I shouldn't have disciplined my children that way.
I should have offered a healthier snack after school.
I should have listened more intently to how my husband's day went.
I should have done a few more loads of laundry.
I should have spent more time in earnest prayer.
I should have spent more time soaking in the Scriptures.
Well. You get the point. And if life isn't (sometimes) overwhelming enough, add in the thought of bringing yet another child into your home. A child whom you will have the absolutely blessed responsibility of raising, comforting, nurturing, maybe even teaching English to.
I came across this beautiful little blog post yesterday. While I was encouraged to spur my children into action for caring for others, I also had this fear that I had already failed.
Then, today happened. My morning was busy with trying to get 3 little people awake, dressed, fed and teeth brushed. Does each child have shoes? Did I give child 3 a drink with breakfast? Is the school-aged Princess's lunch ready?
And before I know it, we are out the door, in the car, and making sure each child is safely buckled into the seats. (Wow. It sounds so easy and mundane all typed out and neat-like here. Don't let this fool you. Getting to, in and buckled in the car can be utter chaos some mornings.)
Keeping a close eye on the road, it's so easy to turn on the "Mom ear." What? Don't pretend like you don't know what the "Mom ear" is. Your precious little cherub is babbling on and on about whatever can possibly come out of that noise machine on their face, and you're instinctive response is "Yeah", "mmm-hmm" and to throw in a little spice, "cool", sometimes. However, I've found that some of our most cherished conversations have occurred in the car.
So, there we were. On the way to school. Me, praying through another morning and day to effectively Mother my children for the glory of God, praying that they see Christ in me. The two littles relaxing after the craziness that is "getting ready." And my biggest little person, right close to me, babbling on in normal fashion. Just as I'm curious as to how her day might go, she asks what's our (the littles and mine) plan for the day. She remarks how she has to go to school and doesn't get to have fun with us. I reassure her the best I know how and let her know I can't wait for summer break so she can join us, and how dazzling her big smart brain will be after all this learning all year. I let her know how I can't wait to have fun at the splash-pads in our area, trips to neighborhood pools, and all things water-related.
She pauses. She asks if I remember her saying that going to Splashtown was the most important thing for her this summer. (Oops. I don't) She explains to me that its not. Splashtown doesn't matter. What matter most is bringing her brother home. Her brother that is in Africa right now.
And then, in the middle of the car-pool line, the ugly cry came out. My daughter may not know all the catechisms, she might not be able to read an entire book by herself, she may not be the star athlete of her softball team, but she is completely selfless when it comes to her siblings. She gave me hope that maybe I'm not doing this terribly wrong. So, today, I am encouraged to do more for others, to be a little more selfless.