"Not today, Satan. Dear God, help me."
I just kept saying it. Over and over. "Not today, Satan. Dear God help me."
When that didn't feel like it was bringing me to the peace I needed, I thought about the power of worship and praise, so above the din of my bickering children, I started singing.
(singing) "Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder..."
(turmoil) "Why do we have to listen to what YOU want all the time?!"
(singing a little louder) "Consider all the worlds thy hands have made."
(more turmoil) "Yeah, well One Direction is dumb."
(singing louder still) "I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder,"
(It's like WWE up in here, apparently) "Ouch, you pushed me! You're a jerk!!"
"Hands off and no name calling!" (singing ever louder) "Thy power throughout, the universe displayed."
It felt ridiculous, trying to sing over their outrageous behavior, but it brought a smile to my face, even if out of nothing more than sheer defiance.
Honestly, I am not a very patient mom. I wish I could say the above scenario was just how I handled things...with grace and worship and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
But then I'd be a liar. Plus, let's face it, if that was really how I normally handled things, this wouldn't have felt so foreign, and we wouldn't be having this little conversation.
But on this particular day, despite my children's best effort's at making me a nut job, the Holy Spirit rose up...and let me tell you, it was sweet.
I finally had to separate them because things were getting out of hand, but when I did, I didn't raise my voice. Even when they argued about going to their rooms, I didn't raise my voice (if you know how loud I am naturally, you know what a gin WIN this is.)
God is GOOD, ya'll. What this led to was pretty amazing.
It led to a conversation with Ryan about how we can be a household of people who build each other up or tear one another down, and I asked him to consider how we accomplish each of those things and where he really wants to live.
It allowed me to have a separate conversation with Emily about something that had really been bothering her that had NOTHING to do with anyone in our house, but was something she really needed to get off her chest.
And it allowed me to do all this without having to make it about me because, when I lose my mind, that's what happens. We lose a lot of time making it about me because I have to go back and apologize for my ungodly behavior.
I never realized what I was missing.
I've been doing a devotion called "Overwhelmed by My Blessings: Encouragement for Moms." It's written by Robin Meadows, a mom who raised seven children, and I love it because it is REAL.
In today's devotion she said:
What if we began to rename these challenging daily "opportunities"? What if we began to see that these disappointing situations are actually the hand of God in our life , and in the lives of our children?
WOW. Challenging right? What if every time my kids are acting all cray cray I thanked God for the opportunity to teach them about Him, His grace, and His love?
But then she went on (and this part REALLY got me).
He is giving us opportunities to make hard, right choices of love, patience, and self-control; to choose Him. He is present us with teachable moments for our children, and for our own hearts. He is giving us occasions to become more like Him. He is giving us special moments to teach our children that anxiety can be controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, and it begins with us controlling ourselves.
Did you feel that? Like the wind being knocked out of you by a supernatural punch to the gut?
I sure did.
A man who does not control his temper
is like a city whose wall is broken down.
|The breaching of the wall of Helm's Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.|
None of us is perfect, but by allowing my children's behavior to influence my behavior, I have been showing them that it's acceptable to lose your temper and forego self-control. I mean, sure, I've taught them a lot about humility and going back to apologize, too, but you need a lot less of the latter when you're able to do the former.
In church, we often talk about breaking walls down and demolishing strongholds. But by losing my temper, I've been breaking down all the wrong walls - like walls of protection I pray over my family. I'm making a way for the enemy to come into my home and relationships.
Every moment of every day, we stand at the door of our hearts and decide who we're going to invite in. When you pray and praise, you intentionally invite God into that moment.
However, when you allow your anger to take control, you've taken your eyes off what's important and left the door wide open to the enemy.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, invite God into that moment. Ask Him to take it over. Thank Him for the opportunity for growth and teaching. Lean into Him.
And goodness knows, sing His praises. Go a little praizy crazy. Worship will help you conquer any enemy you face - the enemy within, or the enemy without. (It also makes you look pretty crazy, and that's always a good time).
|The Fresh Prince getting a little praizy crazy.|