God has this amazing way of teaching me a lesson in about twenty different ways, all while I’m totally unaware… and then suddenly all the loose ends come together in a giant crescendo and my light bulb goes on. That has happened to me this week. The giant crescendo. I’d like to say that this time I saw it coming, but nope. Once again, He pulled out all the stops for this surprise.
It wasn’t long ago I started realizing that what used to be a mild level of frustration (mainly with the kids, but some also with the house and work) was actually a gurgling pot I’d left on the back burner too long that was about to boil over…or worse yet, scorch. And we all know that smell when the potatoes have scorched? Well, yeah, I got to that point. The potatoes started to scorch, ya’ll. And I didn’t realize soon enough that the pot was boiling… until I finally realized how much my attitude stunk. Especially toward my kiddos.
I’ve mentioned in lots of previous posts that it is HARD to be Becca’s mom. But lately several Bible studies have all been pointing me to God’s perfect love – the kind of love I’m supposed to be showing her. Something about spending those last days with my Grandma before she passed, and really bragging to her about Becca and her love of the Lord and reading her Bible and how kind her heart is… it’s really sunk in. She really IS an amazing child with a wonderful heart. Something about reviewing in my mind the selflessness that my Grandma always displayed, and her servant heart… the kind of attitude I want to be displaying to my family… all these things have been working in my mind.
Last Thursday night, I went to the TobyMac concert. And he explained the back story behind one of my favorite songs, “Love Feels Like.” It’s all about the love and service and dedication it takes to care for an ailing parent. It took me back to my Grandma that last week of her life. It reminded me of seeing my mom and the love and care she showed to my grandparents when they needed her so desperately in the end. Of how stretched to the end of her limits she was, and yet she kept on giving – because they needed her. And it reminded me that love and BEING love to someone isn’t always easy. In fact, REAL love is pretty dang difficult. Like send your Son to die on a cross difficult. (Fittingly all of this realization happens right after Easter, too… definitely not a coincidence – just another sign of His great hand in everything.)
Then, another “loose end” God presented me with recently was the opportunity to pre-view a friend’s 7-day online video course on controlling mommy anger. I jumped at the opportunity to participate. Why not? I had realized I have this anger pot boiling, scorching even – what perfect timing! (Coincidence? I think not!) So I dove in. And by the time I had finished the worksheets, God had finally slapped me with His big crescendo. All the loose ends came together in one marvelous revelation of His great GRACE.
Alicia makes a fabulous point right off in her 7-day course. She tells us that anger isn’t going away. It’s an emotion. It’s going to happen. But I discovered through her course that by sitting down and taking time to think about the triggers that really bother me, and starting to be more mindful of WHY those triggers affect me and ways that I can combat them in the future, I can start to control that anger instead of letting it control me! I have now worked through a LOT of feelings and emotions without ever having to go pay a shrink to make me feel crazy! (Thank you, Alicia Michelle!!!) But seriously, ya’ll! Now that I think about the points she makes, they seem so common sense. But I was in so deep. My pot of potatoes had been boiling on that back burner for a LONG time. The scorching was deep. The stank in the house was BAD. But ya’ll. God’s GRACE. My pot is stainless steal. And God has wiped it clean. No scrubbing required. The stank is gone. PEACE is possible. The pot is reusable.
And here’s the really amazing thing that this course helped me to realize. Anger isn’t going away. But ya’ll. When my potatoes scorch again? God’s going to be right there to wipe my pot clean again. I’ve learned so many strategies to help combat the anger, and I’m working with Becca too, on how she can control her anger and verbalize her feelings. I’m learning to show grace to Becca, too. Because she’s human just like I am. She’s going to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. Doesn’t mean that I love her any less. Just like Toby’s song says, she could stretch me out like canvas, but I’m never going to fit in the frame. I refuse to conform and allow her behavior to control mine.
I have a little poster I made and hung in her bathroom for her that I’m starting to think I need to hang all over the house. It says “Feelings are Indicators, NOT Dictators.” It’s so true, ya’ll. My anger isn’t going away. But I need to deal with it, not let IT deal with me. I now have both offensive and defensive strategies for dealing with her behavior as well as my other anger triggers, and I’m already starting to see success!
I’m telling you what. If you have ever felt like your pot is sitting back there about ready to boil over or scorch and you just don’t know what to do about it, Alicia has some really awesome tips and some fabulous encouraging Bible verses to share with you, and I really hope that you will check out this course. Obviously, I’m an affiliate and I’d love for you to buy the course because it helps me out, too. But ya’ll. I want you to do this for YOU, not for me. It really WILL change the way you look at anger, and the way you look at loving your kids. Because real love is hard. Being a mom is HARD. It stretches us out to the ends of our limits. But LOVE, real LOVE is such a full feeling even when we are totally empty and beyond our own strength. Don’t let your anger keep you from feeling that full, satisfying feeling of a heart of love.