[ why should i feel discouraged ]

Today has been such an insane rollercoaster day. Well, okay, it’s been kind of an insane rollercoaster week. But today was probably the most absurdly rollercoaster-like of all.
I’ve been convicted of being very short and impatient with the children of late. And I’ve been feeling like I need to develop a better relationship with Ehren. He’s a dear kid and (most of the time) I love the way his little four year-old mind works. Though admittedly, there are times I wish it didn’t. Like this morning, for example. We had made a pie together in the morning and as I was putting it in the oven and cleaning up the mess, Ehren led his sister into being paleontologists, digging for dinosaur bones in the huge potted plant in the dining room. I came upstairs and found dirt EVERYWHERE – on the carpet, on the hardwood floors, on the table, on the children. I was so shocked and upset that I didn’t know what to do with myself or how to communicate to them why this was bad. After I sent them to their rooms for a while and prayed for help in being a godly leader for them. We talked about how they knew it was breaking the rules and how God hates it when we break the rules. Ehren looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said “Tatie, why does God love me?” That’s the second time he floored me in one morning. So I pulled him into my lap and shared the Gospel with him. I’m not sure how much actually got through to him, my job is not to get through to his heart, but to speak the Truth in a way he can understand and pray that the Lord cultivates and grows the seeds that have been planted. It was a really precious moment though.
Ehren is also the one who can’t figure out why he has to change his clothes every day. “Why” is a question I hear a lot these days – and while I want to be careful to explain things to them as best I can, no answer ever satisfies the question in the mind of a four year old. It’s hard to know when to explain and when to direct them that they simply must obey. So today (as every other day), when I told Ehren that he needed to change his shirt before school, he asked “Why?”
“Because it smells funny,” I replied.
“Because you slept in it and your clothes smell funny after you sleep in them.”
“I don’t know Ehren. But you don’t want to be the smelly kid at school.”
“Because nobody will want to play with you.”
“Why?” I took a deep breath and remembered I was rather smelly myself, still in my pajamas, and hadn’t showered yet. I had him smell my shirt. He took a big whiff and burst into a fit of giggles and said “Tatie, you smell like noodles!!” I laughed out loud and didn’t feel self-conscious until after I started thinking about it. But it made me miss Jacob Riviere, who used to tell me that I smelled like all of his favorite things on random different days. Wildflowers, ice cream, pudding, honey, the beach.
I can’t wait to go home.