(Fair Warning: This is a lengthy post. My lack of posts has built up and is now overflowing. Read it through…it’s worth it. I’m also biased!)
Yesterday (Sunday) is often considered to be a day of rest. Sabbath.
Not so in my world.
We are a ministry family. My husband is the senior pastor of our church and that means Sunday is a work day, and not just for him. I’m currently the children’s ministry director and even when I am not teaching on a Sunday, I am checking in with leaders, counting little heads, hands, and hearts, and collecting the change in our Children’s Change Jar. By the time the service is over and we have fellowshipped with as many congregants as possible, chased our almost 3-yr old son all over the sanctuary (altar rails, chairs, stage…), and consoled our now cranky almost 4-month old, we are wiped out.
But the day isn’t even over!
If it’s a good day, I will have a delicious crockpot meal simmering in the slow-cooker. The scent will tantalize our tastebuds as we drag in through the front door. We can sit and eat in relative relaxation for a little bit, but let’s be honest; we haven’t had a relaxing meal on a regular basis in almost 3 years. Hmmm, why is that?
If it’s a fantastic day we will splurge and endure the craziness of eating out with two children under the age of 3 and indulge in Mexican food. Pass the salsa and chips please!
Yesterday was a good day.
I had dinner on low and slow in the crockpot so we had gourmet turkey sandwiches for lunch. Micah (the 3 yr. old) wanted PB crackers and squeeze fruit. He ate the fruit and pushed the crackers around his plate. He was hungry later. Not surprised. All was normal and even calm in the Tiger house.
Then it was time for naps.
It needs to be said that Sunday afternoon naps are a sacred and time-honored tradition that Aaron and I treasure and have made a priority in our relationship for the past ten years. Come hell, high water, or a second kid, we will have our Sunday nap.
Unless there is a football game on. Or a ministry meeting. Or a family function. Or a preschooler with a stubborn streak a mile long.
You get the picture though. We don’t just like our rest. We NEED our Sunday refueling nap to sustain us through small groups, meetings, and any other church event that might be scheduled.
Aaron took Micah back to his room to settle down for naptime. I was nursing Kasen, ready to swaddle that little bug and get him drifting off ASAP so Mommy could settle in for a long Sunday snooze.
Both boys had other intentions.
Micah dug in his tenacious little heels and refused to settle, sleep, or even stay still. I was tagged in to take over for Aaron. Kasen was handed off smoothly with no fumble. Micah cared for the change in coaches about as much as the NFL is loving the fill-in refs. He yelled, he screamed, he kicked, and he flopped. If the Emmy’s handed out an award for Best Dramatic Tantrum, he would have it in the bag.
We ignored him. We talked calmly and soothingly to him. We carried him back to his room and shut the door (that does not have a lock?!) I held him tightly in a loving hold to stop the flailing. We gave him options. We attempted to reason, reward, cajole, and bribe the child to stop throwing the fit. We FAILED!!!
I even attempted singing a new temper song we had learned just that morning watching PBS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, even though I knew I was messing the words up. “I’m so mad I could roar, but instead I’ll count to four. One. Two. Three. Four.” Something like that. It even seemed like that was working. Until it wasn’t. The fit resumed in full force after a few calmer, shuddering breaths. I should have sung the song to myself a few times. After a slap in the face (my face), elbow to the stomach (yep, mine), and a scream in the ear (mine too), I lost all my patience and my mind for a moment.
Savage Mommy Tiger roared. Right in the face of her little tiger cub.
Yes, I picked my son up firmly by the arms and yelled right in his angry, sobbing, and now scared little face. “FINE! THEN YOU CAN GO CRY AND SCREAM UNTIL YOU GET SICK.” Or, something equally bad.
I. Felt. Awful.
I carried Micah to his bed. Sat him down and backed away. Aaron was in the room with Kasen who was also crying at this point. I knelt down and waited for Micah to take a breath and I apologized. Once. Twice. I apologized when Micah stopped sobbing long enough to be picked up by Aaron.
“I’m sorry for yelling at you like that, love. Mommy shouldn’t have lost her temper and yelled in your face. Mommy needed to sing the mad song to herself. I love you baby.”
He forgave me. I forgave him.
God forgives us both.
Not long after the yelling debacle Micah fell asleep on the couch, in under five minutes, while watching “The Tigger Movie,” on my computer. Yes, we tried to offer that as an option during the marathon fit.
He slept soundly for over two hours, only stirring briefly to request “I want games.” Yes, of course you do. Go back to sleep.
My soul was too battered to rest, so I self-medicated on Facebook and Pinterest for a little while until I remembered a list of Scriptures that I had tucked away in case of emergency melt down.
My soul needed soothing, forgiveness, and renewal.
I needed to stand on some promises of grace for such a time as this.
Here they are:
10 Scriptures that Soothe my Savage Mommy Soul
- Romans 5:8- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Psalm 103:12- “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
- Psalm 139:1-4 “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”
- Psalm 139:23- “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
- Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
- Psalm 103:2-4 “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”
- Psalm 103:8-10 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
- Isaiah 53:5- “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
- Job 19:25- “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”
- Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, will walk and not be faint.”
Maybe it is just me that needs to cling to promises like these. I’m guessing I’m not alone.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed, angry, and at the end of your rope?
Do you yell? Do you need grace? I know I do.
There are so many more promises of God’s love, proof of His gifts and grace for us, and peace for our overwhelmed souls that are just waiting to be soaked up in our spongy hearts.
So drink deeply of God’s Word with me this week. Accept His grace in all things and remember to count to four if you feel like you might roar!
One, two, three, four……