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Love, Don't Lash

I always thought I would be a calm, patient mom when I had children. And then I had children.

Being a mom to my five children has stretched me beyond anything I can even put into words…I’m sure there are many of you who can relate. My children bring out the best in me, but they also bring out the ugly and “wow, I thought I had buried that long ago” in me too.

I have more than one child who I believe makes a game out of seeing how much they can annoy me (you know, kinda like the person who gets on the elevator with you and pushes ALL the buttons?). Anyone else have those kind of kids (God bless them!)? I’m sure it feels worse right now for me because my kids are on Spring Break and so all five are home with me.

In each stage of life with my kids I think things will get easier, but lately, I actually feel like it has gotten harder for a stretch. As I feel more tired and less spiritually fed, the amount of yelling and quick igniting of my anger with my children has increased.

I hate it. I hate the looks on their faces as they watch me get angry and raise my voice. I hate the way they respond in these situations, looking dejected and discouraged. I hate the cycle we are in at our house right now. I love my kids so much. So why is it so hard?

Lord, why won’t they listen? Why do they wait until I’m yelling to respond and obey me? How can I Let Them See You In Me when all they see in me is anger and frustration?

Yelling and getting angry is the quickest road to feeling like a giant mom failure for me.

I saw this verse the other day and even though I’m not the father, I felt hugely convicted about it in my heart:

Fathers (or Tammy), do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4 (“or Tammy” added by me)

Definition of exasperate: to cause great irritation or anger, to increase the gravity or intensity of, to cause to worsen. - (1)

Ugh. Lord, help me. What do I do?

As I have been asking God to show me the way (again), He has gently and repeatedly shown me the answer…

“A gentle answer. Love as I love.”

So simple. So hard. Impossible without the Holy Spirit.

God reminded again about the importance of the words I choose (and the tone of my voice) with my children.

I read something yesterday online, and I knew it was a big nudge from God. It was written by a mom who committed to stop yelling at her children. Stop completely.

“every time I was tempted to lash out at a child I would, instead, find a very practical way to love that child.” – Crystal Paine (2)

So that is what she did. She stopped yelling, stayed calm, and didn’t lash out at her kids.

And the results?

“Within a few hours, this child’s attitude had drastically changed. They were calm, happy, and asking what they could do to help me. And this only continued for the next few days. Until finally, I felt like I almost had a completely different child living in my home. It was amazing! We’re now headed into week #4 of my commitment and I can safely say that this one change in me has changed the tone in our whole home.” – (2)

I want that change in my home. And only I as the mom can bring it about.

The only way to do this really hard thing is with His help.

Anyone want to join me? I’m writing about this because I need accountability and encouragement and prayer! Lots and lots of prayer. I’m going to do the four week commitment like the mom I mentioned above did. So on April 22, I will let you know how it’s going (have mercy, Lord).

Would you pray for me and my husband as we step out with Jesus as our Calm?

Can I pray for you?

Lord, help us lash less and love more! Please forgive me for the times when I yell and get angry instead of staying calm and showing my kids Your love. I’m praying for a miracle today and a complete change in the tone of our home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Sources:
(1) – The Free Dictionary Online
(2) – Crystal Paine, November 3, 2014 – How I stopped yelling at my kids…& how it’s changed our home. – Moneysavingmom.com.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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