Why You Can’t Waste Today Being Angry–Pray For Noah Chamberlin’s Family

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Why We Can't Waste Today Being Angry, Pray For Noah's Family

I don’t have time for this today. I have so much to do. So many other things in my head. I have places to go, things to do, people to see.

But instead, I’m sitting here grieving and crying my heart out. The tears are flat out ignoring my will to stop and pull myself together.

So I’m going with it today. I’m just going to let myself be sad. I can’t help it.

This summer, I went to a convention for homeschoolers (even though my kids go to public school) because my friend and fellow author, Angela, invited to me speak about blogging and writing. She’s a beautifully sweet-spoken woman with a tender heart. And though my heart is broken, hers must be shattered into bits and pieces.

Angela is Noah’s auntie who just spent her Christmas cuddling him and making sugar cookies when he came to visit her here in Los Angeles.

You see, they found Noah Chamberlin’s body in the woods 1.5 miles from his home yesterday after he went missing seven days earlier. He was on a nature walk with his grandma when he wandered off. The country has been praying for him, pleading with God for him, aching to find him for seven long and cold winter days, but sometime in the span of that week he left the path in the woods and walked straight through to glory.

And even though I have never met Noah he represents for every mom, her child. We all feel the devastating and unimaginable pain of what a mother must be going through to put her head to the pillow for briefest moments over seven days without her child tucked in his own bed in the room down the hall. Our mothers’ hearts all ache for a sister mother whose loss equals no other.

Sometimes, it takes an unimaginable tragedy like this to remind us that every moment, every interaction, every second we have with our children is a GIFT.

When your child talks back to you, that moment is a gift. When your child throws a tantrum, that moment is a gift.

When your child disobeys, lies to you, keeps you up all night, and fights with his brother, you are being given a gift.

It’s a gift of life. It’s a gift presented as an opportunity for your own spiritual growth. It’s a gift to get the chance to respond instead of react. It’s a gift to show our daughters grace. It’s a gift to help our sons mature.  It’s a gift to guide them toward Christ-likeness.

When our kids do all the wrong things, we can spend our time annoyed, frustrated, exasperated, angry, and resentful. Or we can spend those moments cherishing the gift of loving them unconditionally. We can acknowledge the gift of growing personally in our own spiritual maturing process.

I don’t need to talk with Noah’s mom to know that she would take him back in his worst earthly moment time and time again if it meant she could just hold him again.

Let us stop being upset and angry and wounded over our children’s behavior. Let us look at these moments through the eyes of a mom who loves her children and cherishes them even in their ugliest moments, just as Jesus does with us. I know we love our children, even when they are doing all the wrong things, but Biblical love is patient and kind. True love keeps no record of wrongs. Godly love doesn’t give up and it is not self-seeking. It never reacts unbecomingly.

And even though in our book, Wendy and I write that triggers equal opportunities, today I know that they are also GIFTS.

Today is a new day for all of us. Today we wake to our children still with us. Today can be the day that something clicks in your head and shifts in your heart. God won’t waste Noah’s home-coming. His death will be the catalyst for some of us to wake up from our stupor of angry living and push us towards gentle parenting.

What a gift, indeed.

Pray for Angela (center, next to me) and her family!

Pray for Angela (center, next to me) and her family!

YOUR TURN: Please, PRAY for Noah’s family? Let’s show them how much we care for them by sharing in their grief in some small way.

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When Your Kids Complain About Everything And You Want To Just Give UP

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When Your Kids Complain About Everything And You Want To Just Give Up

The drive home from school yesterday was not a joyride.

Lately, my husband Guy and I have been battling the issue of complaining and discontent in our home—I wish I could say it was just the kids, but I fight against it too. Personally, I have grown a lot in this area. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was either. In general though, my sweet boys have gotten into the habit of letting us know in no uncertain terms that they are displeased if things don’t go their way. And it’s been like this for months…..

It happened again after school yesterday.

I picked up my oldest two and in less than five minutes, this conversation happened:

“Hey guys, we might have a little surprise for you later” I said, cheerfully.

“We are going to the skate park?!” they squealed.

“Oh, nooooo, we don’t have time for that today,” I said, “I was thinking more like going out to dinner someplace special.”

