Losing My Cool
Last night I thought I might lose my cool in a bad way! It was late afternoon and I brought the kids inside after a sweaty romp in the yard. We headed up to the big bathtub in my room, which is located directly next to my husband's home office. The 6-year-old wanted a shower, the 4-year-old asked for a bath. And even though the Baby Boy (he is 2) had a bath earlier that day, of course, he wanted to get in the tub, too!
The problem arose when Baby Boy wanted the full-sized pool noodle in the tub with him that he had carried inside. When I said no, it was a complete melt-down with screams so loud, and such stamina, my husband started frantically texting me. He was in the middle of a Zoom meeting where he was a panelist, and he could hear all the commotion through the wall. What had I done?!?!
I tried taking Baby Boy out of the bath to play with the noodle, but that did not help. I carried him around to sooth him. We looked out the windows. Screams continued. Finally, admitting defeat, I put him back in the bath with noodle in hand. The screaming stopped for about 20 seconds. Then he walloped his sister on the head with it! She started screaming, then he started screaming, then the child in the shower starts yelling for them to shut up! It was a complete and utter disaster zone! And the texts from my husband kept coming!
I know I am not alone in these types of situations. We all have days where our patience is tried, and our faith is tested. I do not always respond in the way I hope to. But I try to think of how much grace and love God shows me, and in turn try to show it to my children. That evening I kept hearing Matthew 5:9 in my head. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” That verse probably came to mind because peace was the only thing that seemed to matter at that moment! But in so many situations, I have a choice to try to be a peacemaker or choose another behavior that is far less compassionate.
Most of the time I lean on Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.”
And on those days when the challenges from the children seem to be at every turn, I think about the end game. This is just a day in the lives of my children who will grow up and hopefully become servants of the Most-High King...and I need to model that. Those days take me to Hebrews 12:1-2. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
I am lucky that later that night, my husband and I were able to have a good laugh about all the madness! It was apparent, once again, that I am not perfect. I sometimes want to throw a tantrum. My children are God’s children, but I am also His child. And at that moment in the bathroom, I wanted to join the chaos of screaming and yell, “Just save me, Jesus!” That is alright. God understands, because it is He who gave me one of the titles I hold most dear: Mom.