Sunday, 2 September 2012

Confessions from a mom who sometimes (still) lacks self-control

I don’t mean to sound like a horrible mom but I do regret the many times I lost my temper with my children…the frights I gave them when, in a brief moment of total lack of self-control, the anger spewed out of me like the eruption of a volcano. I always wished I could have remained calm and yet in the heat of the “stressful parenting moment” I never really managed to. The problem was I did not have enough peace inside of me and with a storm raging in my heart, I had no authority over the storm that was taking place outside of me, the one involving my kids.

Jesus spoke to the storm on the sea with great authority and calmed it in an instant, but Jesus had a supernatural kind of peace that he drew from his relationship with the Father. That’s why he is offering us in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” He knows that our peace is in jeopardy every day. Especially as moms. He wants us to keep whatever peace we have but he wants us to have more, his kind of peace, the kind of peace that will enable us to speak to any storm with great authority, but with the kind of authority that does not leave us with a troubled heart full of regrets. I could do with that kind of supernatural peace right now. Could you?

Consider this for a moment…the devil loves to steal our peace. I am sure you all agree on that. But what if he’s like a giant microwave, constantly creating an invisible pressure from within us, such as feelings of stress, failure and inadequacy that in turn produce feelings of anger. His goal is to keep the pressure on until we have boiled over and lost our cool. At every chance he gets, he will try to find a way to irritate and stir us up and when he succeeds you feel the anger creeping up from out of your tummy, swelling, almost like the milk that is about to overheat and it will rise throughout the chest until it reaches your mouth and you are spewing at your children or other loved ones around you. Oh boy, how many times did I fall victim to this scenario and I bet if you are honest, you did too. (You are of course welcome to leave a comment at the bottom of the page and set me straight.)

Image courtesy of www.morguefile.com
So what’s the antidote? I have been milling this through my head over the past couple of weeks and all I keep hearing is “border control”. I am about to embark on a trip to Europe and I know I will encounter many border controls. They are quite stringent nowadays in what dangerous goods they will let pass. Anger can be quite dangerous too and only all to often we let it pass through our mouths without any control whatsoever. But the way from your tummy to your mouth passes by your heart and since Jesus lives in your heart, it seems only right that he should be the border control to whatever passes by. So the next time your anger starts to rise…and before it gets to your mouth…stop and let Jesus have his moment. He will ascertain whether your anger is justified or not and whether it is aimed at correcting a wrong or just laying waste. Take a moment and let “border control” do its job, just like you would at the local airport. Make room for Jesus in your heart and let His authority control what is passing by. His control will ensure not only your safety but the one of your family too.

Of course, no plan devised by a human mind is perfect, so in the last 3 days while I was trying to finish and edit this blog post, I lots my cool so many times I thought I might as well not write it. But perhaps it is worth writing, so you know that you are not the only one…and there is hope…and the hope lies in that moment that you pause…and ask for His kind of peace. A supernatural kind of peace that will give you the strength to remain stable. I want you to know today, that your reward will not come from the storm around you calming down…it will come from you remaining stable in the midst of the storm. I wish you a peaceful day!

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