Cue the tears. Ugly ones.

Enter complaining spirits.

Pan a long range shot of mom pulling the car over to the side of the road in an inconvenient spot.

Close up of mom’s face as she turns around in her seat to look into boys’ concerned faces.

“Guys” I said gently and calmly. “I love you, but you are complaining, again. I never mentioned anything this week about the skate park and I was trying to do something nice for you today but it is such a bummer that instead of saying “okay mommy” and being glad for a treat, you are crying and complaining. It’s okay to be disappointed, but this kind of reaction is not Christ-like.”

I’m not a big fan of trying to teach in the moments of conflict but I wanted them to know, immediately, that though I understand their emotions, they needed to learn to handle them in a way that was honoring to both me, and God.

I left it at that, and entered back into traffic. Only a minute or so later, Oliver said, “Mom, I’m really sorry for my attitude. I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that. Will you forgive me? I was really more upset about something that happened at school this afternoon.”

Cue repentant tears, which sound a lot different than protesting ones.

“I’m sorry too, Mommy” Quinn lamented, “Will you forgive me?”

The rest of the short drive home consisted of me listening sympathetically to what was really beneath the surface of their emotions—and how Oliver handled a frustration with a friend at school so maturely and kindly, even though it still hurt him in the aftermath.

It turns out that we had a great afternoon and a wonderful dinner out—a rare treat as a family.

But here’s where I’m especially grateful for the after school scene today: I have been praying on a daily basis about complaining and the lack of contentment in our home. Guy and I have been going over Scripture with our boys to try and reach their hearts, but honestly, sometimes as a mom you wonder when the lesson will ever take root, you know? Its days like these that remind me that we need to persevere as long as it takes when there is a sin issue or a certain negative spirit in our homes. It pays off! It may not be in the timeframe we wish, but we must be patient, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of our children—and us!

When we plant good seed, it yields a good harvest.

Galatians 6:9 is the perfect reminder for moms and dads in the trenches: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I affirmed the boys for their godly repentance and shared with their dad how much I appreciated their ability to turn it around so quickly and sincerely and I was purposeful to affirm them again at bedtime. It’s not easy to stop a wrong reaction in the heat of the moment, even for me!

Maybe you are battling a spiritual war in your home too. Perhaps your kids are entrenched in sibling rivalry or everyone is out for his own gain. Don’t let one day bleed into the next. Pray. Pray. And pray some more. Work through Bible verses together and patiently teach and train your kids in the way they should go. Don’t give up if they don’t seem to “get it.” Focus on doing the good parenting day in and day out and entrust the outcome to God in His timing as He matures the hearts of your children.

I wouldn’t choose an afternoon of conflict resolution over a pleasant ride, but there is value in these teachable life moments. And that makes my heart happy all the same.

I guess the ride home was a joyride after all.

YOUR TURN: Have you seen God working in the lives of your kids too? Or does it seem like you just aren’t getting through? Are you battling a certain issue in your home? I’d love to include your family in my prayers!

 

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A Different Kind Of Bucket List

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A Different Kind Of Bucket List

I’m always fascinated by the idea of a bucket list-those dream items, events, and places that one would like to acquire, enjoy, achieve, or visit, before they “kick the bucket.”

As I began to consider what would be on my list, I realized, quickly, that for me, who is prone towards discontentment, that a bucket list in the traditional sense is not a good idea. What if I never make it to Italy? How can I be satisfied driving my SUV if I’m dreaming about a Corvette?

I needed a different kind of bucket list.

The struggle to be content in all circumstances is already a big one for me. If the Bible tells us that it is better to give than to receive, then why not create a bucket list of blessings…for someone else? More of a “Bucket of Blessings” rather than a Bucket List.

