I am an angry, miserable, not fun mom. I yell, I have a tone when I shouldn’t, I don’t laugh enough, and I see my children mirroring all of my shortcomings.
God says that if we are followers of Christ, we are a new creation. Paul often wrote about the difference between living in sinful nature and living in the spirit. The person I described above most often lives in the flesh, or in her sinful nature. I’m supposed to be dead to that nature, dead to me, and alive in Christ. Hmm.
Ok girls, I know I’m not alone here in this quandary. I want to live in the spirit as a new creation. The Bible says a whole lot about who I am in Christ; I just don’t see her very often. How do I get from point A to point B?
I think the biggest step is getting what my brain knows into my heart. I know so many verses and have declared many times who God says I am. Sometimes things just become so familiar that we don’t take time to really chew on the meaning or the reality of those verses. If God said it about me, he’s describing the real me, the me he made me to be! When I describe myself, the person I am day in and day out, it looks different, because the truth isn’t getting into my heart in order for me to continue to transform into that new creation.
Not very long ago, I blew up at my daughter’s behavior, realized I wasn’t calm enough to handle the situation, so I yelled to my husband, “I can’t do this right now!” After he spoke with her about her behavior, he confronted me. He told me that there are things that I do each day that make me less approachable and that is why we are seeing certain behaviors in our children. He wanted me to work on me, and I wanted his help to come up with consequences so in the future I could discipline without blowing my top. He told me working on me was more important than what I wanted. Ouch.
So, I started reading the book, Triggers: : Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. It is a daily devotional to help moms react and respond biblically instead of with anger toward their children. The book has two parts. Part one gives ideas for handling our children’s behavior that pushes us over the edge, and part two talks about internal triggers, what’s really going on inside of us that makes us react angrily. I started reading part two first, because I knew I had to fix me. I’m not done with the book, and I will go through it a number of times, I’m sure, before I can implement many of the suggestions. But that first day I picked it up, I found hope.
One of the authors was encouraging us moms that we don’t have to worry about how our kids will turn out or if they will run to therapy because of the way we have been parenting. Instead, we can have hope, because if we let God transform us, our kids will get a front row seat in seeing the power of God make us and change us into who he says we already are.
So between working on me and getting help with some parenting strategies, this summer is “Operation Mommy Transformation.” My kids, by the grace of God, are going to start to see me bloom into who I was created to be.
A few weeks before I picked up the book Triggers, we sang a song in church called “Ever Be.” Please take a listen.
The chorus says, “Your praise will ever be on my lips.” As we were singing, my prayer was that those words would be true even when I am home parenting my children. I want my words to be seasoned with love and grace toward my children so every word and tone I speak can be an offering of praise to God.
Remember Claire’s post, Broken With Him? The “Motherhood is my worship” quote she posted with it is now my motto. Lord, let each part of my mothering be a form of worship to you.
I have hope, because God says I’m a new creation. I’m becoming who I am.