It's one of those days, one of those dreaded, awful days when testosterone rises so high I feel I'm sinking deep.
The boys are active. I'm good with active. But today they are breaking at the seams. They are pouncing. They are tumbling. They are rolling in a wild mess of tangled limbs.
I'm grateful for their strength and safety and their sweet beating hearts but after a couple of hours, after repeating each spoken sentence a half-dozen times, after reminding and pleading trying to rise beyond it all, I fear I'll come unglued.
"We have to finish school," I say. "Let's buckle down and get it done." But the boy child, the one who usually presses through a given task, looks at me like I've gone half mad.
I tap his math fact sheet with an impatient finger. "These are doubles," I say. "You know them by heart."
Maybe so. But his heart today is somewhere else. It's been like this since morn. One child erupts from his chair like a volcano. The other two join the flow. They are loud. There's more erupting. I direct and redirect but I feel my own neck getting hot.
It's days like this when my character is refined.
Is this the Refiner's fire, Lord? I ask. Because I'm melting hot and fast.
On a day like this I can be shaped.
I feel like giving in. Giving up. Giving in. No one is listening. I'm about to go wild and loud, too.
On a day like today I can rely on His strength. I can ask for His help. I can choose grace until His character outshines mine.
The Lord knew exactly what challenges I would face today. He hand picked my precious babes. He knew my soft spots. He knew where I'd need help. Lord, be with me today. Help me to handle myself, my sons, in a way that is pleasing to you. Empower me with Your Spirit. Make me wise.
While I'm growing them He's shaping me.
So I step into the Refiner's fire. I ask for His gifts of grace...May I be patient. May I have self control.. May I teach and train while being slow with anger and quick with love. May I be firm but still kind and good and gentle and faithful.
All while existing straight in the center of the Refiner's hand.
What a precious place to be.