Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Mean Girl~ July 29, 2013

There is a mean girl living inside of me.  She looks exactly like me…until she opens her mouth.  The worst part about her is she tends to show herself to some of the most beloved people in my life, my children.

It makes no sense, but sometimes I can be incredibly hateful and short with the biggest blessings God has ever given me.  I sat and thought on it and realized that just maybe it’s because not every single moment of parenting screams “blessing”!

Allow me to paint you a picture.  It has been one of the longest mornings of mommy-hood in my life.  Everything my kids can do wrong has been done with flair.  Glorious naptime arrives and for the first time all day my butt connects with the couch.  Just as I start to truly relish the quiet, I hear rustling from the girl’s room.  I tiptoe to the door and listen….”Mooommmyyyy, I poop!”  Down the stairs I go and there stands my Bella in her crib, pant-less.  It would appear I have a little Picasso on my hands and with no crayons in sight, she has decided to improvise.  Here comes my mean girl.  As I look upon the mess that I have the privilege of cleaning up, my mind is reeling “NOTHING about this moment shouts blessing!!”

I lectured my 2 year old with enough vehemence to make a military general retreat.  Half a bottle of bleach & one bath later, the smoke clears and I realize just how foolish I would have sounded had anyone been listening in.  My daughter didn’t do anything different than nearly every other child has done at some point.  But I was so tired and frustrated from a very long morning and she made an easy target for me to unload on.

However, I refused to let my mean girl win.  Just because “she” felt justified in her response, didn’t make it right.  So I used the best weapon I have to shut her up, the Bible.  The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom when it comes to controlling our anger.

“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”  (14:29)

The next time one of my children, or anyone else for that matter, throws a crick into my day, I have to choose to exercise understanding over acting a fool.

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”  (15:1)

When my knee-jerk reaction is to respond with a hot-temper, I am teaching my children to do the same.  With every harsh word I speak, I’m stirring up the “mean girl/boy” inside of them just dying to come out.

“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”  (19:11)

Some wrongs cannot be overlooked when it comes to parenting, but as a wise woman once said, “You have to pick your battles.”  Thanks Mom, as always, you were right.  Respect is something that everyone craves but few work to get.  Granted it is a given that children should respect their elders, we make it far easier on them when we express grace & mercy rather than going off like a raving lunatic.

This is obviously an area where I am a work in progress.  There are days when I feel like I should be wearing a warning, “Caution: Mean girl crossing.”  It is by God’s grace that I can and will overcome.  I ain’t no quitter!  On the most difficult days when I struggle to bite my tongue, my goal is to recall the words of James 1:19:

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:  You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.”

Sometimes it is to my benefit to count to 100 before I open my mouth!hand over mouth

 

16 Responses to “~Mean Girl~”

  1. I swear this post is about me… 😉

  2. I remember those days how my children turned out as well as they did I don’t know. I did not know I had the Lord in my life back then so I was a thousand times worse I am sure. I still have days when I am nasty-nice to those I love and I am working on it with Gods help. thank you for sharing your day with us. od Bless

    • I truly don’t know how I could raise children without the help of the Lord. Even knowing He has my back, I still make numerous mistakes but I am thankful for the example of grace & forgiveness He set for us to pass on to our children.

  3. Wanda Beck Says:

    Excellent post, Valerie! It is so true what is written in James 3:6-12, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

    It is a daily spiritual battle, but “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!”

    Thanks for being real and sharing your daily struggles with all of us. It is encouraging to know others share the same struggles we do!

    • Yes ma’am, Wanda! I know that I am prone to exploding when I am utterly exhausted but if I allow myself time to compose my thoughts, I can prevent the ugliness from coming out of my mouth. As you said, anything is possible with God…including learning to hold my unruly tongue!

  4. Oh Valerie, I am with you on the mean girl thing! Some days I just hate myself because my precious quiet time gets interrupted. Thank you for these scriptures to help remind me to count to 100!

  5. I can totally relate … even with the poop art, it happened 2x to me. Of course I can laugh about it now. God knows exactly what we need to learn our lesson.

  6. Heidi Viars Says:

    What an encouraging message, Valerie! … I am so grateful to the Lord, who knows us so intimately (“mean girl” and all) and yet He fully loves us … What a blessing to know He patiently transforms us from the inside out … Thanks so much for this today~

  7. Were you a fly on the wall of my house? 😉

    When I was a single mom with four children, I used to do the same thing. One day I decided that I needed to model repentance for them as well as anger, so I began to apologize whenever my behavior was out of control. I HATE to apologize, so when I started to feel worked-up, I’d remind myself that I would be eating humble pie and asking my kids’ forgiveness within the hour. That helped!

    Hang in there! Remember Romans 8:28 – God’s promise that you can’t wreck them so bad that He can’t fix them! He’s proving Himself on that one with my (now seven) kids! God is good.

    Love you,
    \o/

    • To be so small they can be incredibly aggravating! I love my babies relentlessly but there are days when I think their behavior is a punishment for my previous life-LOL! I also hate to apologize so maybe I can use your trick of thinking about that before I unleash the fury 😉
      Thank goodness that God’s love far surpasses whatever mess I make of my kids! We’re all a work in progress, mommas included.


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