After reading this article, The Important Thing About Yelling over at Raising Godly Children, I was convicted in a major way. Over the past few months the Lord has really been dealing with me on my anger. And honestly, it’s just gotten worse. I’m not sure if it’s because I was rebelling (pretty sure that’s it) or other factors in my life.
Yes, our lives have changed. And yes, our lives are busy and crazy. But, aren’t all ministerial families like that? Don’t they all run around to the sporting events, band concerts, high school football games and keep active in all the things at church? NO!!
While my husband’s position as minister carries a lot of weight with it, it does not mean we are required to attend and do everything in the town. Our only “job” here is to fulfill God’s purpose according to His will – not ours. That has taken some getting used to for this “people-pleaser” girl. I love to be involved and on-the-go, but frankly my husband and children don’t!!
My primary concern as a mother is my children!! I am to be their mother first and foremost. What is best for my kids and my family comes first. If we have time to add in extras, that’s okay. I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to fit our family time in between the going and coming. That’s not fair to my family. And consequently, I was getting run down and worn out.
I was being stretched too thin outside the house that I had nothing left to give inside the house. So the yelling intensified and got more frequent. Some days all I did was yell. I yelled about schoolwork not being done. I yelled about my daughter sitting the “wrong” way in the chair. I yelled about my son not listening (as if that helped). And you know what…they rebelled. They listened less. They cried more. And they shut down – their emotions and their responses.
The day before I read this article I was on a rampage. It was utter chaos in this house, which seems to be the new normal for Mondays. The youngest had taken off her poopy diaper in the living room and rubbed it all over herself (ICK!!!) and as I was putting her in the tub to hose her down, I realized the toilet was now overflowing. I had no idea where it was coming form – the toilet or the washer I had just started – so I ran to turn off the washer and it seemed to help. I ran to gather towels and throw them down to help keep the water from going into the hallway. The story continues for another 45 minutes!!! Have you been there? The frustration load is combusting and you’ve lost it! All I could do was scream! I literally had to let it out so I didn’t strangle someone.
So I did. I screamed. Not at any one person, just in general.
The response by my 3 year old changed me from that moment on. She just sat down and cried. Sobbed. Bawled her eyes out with HUGE crocodile tears.
I had crushed her. I had ripped her heart off the sleeve she wears it on and stomped it to pieces. I did that with my yelling. ME! The person who was entrusted to keep her safe from harm, to help shape her heart for God and His people. I was ruining her!!!!
After cleaning the whole mess up, I found a moment when I could retreat to the bathroom – alone. I just sat and cried. What have I done? What have I become? This is not the mother I want to be or the mother I was raised to be. Lord Jesus, I need your help!!!! I can’t do this alone. It’s become such a habit that I don’t know how to stop.
That was all I could get out between the sobs. I finally felt a weight lifted from my shoulders and a burden released from me. I felt FREE!!! I knew things were going to be different this time. I had surrendered it to Him. I had admitted I was wrong. That it was a sin to yell. And I was ready to let it go.
So yesterday and today have been different. I am a new person. Have I felt like yelling? Yes. Have I yelled? NO!!!! I have taken deep breaths and stopped what I was doing to immediately attend to my children and the problem at hand. It has been a blissful two days (in comparison). Schoolwork has gone smoother. I have received more cooperation from each of my children. And I have seen a positive change in their behaviors too. The kids are still kids – they are not angels or perfect, but my attitude is different. Not only did this affect my attitude, but it set the tone of the entire house!!
Now don’t think I live in a bubble and believe I will never yell again. While I pray this to be the case, I also know I am human. I will make mistakes and I will have to ask forgiveness from both God and my children. But I now know this is possible. Living without yelling IS possible. With Christ at the helm of my day, I will not yell and my family will be better for it.
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