Personally, this gets my motor running! After all, the Bible says this about giving:

“By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

Here are a few of the things I would love to do for my fellow brother, sister, or random stranger before my time is up:

  • Give a car to someone to who needs one.
  • Take my family of 5 on a week-long mission trip out of the country where we serve others-possibly to an orphanage.
  • Offer our extra bedroom to a person who needs a place to stay indefinitely, rent free.
  • Buy the groceries for a mom juggling a toddler, or two, or three who is in my line at the store.
  • Plant a tree for each member of my family in our neighborhood.
  • Serve Thanksgiving or other holiday meals to the homeless at a local shelter with my family by my side.
  • Stand up for someone being mistreated when I see it instead of pretending it’s none of my business.
  • Pay for the meal of a young family at a restaurant one evening when my family is out to dinner.
  • Offer to clean the house of a local elderly widow once a month for a year.
  • Throw a fabulous and fun birthday party for kids in local foster care.
  • Perform a washing of feet ceremony for each of my children where I lovingly tell them how deeply I love them and affirm their unique gifts and talents.

Can you imagine?

John 13:35 reminds us that the earmark of a Christ-follower is by our generous love: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” There is nothing wrong with making a list of things one would love to do one day—but let’s not forget that there is more to life than temporary things and that putting our energy into serving and blessing others has eternal value that does not compare with earthly things.

Will you join me in creating your own bucket list of blessings? Here’s to being men and women who seek to bless others in 2016!!

YOUR TURN: What would be on your “Bucket of Blessings” list? How do you keep your family’s focus on giving rather than simply receiving?

 

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When You Need To Fix Your Child’s Behavior

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When You Need To Fix Your Child's Behavior

He simply would not listen.

His mom had been over and over and over the fact that dessert was not a given every night. That answer was not good enough for him. He pounded his fists on the table and burst into discontented tears. Mom hated the dinner-table battles and just wanted to have one meal in peace! Her strategies were simply not working.

In that moment, she had a choice: blow up in anger and give up or gently parent from a place of patience and kindness. That day, and the next, and the next.

By nature, I’m a “problem-solver.” Are you too? Do you like to fix things? Make plans? Lists? Set goals?

It’s good to be a problem-solver. A fixer. Most of the time……

It’s great when you see a need for a Bible study or a book study and you help find a location and set up the meeting place so you can gather together.

It’s awesome when your child’s teacher needs supplies and you organize an email list to reach parents so you can all chip in and meet the need.

And it’s wonderful when your budget is tight and you figure out ways to save money as a family so that you have more breathing room.

It’s not so great to be a problem-solver when we are trying to change our children.

You see, that’s not our job as parents. We can never change their hearts. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. Only God can fix them…and us:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

So often, we want to resolve our issues with our kids. We see that they talk back to us a lot, so we set out to silence them. They keep fighting with their brothers over electronics so we ban them from using their XBOX ever again. They refuse to obey us the first time we ask them to do something, so we resort to banishing them from our presence or worse—we yell and scream or scold and shame them.

God is clear about our role, and His, in the hearts and lives of our children:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

“Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3)

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” (Proverbs 29:17)

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Overwhelmingly, the Bible instructs us to teach, train, and lovingly discipline (like a coach) our children. Never does the Bible say that we can fix their hearts. Some of us know that we can try every trick in the book, and still, our child will act out in behavior that we don’t approve of.

Yes, there are lots of practical tips and tools to help us get the parenting results we seek, and that’s all good if we are doing so with the right heart attitude, lovingly seeking to set our kids up for success and work through their sin issues or need for growth. But I think we need to shift our thinking and relieve ourselves from the stress of not being able to change our kids. That mindset will only frustrate us and lead to strife in our home.

We become our best selves as parents when we are faithful facilitators instead of fixers.

Here are 5 key thoughts that will help us when we feel frustrated with our kids:

1.) It takes a childhood to train a child. Elongate your timeline for expected changes and maturity. It takes a long time for US to learn new lessons too—how much more so for immature kids?

2.) There is nothing that anger can do that love can’t do better. Let that sink in for a moment…..

3.) We don’t offer grace often enough—be willing to set aside your fears that kids will “get away with something” if you lovingly grace them and give them what they don’t deserve. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

4.) Consequences are often necessary, but the tone and spirit with which you discipline makes all the difference. Ask yourself, have I given myself enough time and space to discipline with love in my heart and peaceful body language? If not, get your heart right, first. We correct children because we DELIGHT in them and LOVE them, not because we are personally offended, are tired of their behavior’s impact on us, or because we are angry: “For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12)

5.) Keep in mind that your role is not to shape or change your kids. It’s your role to FACSILITATE the opportunity for heart change by leading your children to the Lord and modeling a Godly example. Their behavior is theirs to bear and take ownership over.

