“Please lay down.”
“Please stop touching that.”
“Please just wash your hands and stop playing in the water.”
“Keep you hands to yourself, honey.”
“Stay in line, darling.”
“You have 5 seconds to move away from that table.”
“We don’t say potty words, kids!”
“We don’t do that, guys.”
“Let’s chill it out a bit, dudes.”
“Please don’t talk during nap time.”
“No, seriously. Please don’t talk during nap time.”
“NO, SERIOUSLY! PLEASE DON’T TALK DURING NAP TIME!”
I have repeated these phrases so much today that I’m going to outlaw them from my vocabulary. I’m so tired of hearing myself say them, honestly. Surely, the kids that hear them are tired of them too. Oh, wait, that’s not true, because they would actually have to be listening to hear them! Why are they all deaf?! What’s the deal with them today!? Where are my angels and who is responsible for replacing them with the rugrat-lookalikes with no eardrums?! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!
The above was my thought before God judo-chopped me in the head with some conviction. “Kid. Seriously? One bad day and you’re ready to ship them off to Indonesia and pray that their parents were okay with it? Hahaha! Imagine being Me.”
So to give some insight to my preschool parents who are reading this with wooden spoon in hand ready to discipline their tiny culprit, we had a very exciting day today at school. (ASK YOUR KID ABOUT IT! And don’t fret!) We had an Altamaha EMC lineman come today, and with him came a Bucket Truck! He showed us this outstandingly awesome bucket truck and proceeded to go up 85 feet in the air with this bucket truck! So one can imagine how much adrenaline was pumping through our tiny blood vessels because of the bucket truck. Of course, this tremendous amount of adrenaline somehow had interfered with our attention spans and listening ears. (FYI: Although hearing and attention spans were impaired, these kids were still loved fiercely. Miss Lauren is just occasionally moody.) In reaction to our crippled attention spans and listening skills, Miss Lauren mentally freaked out while maintaining composure. In retrospect, just a tad bit of it might not have been maintained. (Miss Lauren told one of the kids she was running away. Oops…)
Back to the point, God really beat Miss Lauren up today, and it was well deserved. To set the stage, I’m mentally ranting about how crazy I feel and how the kids are being equally as crazy if not more, and of course, this is perfect time for that child I had been getting onto frequently for the past hour to ask to go to the potty for the fifteenth time.
I’m just about to verbally express my frustration for anyone within 100 miles to hear when God really put it to me. He completely gave my perspective a 180.
“Lauren. She’s healthy.”
That was it. And honestly, that was all He needed to say to get me to feel about an inch tall. This thought just started a chain reaction of “Whip Miss Lauren into Shape” thoughts. My mind just kept going through all of the truths about this child and all of the others. They are healthy, which is more than some can say for the children in their lives. They are kind. Yes, they may not listen 24/7, but they are so kind. They are unconditionally loving, which is more than I can say for myself, occasionally. They are silly, which is what makes me look forward to seeing them everyday. They are polite, and not a thing is done for them that they don’t thank someone for. They are considerate. They are caring. They are funny. They are complimentary. They are encouraging and eager for a chance to pray for anyone and everyone. They are extremely intelligent. They’re eager to know more. They’re precious and innocent. They’re white as snow. They are breathing and alive. They’re worth dying a slow, painful, suffering death for. They’re worth sacrificing a Son for. They are Christ’s. They are Yours, God.
Ya’ll really don’t know how crappy I felt. How fleshly I felt. These fleshly thoughts of selfishness about how bad my day was going and how everyone in the classroom should have zero fun because of it. I was seriously in the process of stealing their joy because of my own selfishness. Now, before you think I’m crazy and let the kids run wild, there was a disciplinary speech for not listening and obeying. However, it was done our of love and patience, and not irritation. BIG DIFFERENCE.
The point of this is to show perspective, I believe. So if you’re looking to get something out of this read, here it is. The next time you pull a cartoon stunt and start to blow smoke out of your ears, just look. Take a long hard look. Take a look at your husband, child, co-worker, boss, grocery store clerk, or whoever. Watch and pay close attention to see if they’re breathing. If they’re not, call the news or Ripley’s Believe It or Not. If they are, thank God for them. Thank God that you have the opportunity to be aggravated by them. This means they are people, and thankfully, not a robot. This means they have a soul, and apparently it’s a pretty cool soul because someone died for it. Love it. Praise God for it. Show patience towards it. Pray for an opportunity to play a part in leading it to the feet of Jesus, if it’s not already there. Put selfishness aside, and put on Godliness.
I have 18 kids under my care. Eighteen souls in need of the guidance I can only give by the help of the Holy Spirit. PRESSURE to the MAX, if you can only imagine. But a foolproof way to screw that all up and to lead them astray is to be fleshly. To be unloving, impatient, and opposing to each Fruit of the Spirit, showing them a way of life that is rude, explosive, and inconsiderate. The same applies to adults, believer or non-believer. A sure fire way to hurt my daily ministry is to replace Godliness with selfishness. What is attractive about a pitiful, unkind, and impatient lifestyle to someone looking for hope? Thanks to a nice mental knock-around match with the Creator of those 18 sheep, another flaw of mine has been exposed and is currently under construction. Thankfully. 🙂 Adíos to aggravation!