It’s 7 o’clock at night and my 2 year old is already in bed. And all I can think about is waking her up to tell her how much I love her and how mommy’s so sorry she yelled.
But I won’t. But I will write down the accounts of my evening that led to my now guilty heart.
I came home from my run to find my house in total chaos. I’m fairly certain that every toy, book and crayon we own were scattered through every room in the house, with the exception of the boys room because they had enough sense to lock their door. My dog, Kansas, is in heat so as I step over the broken crayons I see the tiny little spots all across the floor because apparently I am the only one equipped with the super-human powers it takes to wet a paper towel and clean it up. The above mentioned 2 year old is screaming. Why, you ask? No reason, just because she really likes the sound of her voice at inhumane levels. But I didn’t yell.
Next up I attempt to finish cooking dinner while Bella insists that the center of my closet size kitchen is the only place to build her blanket fort. I somehow manage to convince her 2 sisters to clean up the messy house that they had no part in making, (yeah…right). Bella takes off down the stairs after her sisters and I’m starting to feel pretty good about keeping my “raw emotions” in check. As I wrap up dinner and call for the kids to come eat, little miss comes tearing around the corner…naked from the waist down. “Bella,” I said rather cheerfully, “where are your pants?” She snaps the towel from the counter and says, “Dem’s wet so I threw em down the steps.” I peek around the door down the stairs and I see not one, not two but three dark puddles on our lightly colored carpeted steps, three different steps naturally. So as the kids sit down to eat, I scrub. But I didn’t yell, yet.
Finally the mess is clean…enough…and I fix my plate right about the time that Bella decides she doesn’t want mac n cheese, she wants cheese crackers. I give her a simple no, and her world as she knows it comes to an end. Or so you would think had you seen the fit she threw herself into. I stepped over her and attempted to eat with her kicking my arm and swinging her baby doll at my chicken and rice which was quickly losing it’s appeal. (My life groupies are laughing, thinking I should have taken Carol’s advice and served myself first.) And still, no yelling.
Finally I think our evening is calming down and that’s when I realize it’s quiet, way too quiet. “Bella??” No answer, dang it. I hear someone in the bathroom, Lord, please don’t let that be my precious little one getting into trouble. Sure enough, I push open the door and there she stands on top of the toilet, pant less again, looking for her toothbrush. There is a puddle at her feet & on the floor around her. Now…I yell. I mean seriously, she was in the bathroom for heavens sake…on the toilet no less, and yet she manages to pee her pants again? This mommy had reached her peak.
So, I fuss about her accidents and messy behavior and not eating her dinner, you know, because surely she knows exactly what I’m saying. This is when I declare “It’s night-night time right now!” a whole hour before her normal bedtime. Of course it was met with protest, “Mommy, noooo!” “Sorry kid, momma ain’t having it anymore.” (My fellow Unglued ladies are shaking their heads at me right now thinking, ‘I know what we need to discuss next week.’)
I drag her to bed and listen to her cry for a whole 2 minutes before she went out like a light. I knew she was exhausted since she has also recently determined that she’s too good for naps.
And that’s when the guilt crept in and I had to resist the temptation to wake her so she would know that mommy isn’t really mad, just tired from an aggravating day. But I let her rest. Why should I disrupt her just to make me feel better about myself?
As the night wound down and I was able to sit and reflect, I stopped shaming myself for my not-so-nice mommy moment because the fact that I immediately realized I had overreacted revealed to me that I am in fact making progress. That’s the beauty of bible study & devotions, if you are plugged into applying what you read, it will seep in and find it’s way into your heart.
There is a line from our book “Unglued” that sums up the woman that I desire to be. Guys, don’t feel left out, it could easily be reworded to include you.
A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when she surely could have done otherwise reveals the power and the mystery of Christ at work-in her life and in the world. -Lysa TerKeurst
When looking back at how my night played out, I initially felt justified when I unloaded because look how much I had let go before I finally lost it. But there isn’t to be a limit to our grace, the life of Jesus teaches us that. Had I taken a moment to think before I spoke, I would have remembered that it isn’t my little girl who I am war against, it’s our enemy, Satan and I wouldn’t have given him a foothold into my night had I simply paused before reacting.
Today, amidst the pile of toys, accidents, crayon marks down the wall and whatever else may come at me, I am choosing to remind myself, “I am not an angry woman, I am a child of God.”