Those were not the words that I longed to hear from my children a few weeks ago, yet, based on how I acted, it certainly was a possibility!
Stressed was an understatement. HI hollered at my kids. Not only did I yell at them but I also slammed the kitchen cupboard doors and drawers as I went about my business of purging and packing the home. I was angry and I wanted to pull my hair out. I exploded.
The enemy, knowing full well of my past, got a foothold of me that morning.
The Lord convicted my heart. Daughter, your actions are not of Me. They are of your flesh and not My Spirit.
I know Lord. Forgive me.
“Boys, will you forgive Mommy? I am sorry for yelling and screaming at you.”
“I was being nasty and Jesus does not want me to act this way. He wants me to trust in Him even in the midst of moving again.”
“This is the path that He has us on and He knows we can go through this.”
“He does not want us to rely on our own strengths but instead, rely on Him”
“I am sorry for treating you bad, will you forgive me?”
“It’s okay Mommy, I forgive you”, said my gentle and sensitive Noah.
“I forgive you Mommy. Will you forgive me too for not doing what you asked and not helping you?” My strong-willed, Seth replied.
My heart melted.
They are learning.
I am learning.
My action of rage was not what a God-fearing, Christian woman should be displaying towards her children (or anyone else for that matter).
I still have much to overcome based on my past.
(Deep sign) Oh, my past…A home filled with rage. A home where I walked on eggshells. A home where I was afraid to have a messy room because of the repercussions. I was frightened by one of my parents and tried to avoid them at all costs. Belts were used in anger. Plastic baseball bats were used as the parent sat lying in wait to use on young children. With a boiling temper, books and glass figurines were thrown at us. Of course we were blamed for all of the problems.
Note: I have since forgiven my parents for their actions. They did not have the biblical understanding nor the God-fearing wisdom needed when they raised me. They did the best they could and I am thankful for their sacrifice.
However, just because of what I experienced as a child, that does not give me license to sin towards my children when I parent them. (Although I am sure Oprah would enjoy me sitting on her couch letting the world know how I was wronged as a kid like the rest of the world!) Sometimes we need to learn to let go of our past and take responsibility for our own actions and selfish behaviors and stop blaming our upbringing. Yes, my upbringing certainly made an impact on me but the Word of God is very clear…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
God, the ‘Great I Am’ has made a bigger impact on my life than the impact that my parents made on me.
It is who I am in Christ that defines me. Not my upbringing.
I have become new and I needed to learn to change my old ways.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14
I wanted to parent my children in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. I made changes and learned some patience and self-control (and I am still learning it!)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22, 23
I don’t want my boys to remember this time in our lives as a difficult time where their mother was relying more on herself rather than resting in Christ.
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30, 31
I don’t need to be angry, Anxious and Overwhelmed on this journey, I just need to keep my eyes on the Lord and do my best to remain in Him; in His Spirit… not my flesh.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
When I am in the flesh… is when I become stressed.
When I take on too much… then I become stressed.
When I take on other roles… then I become stressed.
When things are outside of my control, (and I want to control it)… then I become stressed.
Even if I feel like I’m in a pressure cooker and I am about to explode… I need to learn to be still.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Psalm 46:10, 11
I do not want to be yelling at my children while I’m telling them that Jesus loves them! That doesn’t work, it gives them mixed messages.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:16, 17
In His presence there is no stress… only His strength.“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
That is where I want to be all the time so one day I will hear,
“Her children rise up and called her blessed.” Proverbs 31:28
Here’s some tips to remove the stress in your life:
- Be in God’s Word. Be in God’s Word. Be in God’s Word.
- Be in prayer.
- Worship the Lord.
- Be in fellowship.
- Don’t take on too many responsibilities. Keep life simple.
- Eat chocolate! (smile.)
Yes, our children will emulate us…the good and the bad. Will they become stressed too?
As parents, our main job is to take our children to THE PERFECT PARENT, God Himself. But we can’t do that if we don’t go to the Lord ourselves.