Yesterday morning I went grocery shopping.
Through the first store I had to give my son a toothpaste box (which I was purchasing) to chew on in order to keep him from focusing on the fact that he could not play with my grocery list. My daughter, meanwhile, fussed that she didn't want to be in the cart - out of the cart she wanted to touch everything she saw.
Through the second store, my son screamed. Between gnawing on the cardboard box of pasta (which, again, was purchased) and staring at kind-hearted strangers who tried to make him happy, he screamed. My daughter continued her streak of fussing and touching.
Life was rough.
My response was not.
Somehow I was able to call my husband on the way home and, after breathing a sigh of frustration, laugh about the whole thing and simply rejoice that I was done. I was frustrated, but not angry.
This is new for me.
About a month ago if any of the above had happened on my weekly outing, the rest of my day would have reflected the morning. I would have spent the afternoon on a short fuse, only exacerbating the situation, wallowing in my annoyance and dragging my whole family down with me.
Yesterday afternoon, I read my daughter a story before her nap, happily counting her toes and delighting in the feeling of my forehead resting against hers as our noses lightly kissed - the difficulties of our morning nothing but a wisp in the memory.
Only God could take this once-hardened heart and mold it into a heart of peace, reflecting his love and patience for His children. I am grateful to be deemed worth the effort. He has not given up on me. And He hasn't given up on you.
What an awesome God we serve.