Sometimes I wonder if I am the only Christian mom intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman. Here is a gal who does it all and does it well, and does it with the "teaching of kindness on her tongue."
I do my best. I push through pain and go months without a good night's sleep. I mow while pregnant and make hundreds of Crock-Pot meals. I teach the uninspired to play the piano and the uninterested to read. The problem is, I am not kind while doing it. Pushed to the limit by exhaustion and noise, kindness eludes me-much like, and perhaps related to, rising early and having a rock solid quiet time.
I find it alternately amusing and hair-pulling that God commands kindness and then surrounds mothers 24 hours a day with the most selfish, inconsiderate, rambunctious people group on the face of the earth. Kids scream just as the phone rings, refuse to sleep through the night, and eschew broccoli despite its numerous health benefits. They throw up in the new car and cut their heads open just after the doctor's office closes.
Yet, these are the realities of motherhood. The unexpected. The irritating. The loud.
How then is a mother to be kind?
It is no small irony that 2 Corinthians 6, in describing a servant of God, places terms like great endurance, affliction, hardship, calamity, imprisonment, riot, labor, sleepless nights, and hunger on the same list with patience, genuine love, and kindness. Passages like this show me that He not only understands mothers (ever felt imprisoned or mediated a riot?), but also their plight.
Despite my frustration at sanctification's pokey pace, I know God is working. Gradually. Painfully. On one of "those" days, oh so imperceptibly. As much as I would like it, He just doesn't FedEx kindness in a nice white box with a red ribbon on top. Sometimes, with wisdom, creativity, and just a hint of humor, He sends us children.