Be a faithful facilitator, not a “fixer.” Keep running the race toward gentle and Biblical parenting, shirking off any unnecessary burdens that are not yours to bear, especially when it comes to your kids’ behavior. Prayerfully ask the Lord to search your heart to see if there is any parental behavior that needs to change so that you can be a peace-maker and leader in your home.

We have plenty to worry about with our own hearts, don’t we?

Give their hearts back to God, where they belong.

YOUR TURN:  Do you have an underlying mindset that you want to change or fix your kids? What if your mindset shifted so that you think of yourself as a faithful facilitator, leaving the results up to your kids and God? What stood out to your the most from this post? Come join nearly 11,000 moms in my private Facebook group: No More Angry MOBS!

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My Bizarre “One Word” For 2016

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My Bizarre One Word For 2016

I’m NOT excited about the word that I feel God has put on my heart for 2016. It’s a bit bizarre and out of the box.

“Promise.”

“Hope.”

“New Beginnings.”

These are the words that come to my mind when I think about the start of the New Year and I think that most of us become reflective about the past 12 months once December rolls around.

A few years ago, I saw the trend of people choosing “One Word” to describe their hopes, dreams, and prayers for the year ahead. I love this idea because it sets a thematic tone for the choices we make and shapes our perspectives when unexpected circumstances confront us.

None of us knows what 2016 will hold, but we can face the New Year with a prayerful attitude that God will fulfill His plans for our lives when we yield to Him.

Two years ago, the word I chose was “HARVEST.” Last year, I felt led to choose a prayer instead of a word. My prayer for 2015 was that I would “hunger and thirst for righteousness more than anything else.” This is what I asked others to pray for me anytime they asked for a prayer request. It will continue to be my prayer in 2016.

BUT, I also have sensed a pattern regarding one particular word that the Lord keeps bringing before me through my quiet times of Bible reading, podcast messages, sermons at church, and books I am reading. It’s also a word that I have experienced much of the past few years. It’s a rather unpleasant word. It’s a word that results from the prayer I prayed in 2015 to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Most of us choose words like “HOPE” or “LIGHT” or “JOY.” We tend to gravitate to positive words and I wanted to as well. I want my year to be crowned with happy things and beautiful moments. I’m sure they will come.

But this year, my word is “PERSECUTION.” Ugh.

You see, I have come to realize that Jesus’ model of life on earth and His ministry was powerful. Effective. Radical. Foreign. Turbulent. Intense. Controversial. And therefore, Jesus was a man persecuted. Wearied. Spent. Tested. Tried. And, ultimately, He suffered the ultimate in persecution—death on a cross.

Here’s the thing, those who seek to be like Christ are not exempt from the things He faced. The Bible says this:

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12)

‘“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,” ( 1 Peter 3:14)

““Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” (Luke 6:22)

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12)

These verses are just a sampling of the many times that Jesus warns us about suffering for His Name’s sake. I’m especially impacted by the reaction of Peter and the apostles after a horrific flogging from the religious leaders of the day who persecuted them:

“They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” (Acts 5:40a-42) The apostles left the beating, “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

And they continued to obey God, rather than man.

I was serious all those years ago when I told Christ I was His.

I meant it when I said that I would live with an eternal perspective, valuing crowns of righteousness over earthly things.

These past few years, I have been entrenched in heavy ministry—blogging here and for other Christian websites, writing a book (out soon, stay tuned), leading a private Facebook group for moms who struggle with angry reactions, and leading a Bible study group of moms from my church. The persecution has already been thick. I’m not exactly hoping for opportunities to share in Christ’s sufferings as the apostles Peter and Paul were apt to say, but I’m not naïve to think that if I am growing in Christ and serving Him, then those times won’t come.

They have.

They will.

So, 2016 has me suited up for more spiritual battle. I need your prayers!!

And I’d love to pray for you too! I hope that your “one word” for 2016 is something positive and profoundly personal. We all have our different and unique walks with the Lord and I would love to know what your word is for this year and how you arrived at it!

