I’ve been thinking about anger a lot lately. Who me?? Uh, yeah. Me. Grouchy Mom. Tyrant Mom. Mom the Dictator. Mom the Over-the-Top Angry-at-the-Drop-of-a-Hat. My dear Mother-in-law once confronted me about my anger. Boy did I get angry at her!! But she was right. And her confrontation cooled my jets – for a while. In the last couple of years I’ve noticed my fuse getting shorter by the hour (sometimes the minute). It doesn’t matter if the kids deserve to be yelled at (punished, grounded until their 45, sat in a chair for the rest of their lives) I shouldn’t loose control like I do.
For example: today (while I’m home sick with a cold and feeling much misery in my head) I’m trying to make a little food and work around the mess they left in the “cleaned-up” kitchen and I notice that there is only one paddle for the bread machine pan. I really lost it. I looked everywhere I could possible think of that they might “put away” the little paddle and it could not be found. I was more than a little steamed. I decided right then and right there that the loaf of bread in the pantry was the last one this family was going to enjoy for the rest of their lives. How dare they? (Of course the little paddle didn’t run away all by itself, it was nicely hidden behind the rubber gloves at the sink).
Now I happen to know and understand in my head that my irritation and yes, out-right anger, at my children’s carelessness with my kitchen possessions harps back to my childhood. I didn’t have a lot of “stuff” growing up. I’ve always longed for nice things, pretty things to call my own. Whenever I come by something nice and pretty, I get over possessive of MY stuff. After all, I have a right to have nice things. God has blessed us abundantly. I deserve nice things. At the very least I deserve paddles for my bread machine that haven’t been carelessly lost or dropped down the garbage disposal and chewed to bits. My children should be more grateful! They should appreciate me more! They should have more respect for me and my possessions!! I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my. Follow the trend?
Yes, my children should be more responsible with other people’s possessions. They should pick up after themselves and be a part of keeping a peaceful home (don’t get me started on that track!). But what do my children deserve? Really deserve? A calm voice. A peaceful spirit (which would lead to a more peaceful home). A kind word spoken in season. A gentle voice of admonition. A loving mother not rung over with anger because someone misplace her “things” (for the 684th time in the last 2 months!). My children deserve to be treated with the respect I expect back from them. My children deserve grace and mercy when they deserve it the least (just like me). My children deserve unconditional love when they are at their most unlovable (just like me). My children deserve to know that they are more valuable to me than any possession I can hold in my hand.
My children are a gift. My anger is a curse. Jesus died to free me from the curse. I don’t have to walk in this unrelenting anger anymore. I can choose, today, to follow Him; to cast all my cares upon Him because He cares for me. I used to teach my kids that Mommy loved them more than anybody else in the world and that Jesus loved them even more than Mommy. Sometimes Mommy needs to realize that Jesus loves HER more than anyone else in the world and He’s right here ready to take away the anger and replace it with love.
And That’s What’s Reflecting on the Pond.