(If you are just started reading my blog, you may want to read Part 1 of this story first.)
So, my long hot summer of discontent continued. I felt I was going to go crazy. A couple months back during a trip to St. Simons Island with some friends, I found a bracelet listing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) on it in a cute little gift shop. I decided to wear it every day to remind me of how my attitude and spirit can have lasting effects on my children. It worked – for a while. But then I slipped back into my bad pattern of blowing it and losing my cool with my kids. Just with more guilt each time as my eye would catch my bracelet gleaming in the light.
Then I started reading Julie Barnhill’s She’s Gonna Blow and doing the online book study. And as I said in Part 1, it really made me face some hard truths. Editorial Time: And if you are a mom struggling with anger, I suggest you read it. You need to hear the truth. You need to know that your behavior and anger is nothing more than some form of abuse. It’s hard to say, but it is. Constant yelling, losing your cool, etc. can be verbal, emotional abuse. No mom intends to do that to her children, but there is nothing that the Enemy wants more than Moms to live in this state of perpetual frustration and anger because in the end, it will affect our children. So, I realized that I needed to combat this problem with the only weapons afforded me – scripture and prayer.
But the prayer thing was still bothering me. So, I decided I needed to take verses and pray those words as my own – since I had no words to offer as I struggled with my weaknesses. Every day I would pray Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. When I felt myself getting angry (Julie’s book is great in helping you recognize your warning signs that you are about to blow!), I would start saying Psalm 19:14 over and over in my head. Let me tell you, it is very difficult to get angry as you are begging God to let the words of your mouth be acceptable to him. Once, I even found myself saying my mantra of Psalm 19:14 out loud over and over. My oldest daughter just looks at me and says, “Mommy, why do you keep saying that?”
And then I started to memorize some verses about anger – Proverbs 29:11, 22 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check; An angry man stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered man increases rebellion. Wow! Really, do I want to be a fool? Do I want to increase the conflict with my children and lead them to rebellion? Of course not.
So, just days before MOPS Convention, I was at a birthday part and talking to my friend – the one I had lunch with in May. She told me what steps she was taking getting her issues under control and how her husband was noticing a difference and helping her, and it was just uplifting. Then, she asked if I had talked to Eric about my problems. And I had to tell her no. And honestly, there had been so many times during the past several months as I felt my emotions spiraling out of control that I wanted to talk to him and I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to confess to him. My partner in life and parenting – my best friend – my helpmeet, and I couldn’t confide in him.
The party ended, we all went home, and late that evening my friend sent me a text. It said
Listen… i have been thinking. You and I do not like to ask for help or admit that we need it. And I have realized in the last few weeks that I should have done it a long time ago. If you and I think we need help, we probably do. We think we are superwomen and even if we are, our superpowers sometimes need a little help. We are only human superwomen you know. Pray about talking to Eric. Love you my dear.
First, let me say, I am blessed with great friends. I have women in my life that genuinely care about me, quirks and all. And these are friendships where iron truly does sharpen iron. I haven’t let many people in – I tend to keep people at arms length (more on that later) – but the few I have let peak into my life, well, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
This text message came at the right time. God was preparing my heart in every little way for my weekend at MOPS Convention. He and I were going to wrestle quite a bit in Nashville.
NEXT: Max Lucado and an Epiphany about Prayer
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