I’m deeply grateful to begin 2016 with YOU! May the Lord bless you and keep you and may the light of His love surround you in startling beautiful ways this year, whether persecuted or called to enjoy a season of abundance and peace.

YOUR TURN: What is your “one word” for 2016? How did you choose this word?

 

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Mother Of Knights Blog–Top 10 Posts From 2015!

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Top 10 Blog Posts From 2015

It’s time to review my top 10 posts from 2015!

I LOVE reading and reviewing all the top posts from my favorite bloggers and writers! It’s also a blessing for me to go back and see how God used this blog to encourage readers. I’m learning so much as a wife, mother, friend, and Christ-follower so it’s amazing to me that the areas where I see God working on me are often areas of growth for you too! Iron sharpening iron, right?

Thank you all for hanging with me through a very sporadic writing year and for your kind encouragement to me in my vulnerable moments!

Without further ado, here are the top posts from Mother Of Knights for 2015! And here’s to many more (And more consistency too!) in 2016!

Number 1

7 Steps To Radically Change Disobedient Kids Into Obedient Ones Without Conflict–This post went viral and for good reason! If you want to have peace in your home and learn how to help transform your kids into obedient children, read on! Then check in and let me know: Are you a reactionary parent or a proactive parent?

Number 2

Why This Christian Won’t Protest 50 Shades of Gray (And You Shouldn’t Either)–Another viral post! I knew this one would probably put me in the crosshairs of hot debate and boy, did it ever! Thankfully, most people championed what I had to say, even though it was controversial. I think the topic applies to any kind of protests/bans that Christians may want to stand for–this post will make you think twice.

Number 3

When Your Child’s Personality Rubs You Wrong–This one went viral too! I wish I had known this stuff when I first had kids! Personally, this may be one of my favorite posts from the year. Wake up and read this one in the morning to prepare your heart for parenting the kids that “challenge” you! The message here will bless every mom…and dad!

Number 4

Is There Room In Your Marriage For One More? How My Intimacy Idol Almost Ruined Us–Oh, man. This one hits me right between the eyes every time. Maybe your marriage isn’t the ideal you imagined it would be? You aren’t sure where to turn or how to make it better? I get it. Read this one, ASAP. I hope you can avoid my mistakes……

Number 5

When Your In-Law’s Don’t Respect You–The words here can help us with any difficult relationship, truly. I’m betting that some of us are feeling bruised and battered from time with difficult family members over the holidays. Maybe this will help towards healing!

Number 6

10 Bible Passages For Exhausted Parents–Yawn….if anything or everyone is keeping you up at night, this is for you! This one comes from a place of complete and total sleep deprivation. Pass it on to your tired friends!

Number 7

When Sibling Rivalry and Messy Rooms Threaten To Push You Over The Edge This Summer–This is a foundational way of thinking to keep your sanity over clutter and chaos! Here’s why our anger is actually a gift and what anger is NOT meant to do. If anger is an issue for you, I hope this post will reframe your thinking and give you hope!

Number 8

The Key To Stop Yelling In Anger At Your Kids-And Why Anger Is NOT A Sign Of Unforgiveness–This one is a vlog! If you have ever wrestled with anger and yelling, today can be the last day! Take the time to watch my message in the video and find freedom from guilt and anger. I recorded it in the aftermath of a migraine, straight from a long flight from the airport-I felt THAT compelled to record and share it, disheveled state aside! And if you have ever wondered why it feels like you simply can’t get past deep anger and hurt from someone who has harmed you in any way, this will bring FREEDOM to you too!

Number 9

What To Do When Your Child Says, “I Hate You!”–Dreaded words, but it happens! It can send a parent into a frenzy but it doesn’t have to! Here are some practical tips for when your child speaks to you in anger.

Number 10

The Christmas Stocking That Exposed My Shaky Marriage–So many spouses can relate to this one. It’s another of my personal favorites because it’s something I need to keep working on and remembering! If you have ever been disappointed by your spouse, this post will speak straight to your heart!

There you have it! My top 10 posts from 2015! I am continually praying that God uses this blog to impact the Kingdom! Thank you, again, for taking the time to read and be a part of my blogging family! I love you guys!

