Wearing the right armor

My God, make my home a happy home, founded on Unselfish Love and Sacrifice.
Grant me Prudence, Perserverance and Humility in the performance of all my duties.
Increase my Patience and assist me in Guiding each of Your children and mine with Love, Widsom and Understanding.
Give me Courage to say "No" to them when I should, regardless of their pleading and temporary sadness.
And may my Conduct and Speech, O God, Inspire and Encourage them in Their Steps Toward You, so that one day, All of my family may be United in Your Eternal Home.  Amen.

I love this prayer.  It is one that sat on my window sill in the kitchen and looked like it was my grandmothers in the way it was worn and tattered.  It hasn't been there for quite some time.  I can't remember why I removed it or where I put it.  Good thing I get a copy each time we bring a baby into this world at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.  I happened to "stumble" on a copy this morning, almost as if it literally fell into my lap as a reminder that I can't do this on my own.  As I immediately prayed it, I was struck like I am everytime I pray it by the last paragraph..."and may MY conduct and speech inspire and encourage them in their steps toward You".  I'm pretty  sure that my negative attitude doesn't do that very well.  I tell my kids all the time,  "you have two choices:  you can be mad and let it ruin your day, or you can take a deep breath, let it go and have a good day."  I have not chosen well lately.  Being a mom isn't always a grueling job.  Often it is incredibly pleasurable and rewarding.  Over and over again, as I step back after a day or a week or even a month of what seems like just non-stop whining, screaming, fighting, complaining, etc, I realize that I haven't exactly been prayerful, asking for daily help with my job, or even in thanksgiving for what I have.  I've been wrapped up in ME.  If I put away MY expectations, MY desires, MY will, I usually find much more peace.  Why must I play this game or try to fight this fight without armor?  After all, is it really going to get easier?  There is always going to be something...ALWAYS, so how I handle it is going to be what determines how easy or hard it feels. 

"Put on the armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil's schemes."  Ephesians 6:11

My kids know this verse...maybe it should become our daily mantra.  I'll make a better choice today.  I'll choose to suit up, put my "I'm-so-thankful-to-be-your-mom" face on, my running shoes, my maid apron, my chef coat, my nurses hat, my teacher hat, my taxi checkers, and most importantly, my armor.