OK, so me having a chance to get centered this morning and start my day off with the Lord has really paid off. First of all, I was showered, dressed, hair done, with the kitchen swept, the floor vacuumed, and kid's in clothes by 9am. It's a great way to start the day.
However, Noah's been having a few behavioral issues lately. Not many, but when he does, they are ugly. Not to go into the details, but he was in time-out. Then after time out, he fought me tooth and nail because he didn't want to go to bed. He wanted to SIT in time out. Yes, you heard me. I recognized it for the maneuvering tactic that it was, but still it was a battle. He was screaming and flailing and couldn't pull it together. When I felt myself getting heated, I walked out, called Dave real quick to make sure that I was doing the right thing, then walked back in calmly. Here's why this is a good thing. I can get as angry as Noah when I am thwarted. He is also capable of really pushing my buttons. At the conference, I got a lot of prayer about this. Although, I don't think the urge is completely taken away from me, I do feel that God has given me a lot of tools to help me manage my emotions better. I actually felt God's peace over me the whole time that I was dealing with Noah. It would have been very easy for me to have gotten as mad as he was and yell back. However, it was almost as if God had allowed me to step back and see the situation in a different light (He was tired, trying to manipulate the situation, and really did just need to go to bed). I didn't give in, but it gave me some serious insight into how to handle it well. Was I perfect? No, but I definitely feel that God is shaping me. My desire is to be a woman of temperance and self-control. I have a long way to go, but today felt like a small victory in that arena.
It's kind of hard for me to admit this, because it feels like a glaring weakness. I feel like I should have patience all the time with my kids and never get upset. What kind of mom am I? Unfortunately, that's not my reality. I do feel as though I'm actually learning to have patience in the moment. It's not me. Believe me...if left to my own devices...ugh. However, as I continue to let God guide me and have control over different aspects of my life (like my anger), I'm feeling his gentle guidance and peace as I deal with difficult circumstances. It's one of those moments where I realize how much I miss when I don't let God have control. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about...you almost have to experience it to believe it. Giving up control seems like a stupid thing to do, but honestly, as I continue to give more and more to God, I'm learning that I have more peace than before, and I make wiser choices. If you haven't realized, I'm having one of those "AHA!" moments that happen every so often in my faith. It's the point where you realize..."This is great! Why haven't I done this a long time ago?!"
I know that I will have struggles in the future...but one of the main things that I learned (or relearned) at conference is that as a follower of Jesus, we are redeemed. The idea of being redeemed is that when we make mistakes, and repent, we are then forgiven...and are no longer under the yoke of that sin (Some sins may require natural consequences, but the sin itself is forgiven). The reality of that thought impacted me in a very real way while I was at conference. I mean, I always knew it, but I felt the weight of that sacrifice so fully. I felt that I deserved to carry my sins and punish myself. I detested myself. It was actually a struggle for me to fully submit them to God and let him take it. Yes, I still deserved to carry the weight of them...but since Jesus had already paid the price....I could be free. The bottom line- God has saved my life...again and again...and I am SO thankful. Because of that, I can become a better mom for my kids, wife for my husband, and just a better me. I'm still a work in progress (and believe me there is a LOT of work still left to do), but I think I have my arrow now pointed in the right direction, and there is even a little wind in my sail.