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Get your tissues!

Seriously, go get a tissue. I'll wait.

Got one?

You'll need it at the end of the post, so just hang on to it.

Okay, so my children have had spring fever or something lately. Just an attack of really bad behavior and fighting and just seeming to deliberately be trying to drive me crazy. Or maybe it's "daddy is leaving soon so I'm going to get out all of my bad behavior now so that I can be a perfect angel for mom after he goes." yeah, let's go with that last option.

Either way, we've had a string of pretty bad days around here.

Yesterday, I got some major encouragement. I had the opportunity to just sit and talk for a while with a mom with kids the same age as my kids, at least two of the three. I realized something.

Her kids are A LOT like mine. Most of the battles we face and the things that drive me crazy really are just the age. I already knew that with the three year old, having been there twice before (although I will say, I never really experienced the total DELIGHT that a squishy mud puddle could bring before ... but I digress ...). The attitude from the 10 year old? It appears to be the age. The shrieking from the almost 8 year old? Again, the age.

WHICH MEANS THEY WILL GROW OUT OF IT. We're GOING to get past this stage.

(hm ... this probably also means that I will grow out of the current stage I'm in, and let me tell you, nothing but good will come from that! 'Nother post for another day though!)

Who knows what the next stage will be for my kids. I suspect that will be more mud for the little one. The middle one will grow out of the shrieking ... but probably not the cuteness she has, and I'll be thankful for that. The older one will continue to take on more responsibility, and the good, sweet qualities she has will overtake the negative ones.

My heavens, as much as I'm adjusting to what our lives will look like soon, they are too.

(pardon me while I go extend some grace around the house ... heaven knows I've asked for enough of it myself lately!!)

And once again, I just realized that this is going in a different direction than it started!

Back to the point!

There are definite blessings, even in the difficult stages. Help me, Lord, to see them, and not get so bogged down by the other stuff that I miss them. Yes, the oldest is bossy, but she's also taking on a fair amount of responsibility around here, mostly without being asked. Yes, the middle one has a shriek that can BREAK GLASS. She also has a sweetness about her though, and being the middle one, a need to make her voice heard. And the little one is just three. If he wants to hang on to mommy for an extra minute, it's okay. And if he wants to play in the mud ... well, he needs to ask me first to make sure we're not about to go somewhere! LOL But if we're not, it's okay. :)

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

The Lord is going to grow us up! All of us, not just the kids. His glory will be revealed in us!

Okay, so I have two themes going here ... one is He IS growing us up. And the other is, at least with the children, to enjoy the stage they're in now, even though there are bad things there sometimes, because it really will not be like this for long.

It won't be like this for long. (Okay, grab the tissues now.)

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