracious toward me. Psalm 145:8-9 states, "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that He has made." I am so thankful that my Father in Heaven is more patient than I am.
Shane and Shane "Psalm 145"