"Sarah!" I exclaimed in my exasperated tone.
The bathtub was full of bubbles. They were coming up to the edge of the tub threatening to cascade down the side. Sarah had decided that she should be in charge of putting in more bubbles after I had already put in what was a more than generous amount.
My exasperated tone is one that I seem to be using a lot this summer. I'm not sure why but this summer has been a hard one for me. At 5 and 6, the kids seem to be at ages where they have mastered talking back, whining, complaining, and bickering.
And by the second week of June I had become so tired of it all that I just gave in to them too many times. It's easier to give in to your child than to correct them, punish them and get them to ask forgiveness.
As I was grumbling at Sarah she said, "Mommy, you just have to train me!"
I froze. My blood ran cold. The soapy towel hung dripping in my hands and I asked her to repeat what she had just said.
"Mommy you have to train me to take a bubble bath the right way."
Proverbs 22:6 echoed in my head. Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I didn't need to see a burning bush or to hear trumpets to know that the Lord was speaking directly to me through Sarah.
I have spent the better part of this summer listening to my kids bicker and fight instead of doing anything to correct them. Or pretending I did not see them roll their eyes at me when I issued a command. Or ignoring the fact that they did not do something I had already asked them to do and just doing it myself.
And why did I do this? Because it was easy.
By not correcting them, looking the other way or ignoring their disobedience, I have taken the easy way out in the short run. And ultimately, in the long run, what I have accomplished is that my kids grumble more, argue more, back talk more and are becoming more lazy, more rude and more selfish.
My job as a stay-at-home mom is not a glamorous one but it is an extremely important one. I am in charge of training two little people and helping them to grow into teenagers and ultimately into adults that will hopefully be loving, generous, respectful, kind Christians.
And I realize that I can't do this on my own so I will be now be starting each day with this simple prayer, "God, please grant me the wisdom and patience today to train my children in the way that they should go."
The kids and I need to be retrained - I just hope it's not too late!