April 11, 2012

Day 11: Interrupted by Stepping Aside

I'm writing daily this month on being interrupted by grace.  Learn more and join in here.

This evening I need to be brief.  I'm feeling tired and I'm fairly certain my brain is not working well as a result.  Today we were at home all day.  It was really quite wonderful!  We completed all of our school work, did the laundry, the kids built a museum in a blanket tent, we all Skyped with Gramma, and we did some finger painting.

That last one was one of those things I really didn't want to do.  Elizabeth had been asking to paint for the last couple of days, but I really hate all that's involved in getting prepared for and cleaning up from painting.  We do usually have "free paint" time on Fridays.  But today is not Friday.  Then I was reminded of something I heard once about times you should tell your kids 'no' versus when you say 'no' just because you don't want to do something, when really, there's no reason not to.  So I shifted from the 'no' that was about to escape my lips, opting for 'okay' instead.

Then, the kids grabbed the finger paints instead of the regular paints.  Aurgh!  Again, I was about to give them a quick 'no, it's too messy and we don't have the right paper' when it "occurred to me" (Thanks, Lord!) we could use waxed paper and make something like stained-glass windows.

And you know what?  They had fun.  I watched them work as I fed Katherine.  (note: giving a three-year-old finger paints and nursing a baby at the same time *could* be a little stressful for some mothers ... like me!)  Close to the end of Katherine's feeding I decided I'd make one too, and got to it as soon as I could.

In full disclosure, I did do some yelling at Brian on several occasions about being more careful and when he got paint on my shirt because he was swinging his hands around on the way to the sink to wash up.  (I feel like I'm yelling at him a lot lately; but that's fodder for a different post!)

Overall, though, we had a really good time.  I enjoyed watching how differently they created their paintings; I enjoyed getting my fingers messy too!

God's grace to me today was enjoying an activity with my kids that I would have certainly missed (probably sending them off to play with each other) if I hadn't set my desires aside.  I find it far too easy to make excuses to avoid inconveniencing myself that must lead to missing out on some precious moments.  I'm so selfish.  But today I'm feeling thankful that the Spirit put a little whisper in my ear.  I hope our now stained-glass kitchen windows will remind me to step aside more often!

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