“We’re not having fun.”

Shauna sandwiched those words between a long sigh this morning as we pulled out of my parent’s driveway after staying with them a week or so. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been doing things that should have been fun with people we enjoy. But I knew exactly what she was talking about.

“You mean because we’re spending all our time being frustrated with the kids?”

“Yup.”

And she’s right. So this blog post is going to be my prayer about all that.

Father,

I’m frustrated. My spirit is tense, stirred up, cold. I’m so thankful for all the time we’ve spent with my family, and there have been some wonderful moments, but the kids have been at each other almost continually and I feel like it’s my job to pull them apart and teach them their manners 24/7. I know part of it is that I don’t want them to ruin everyone else’s time, but the truth is Shauna and I get more wound up about them than anyone else. I’m sorry for taking things too seriously, for coming down on them harder than necessary, for wasting some of the moments you’ve served us. I know I need to parent them, but I also know I meddle too much and need to let them make some more mistakes, even costly ones.

The thing is, I’m still feeling the anger. So I forgive Noah, Glory, Joel, Shauna, and myself. I release all my anger to you, my frustration, my disappointments. I forgive the kids for hurting each other with their words, for their impatience and complete lack of grace. I forgive Shauna for her tension, and I forgive myself for being just as impatient and graceless and tense as everyone else. Maybe more-so. I don’t want these feelings anymore, so I offer them up to you in one giant, festering pile.

Here.

Lord Jesus, would you please lift these up and away, taking them into yourself? And would you please fill me now, that cavern where the anger lived, with grace, patience, love, joy, and peace? Because I know there’s nothing you’d love more than to do that for me.

Ahhhh.

Thank you. I feel better already. And thank you so much for the generous time and personal investments people have been making in me, in us, in our family. Help us to make the most of the time we’ve been given.

I love you.

Thanks for the spiritual shower. Now time for a physical one.

РYour son, Bradley