Medication for a Mama’s Heart

I went into the downstairs half bath and closed the door, trying to escape the ear reach of my boys.

 Tears rolled down my face.  Each tear contained a motherhood failure.  Every drop told the story of my outrageous outbursts and flailing arms of frustration.  My poor parenting had painted me into a corner in that small  bathroom – a corner causing me to call a friend who knows better how to raise kids.

 Because this day, I sure didn’t know what I was doing with mine.

I went on to retell of the morning drama.  It all started with the boys resisting their daily chore routine.  Then they informed me of their “plague of boredom”.  They then declared did “not want to go to baseball camp – again”.  Not to mention their frustration about media restrictions and how they just “wanted to stay home and rest.”

I had heard enough.  And quite frankly had been a “good Christian mom” long enough – being quiet and patient and slow to speak.  In a split second, my flesh won and the wrath of Becky came forth.  A mother’s rage that resulted in raised voices and “everyone to their rooms!” and extra chores and loss of privileges.

Every day I absolutely love my boys.  But this day I didn’t like them.  Not even a little.

And that makes me an even worse mom. Right?

{So add a little guilt in there, too.}

This “summer day gone wrong” resulted with my head in my hands and me phoning a better-than-me-mommy.  One who I look up to because she surely never loses her temper or yells at her kids.  Her children always answer with “yes ma’am” and are loving to their siblings.  Her kids never resist family rules and they read books with enthusiasm all summer long.  I bet they beg for math drills in July and never, ever, ask for extra screen time.

Or at least that’s my perception of her.  Because she’s awesome.  And your awesome. And every other mom is awesome – but me.  Especially on this Monday.

I sat crying, no… sobbing, as I heard her belly laugh at my envisions of her daily life.  I listened with hope as she shared that her summer had felt similar to my Monday.  Her kids came into summer with expectations and she came in with expectations and, low and behold, those expectations were all different and under-discussed.  This miscommunication leading to mornings of frustration and disrespectful children.

Which in my tearful state made me feel much better…. I needed to hear that other moms drown a little, too.

So after a “you aren’t alone in this” pep talk, I wiped my tears and opened the bathroom door, setting out to bandage the emotional boo-boos we had caused one another.

Healing balm of “I’m sorry” and “Mommy messed up” and “will you forgive me” does much for broken hearts.  Confession and repentance open the door for grace and healing.

The bottom line is – Summer is a Crash Course In Parenting.

It just is.

We all love those little boogers, I know, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week —  non-stop “what are we doing today”can take its toll.

Somedays, MOST DAYS, summer can feel like parenting Boot Camp.  A test to see what we are really made of.  And let me tell you…. without Jesus, it is ugly around here.

Heck – even with Jesus it is ugly.  I’ve yelled and cried and called Brent, asking him to come home early to “take care of this.” I am constantly questioning our media strategy and chore routines.  I have revised our discipline system a few times already and changed our “rewards program” twice.

I am consistently consistent in inconsistency.  That is for sure.

But Glory be to God, let’s take some pressure off.  And release the mommy guilt …

For He is CONSTANT.

And at the core of the Gospel, God takes our ugly mommy moments and makes them beautiful.  He takes our instabilities and puts them on solid ground.  He softens our voices and heals our hurts and turns a tornado into a teachable moment… if we surrender it all.

My summer blue print only will take me so far.  I have had to get serious about God’s blue print – And that Blue Print is His Word.  It is medication for this messed up mom.

I must ingest Scripture.  Take it like medicine.  Get it down deep in my belly.  And this is critical — because what is in my heart comes out of our mouths, and if God’s Word isn’t freshly planted then the ugly comes out.

So I have decided that this July we are going to ingest God’s Word – and this week’s medicine for a messed up mom comes from Galatians and James.  Read it slow and out loud and over again…

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.  James 1:19-20

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Oh, in my moments of entitlement, let me remember that it isn’t me that lives, but Christ lives in me!  When my plans fail, when the anger starts to rise, when my kids disobey and whine…. let me recall – “I have been crucified with Christ.”  Stop, breath and allow His life to overcome in that moment. Let me call on Christ to respond to my children in my motherhood frustrations.  Because Jesus knows a thing or three about responding to a disobedient people.

And then James gives us practical advice in chapter 1.  This Word is applicable every single hour ’round here – “Becky, open your ears and keep your mouth shut for a second.  Listen to your kids and stop jumping to conclusions.  Everyone needs to be heard.  Everyone has a side to their story, too.”

We are works in progress.  Each season of parenting bringing sanctification.  And grace.  And a chance to die to ourselves and live by faith.  

I seriously take my Scripture cards with me – everywhere.  The above card (in the ziplock) I took on a morning run.  A simple way to meditate and recite on the go.

With Christ, we can do this thing.  This summer. This July. This day. This hour. This second.  I’m in it with you.  And as much pressure as we put on ourselves to be “great parents” – I really don’t think we can mess them up.  

God is too good.  And His grace too sufficient. 

Will you join me this July with a weekly dose of Scripture to heal and fuel and help us in our times of need?  I’d love some buddies.  

 

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