Saturday, March 12, 2011

Praise Ahead of Time

Friday, March 11
What happens when a mama is sick for 2 days?
Thursday night I was looking around the kitchen.  After being {so very} sick that I could barely stand for nearly 2 whole days, there were mounds of dirty dishes.  In Jamaica if you don't wash the dishes soon, then the heat makes them smell pretty oukey and the ants have a party.   It was not a pretty picture.  

{deep sigh} "Alexis, someone has a lot of housework to do in the morning."
Alexis looks at me and innocently asks, "Who's that?"
Friday dawned way to early....and began a little like this...

Somehow in mom's foggy mind she feels .... a pressence.   She cracks open one eye to reveal a smiling little tanned face, inches from hers, hugging a stuffed kitty (Kokowawa).  Mom surpresses a moan, stretches her feet over the bed and struggles to stand.  Grunts coming from the crib, bowls rattling in the kitchen, a sliding chair in the dining room....  it's that time again.  

Mom sends a grateful prayer to the Lord that she has no headache or severe dizziness anymore and marches ahead ready to conquer the world.  Wouldn't it have been nice if a group of merry maids had dropped in for a visit the night before?  "Snap out of it, sister!  Stop dreaming!"

Mom starts the oatmeal and pours the cereal then starts a nice big pot of coffee.  Thank you, Lord.  She steals away for her 4 minutes of alone time in the garden while her toast is cooking.   After giving her garden a drink mom hurries back in to take her {slightly burnt} toast out of the oven.  She pours a cup of coffee and mixes in a spoon full of hot chocolate....({whisper}...don't tell the kiddos!)  Mom balances baby, coffee, toast, and Bible and heads for the veranda, yelling for the princesses to start on their chore list. 

Princess's chores over, mom decides to put them to work.  Yelling tasks like a drill sergeant, mom is elbow deep in cold dish water.  Not realizing, a determined scowl is on her brow.  Princess Moriah stood in the background carefully drying and arranging all the clean dishes.  Princess Alexis is at mom's side, balanced on a stool, as she rinses off the dishes.  She picks up a dinner plate and fills it with water, then accidentally tilts it to the side where all the water rushes down mom's skirt, down mom's leg, and pools on the tile floor.  

First reaction, "What's the matter with you?  Look at this mess!  Why can't you pay attention to what you're doing?  Don't you think I have enough messes to clean up?"  
                                       All spoken in a sweet polite tone?  Not likely. 
                 The steam rolling out her ears would have said it all!

Thankfully, mama took a deep breath.  Closed her eyes for a second and realized it wasn't done on purpose. Mom suddenly realized she has a decision to make.  This could be a day where she stomps around, acting like a crazy, mean, bossy person.  And make her family walk on egg shells.  Orrrrrr, she could shrug it off and make a point to actively give A LOT of praise and hugs today.   

Too often this mom finds herself so frustrated at all her little "helpers".  Chores take 5 times longer and it seems like each time she finishes one task she turn to find it needs done again.

Wonder how the story turned out?  Mom's blood pressure actually stayed at a normal level and there was a lot of house work accomplished.  The princesses felt good about themselves.  They'd helped mama.

When's the last time you praised someone...before they deserve it? 


missionarymomma said...

Deep sigh! True. I agree. Now, if only I can manage this today. I am overwhelmed today, but I will purpose to praise.

Jessi said...

Maria, this post was hilarious, but so true! It is something that I, too, have been thinking a lot about lately as it sure doesn't come naturally for me. I have to really work at being a pleasant, Godly mommy. This post was a real help to me. Thanks so much! Glad ya'll are feeling better.

Unknown said...

So relateable. =) Been there a 1,000 times. I don't always (though I should) but what helps me not blow my top when something similar happens is just a simple phrase in my mind: What was their intention? Then (hopefully) I can come up with the right reaction.

Cheerfulness ain't always easy, is it. The worst is when I hear my girls sounding so sharp and harsh in their tone and know exactly where they lerned it from. ;(

Licia Augusta said...

Wow. Thanks for that post! I've been following your blog for a while, now and have enjoyed it... until now. No, not really. I did enjoy it... and the entire load of conviction that came with it (I have 4 kiddos, the oldest is 6 and the youngest is 20 mos)

Anyway, thank you!

Heather said...

Thanks Maria! I certainly needed this. How many times I get frustrated at the messes my kids make even when it's not intentional. Sure do miss you!

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