Hi. My name is Beth and sometimes I raise my voice to my kids. I know, I know. If you would have told me three and a half years ago when I was pregnant with my first lovely that I would sometimes lose my cool… well I totally would have defriended you on facebook. Kidding. Mostly. When Lucy was swimming around in my belly it was terribly easy to shake my head at other mamas and think about how different I would be.
And then God blessed me with a high-energy, spirited, and iron-willed child. Game changer. No wait. And then 20 months later God blessed me with her brother. Okay, there’s the game changer. When they won the numbers game, I started to feel the stress: so there’s the real game changer.
But for me it only took a few yells [from me] and a few confused, hurt looks [from the babes] to realize that was not the way I wanted to parent. I mean I only get one shot at this and I really don’t want to screw up.
So about six months ago I saw this adaptation of James 1:20 on another blog I read.
I loved her take on it. Getting angry or upset about the toddler shenanigans was just teaching Lucy and Landon how to respond to things that upset them. Mmm. Not good. I mean I totally want to encourage them towards righteousness. I want them to respond to situations with calm and reason [and without a quick temper]. So the next time every article of clothing was taken off of its hanger or out of its drawer I decided to sit my future fashionista down and talk to her about how her actions made me feel. I talked to her about the extra work it would take me to put all of the clothes away and had her help me fold everything to go back in the drawers.
And it was going really well. Until it wasn’t. Lucy decided that she didn’t want to help me put the clothes away. She screamed. She threw herself on the floor. She slapped me [in the face. out of nowhere. oh.my.goodness]. So I did the only thing I could think of. I gave her a huge hug and started singing James 1:20 to the tune of “The Ants Go Marching”. Yep. She was shocked. It was kind of awesome.
So I can’t say that from that day forward I never lost my temper again. But I can say that I realized the value of having specific scripture memorized to whip out when needed. I mean when you have toddlers [or teenagers, or tweens, or pre-tweens…I’m guessing] you are given a lot of opportunities to compose yourself. A lot. And a lot of practice on making the right decision and having the right response.
So there are a couple others that I keep in the bank for necessary moments. One is Romans 12:1 – “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices: holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.” This verse is great for reminding me of the bigger picture. It reminds me that we’re put on earth to worship God and have to continually offer ourselves to Him. It also reminds me that we have to daily worship Him and strive to be holy and pleasing to Him. [Working.On.It]
The other is a passage from Proverbs 31:10-31 and it’s always a fresh reminder of the kind of wife and mom I’m striving to be.
Anyone else have any verses they keep at the ready for challenging times?