YOUR TURN: I would love to write more on the topics that interest you so please, let me know in the comments if there are any topics you would like me to write about! Which of these posts resonated with you–I’d love any feedback you have for me! Do you know someone who would be encouraged by one of these posts? It would bless me if you shared it with them!

 

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A Mother’s Anger Makes A Home A Hell-Hole, How To Climb Out

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A Mother's Anger Makes A Home A Hell-Hole, How To Climb Out

Not long ago, someone asked me this question:

“Where would you be right now if you had obeyed God sooner?”

It’s a convicting question, isn’t it? I can think back on instances in my life where I knew the right thing to do and instead, I chose a different path that led to a darkened pit. It took some doing to climb up out of the hole I dug for myself by loving my sin more than I loved God.

The pit we dig for ourselves because of our unchecked anger should only have room for one but when we become angry moms, we drag our children into the pit with us. Yesterday, my friend Wendy Speake spoke about having a victim mentality in the No More Angry MOB Facebook group that we lead together:

“Do you tend to take everything personally? Maybe you don’t mean too, but do you REACT as though you’re the victim… all the time?

Your husband comes home from work late. And you’re the victim. Your children don’t like what you cooked for dinner. And you’re the victim. The kids can’t find their shoes, their socks, their backpacks. And you’re the victim. Your gifts aren’t well received this Christmas. And you’re the victim. You plan a cookie making afternoon with cocoa and movies and it’s just a mess and the kids would rather tear up the toy room. And you’re the victim.”

Wendy’s words hit a little too close to home for many of us, don’t they? I commented that having once lived with someone who played the perpetual victim card, I felt as equally imprisoned to a negative lifestyle and joyless existence as they did. I was shackled to their woe-is-me mentality and became a prisoner myself.

For a child, living with an angry mom who feels victimized by everyday life can be even more disheartening.

A mother’s anger makes a home a hell-hole.

Lucky for me, Jesus sets the captives free.

I never imagined that my own anger as a mother would be yet another instance of pit jumping in my life. Many times, my sinfulness felt justified or gave pleasure for a season. It seemed worth it at the time because Satan made it appear alluring.

Mommy anger is different.

The twisted feeling of release we feel when we become impatient, raise our voices, or scold our children, holds little pleasure. Most of us feel the train veering off the tracks and instead of putting on the brakes, we plow full speed ahead off the cliff and none of it feels promising.

I wonder where I would be right now if I had obeyed God sooner all those times in early motherhood when I was angry and took it out on my kids. Where would THEY be?

We can’t change the past but God has a way of redeeming it anyway. One way He does that is by transforming us and bringing healing. He redeems our past as angry moms by doing a new thing in us.

Except, we must determine to let Him set our feet on the Rock and dust us off from the mud and mire that holds us down in our sinful anger. And then we must radically commit to throwing off our old ways and our sinful nature, and we must replace the sin by putting on garments of godly character:

“ That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:20-32)

There is no time like the present. No time like right now to obey.

Moms, let’s not dwell on where we might be today had we obeyed sooner. Instead, let’s imagine where we will be tomorrow. And the next day. Or even a moment from now, one right response at a time.

It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it? Imagining the blessing of a life restrained by the Holy Spirit, blossoming into gentleness despite our circumstances or our kids’ behavior. I can just see us, being peace-makers. Life-breathers. Grace-models. Giving our kids what they don’t deserve and modeling the unconditional love of Christ. Fix that image clearly in your mind today moms. Remember that God has already given you everything you need for life and godliness. Tap into the Holy Spirit’s ability to empower you with grace and invite Him into your every encounter as a mother today.

So, where will you be a month from now?

Three months from now?

A year?

It’s really your choice but I hope you won’t remain in the pit one hour longer. If you need help and encouragement–practical ways to diffuse your anger and biblical truth to encourage your soul, join our support group for moms. There’s too much beauty to be had and joy to embrace. Fix your eyes on Christ, the Author and Finisher of your faith, and free both yourself and your children from the pit of angry living.

YOUR TURN! What resonated with you in this post today? How can I pray for you?

 

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