I hit Costco pretty late in the week and rather late in the evening with both children. They were hungry, it was busy in there, and I was wiped out. I felt relief as I stood with my goods paid for and crammed into the shopping cart while we were waiting for our 3 slices of delicious pizza. Although we were so close to the exit and being over with this task, my patience was still thin and the boys were getting more and more active.
It was then that I observed two other mothers, one to my right and another to my left. They also had children with them at The Hour of Meltdown. I observed the mother to my right, as she wore a kind smile, gently remind her daughter to return to her with the money so she could pay for the food. They exchanged smiles and paid for their food. Immediately to my left another mother had a child also heading in an undesirable direction. She, however, allowed her voice to snap like venom for her child to return. She turned to her friend and scowled a grumbled about her child. It made me uncomfortable the way she addressed her own child, as if I was in trouble too. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong just by the sound she purged into the air. I wanted to be far away from that mother. I wanted to keep my children away from her.
I, myself, have behaved like each of these mothers.
That evening and several days later I thought about these two mothers. I thought about how they each handled a similar situation so differently. I thought about how each of those children might have felt being addressed the way they were. I thought about my own children and how I want to address them. The mother on my right spoke with peace. She spoke with kindness and love and I wanted to be near her. Her voice was welcoming, inviting, and friendly. It was like Christ was standing next to her. She acted how Christ wants me to act as a mother. Even on nights when I am tired and tested and worn out. She is where I want to continue trying to be as a mother.
Today's lesson in Sunday School was about contention. I was reminded again of these two mothers I observed and the thoughts I have had since then. Although there are more extreme examples of contention in our lives, it's still certainly able to creep into little pockets of our lives if we let it. So here is a list I found I hope to follow more closely:
*show compassionate concern for others
*control the tongue, the pen, and the word processor
*whenever tempted to dispute, remember this proverb: “He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.” (Prov. 11:12; see also Prov. 17:28.)
*bridle the passion to speak or write contentiously for personal gain or glory
*such high mutual regard would then let us respectfully disagree without being disagreeable
* in humble submissiveness, truly love God