Thursday, May 23, 2013

yell less, love more

This is a photo free post...sorry!
I was raised in a very loving family. (Thanks mom and dad!)
We didn't always get everything right, but we were committed to love.
Love when it's easy and love when it's hard.
I don't remember my mom yelling at me...ever.
I'm assuming she did at some point, but it doesn't come to mind. She was gentle. She was loving.
I always assumed I'd be the same way. Apple...tree.
Turns out, I have struggled with anger throughout my life.
I was the kid that held my breath until I passed out. For real.
I had arguments with boyfriends that would make paint peel.
Not only did I have anger, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed making someone else feel small in the moment. I enjoyed twisting the words they'd spoken, screaming loud enough to be heard, and ultimately winning.
Then I got married, and learned that anger hurts others.
Shocking I know.
I saw that my anger could rip apart my love.
Words can't be taken back and the hurt can linger even after forgiveness has been accepted.
I began to work on an area that was HARD to work on.
I prayed.
I begged the Lord for strength and peace.
I studied the Bible to learn about anger.
Then I prayed some more.
D has said I've grown so much since we got married.
I would say...I had a lot of room for growth.
I would also say that it's not by my own works that I've grown, but by God working in me.
Thank you, Holy Spirit.
Then I had babies.
Babies are perfect. Yes, they're exhausting, but they're perfect.  
Something happens when they become toddlers.
Anger somehow seems justifiable.
It's a lie, but it's a common one.
People talk about how terrible toddlers are.
Here's the thing though... they're not terrible.
They are little humans created by God and entrusted to us to raise.
They are learning. They are growing.
The biggest difference between a one year old and a two year old is us.
As parents, we expect more from them...often a lot more than they're ready for.
We think that because they've been told once...or two thousand times they know better.
And you're allowed to yell at someone who "knows better"...right!?!
The truth is...I struggled with daily yelling when I was pregnant with Vivi and Dean was almost two.
I actually remember thinking, "I'd better get this under control before he's old enough to remember how ugly his mama can be."
Not yelling at my kids requires a whole lot of work on my part.
Daily work.
Hourly work.
I am not perfect.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:10
Through God's constant love and mercy, I've changed in this area of my life.
Practical ways I've found to break through the anger....
Saying out loud "I want my words and actions to bring glory to the Lord" helps.
Praying with the kids for my attitude helps.
This blog helps.
Telling the kids that I need a minute helps.
Having empathy helps.
Looking at the big picture helps.
Realizing that I am not perfect, and I should expect perfection from others helps.
Recognizing the triggers helps.
Watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (the episode about getting mad) helps.
Reminding myself that I want to show them Jesus helps.
The other night Dean got out of bed.
As I headed upstairs to put him back into bed...he ran ahead and jumped in first.
He thought I'd be mad.
He looked scared.
I didn't say a word as I tucked him back into bed.
He could feel my love with my actions.
As I positioned the covers on this strong willed and big hearted boy he began to sing to me...
"When you feel so mad that you wanna ROAR. Take a deep breath and count to four. 1-2-3-4."
I am so grateful for that moment, in his dark room.
What a difference a year has made for us. 
An imperfect, but forgiven mommy and her son.
Showing love instead of hate. Both of them.
I know that for some time now (years and years really), I've felt alone in this struggle. Christian women aren't supposed to have anger outburts. They aren't supposed to tear down those around them.
It's not exactly the image we want to portray. It's a hidden sin and cycle of guilt.
I hope that sharing this lets other sweet mamas know that you're not alone.
For more reading about anger management check out
jump into a local church for community and support

1 comment:

  1. This is so good to read. I struggle with anger, too, and have also had to spend daily, sometimes hourly or more, time fighting it with prayer for a more peaceful loving heart for very wonderful gifts that are my children.


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