Sometimes I have the worst time being patient with my daughter. When she screams, throws herself on the floor, and runs around hysterically, I feel like doing the same. I feel like losing control. The anger that I try so hard to contain comes to the surface. My voice raises into a yell like I vowed it never would. Her uncontrollably tantrums truly bring out the worst in me. I honestly haven't found a solution to her temper tantrums. Time outs work to a degree, ignoring them also works, but all solutions are equally frustrating.
There's really no talking with my daughter when she's having a temper tantrum. There's no reasoning with her. She won't listen. Truly, the only thing to do is wait them out, and then try to talk through it when she's finally calm. When it's finally over, she usually crawls up into my lap, asking for love and acceptance once again. There are honestly times when I don't feel like giving her this love. When I'm still angry inside and don't want to take care of her.
But I give it. Hopefully not in a way that condones such behavior, but in a way that displays my unconditional love for her. Because, no matter what she does in this life, she'll always be my little girl. I'll always pray for her, uphold her, encourage her, and push her toward the good in life.
I pray for God's help through this difficult, temper tantrum, stage of life. Sometimes it's truly hard being two! I feel like, as her mommy, that I can't do anything right.
But that's untrue, I can love her, encourage her, and work through the confusing moments in life when she screams.
Hasn't God done the same for each of us? He continues to love and forgive us, even when we're at our most unlovable. He welcomes us into His arms, whenever we reach up toward Him for refuge. He never stops caring, never stops working for our good. He wants what's best for us, and is always encouraging us toward a better way of life, a life without temper tantrums and angry melt-downs.
If He loves me with such an unconditional love, shouldn't I display that to those around me as well?
1 Corinthians 13 describes this love God has for us:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (vs. 4-8a, NIV).
This patient love that always perseveres is definitely something I need with my daughter right now. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the moment, and forget about the bigger picture. As I write this, I can hear her downstairs with her Papa, singing silly songs and chatting incessantly about this and that. To her, the tantrum of earlier is far in her past. She's moved on in life, happy again, and living in the now. Oh to be two and not carry grudges! When I listen to her, it's easy to remember why I love her so. Sometimes, it takes a moment such as this, when I can step back, think and pray, to get things in perspective again. And to love the way I long to love, unconditionally. I think, in a few minutes, I'll go give my baby a hug :)