Losing My Temper Again

Her eyes begin to flood, her hands creep up to cover her open mouth, and her body caves in on itself, trying to hide from the world around her.

My eyes narrow, my hands clench into tight balls of anger, and my body tenses up as if ready for battle.

By this sixth meltdown of the day, occurring because we took a different route home from the game, my heart is weary and my patience is gone.

My voice is low but harsh as I demand that she stop fussing and quit crying, and I spit at her to just be quiet if she can’t be happy.

Hurt radiates from her eyes as her sobs get even louder. Guilt pierces my heart as I once again realize that I lost my temper because I didn’t want to deal with her. Hard truth: She was inconvenient to me.
I remember that she hasn’t had much sleep because her sister just moved into her bed to make room for Baby. I remember that she is struggling with a new sport and feels afraid of too many kids all crowded around the same object. I remember that she is only four and that if I sometimes have irrational meltdowns, perhaps she is allowed a few as well.

This feels like my moment-by-moment cycle: I forget, I am harsh to those I love, I remember, I am guilty. 

I now speak harshly to myself, trying to will myself into perfection, into loving without fail. This always fails. I am not perfect and my will is not strong enough.

And

I am loved by One Who is pouring more than I could even imagine into the lives of my husband and children.

I and my family are loved by One Who loves us enough to call us His children

We are loved by One Who, before the world was even made, loved each one of us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault. 

I am loved by One Who can make up for all of my mistakes, Who tells me that His power is made perfect in my weakness, Who reassures me that His grace is sufficient. (II Cor 12.9)

My strength is not sufficient to calm my temper.

My will is not sufficient for me to love my loved ones perfectly.

My fierce desire is not sufficient to force my little ones’ hearts into a state of loving God and each other.

His grace. This is sufficient. 

I am struck with relief and gratitude, and so I sing. 

He is good when there is nothing good in me. 

He is love, when I am not, on display for all to see. 

He is my hope because He has covered all my sin. 

He is true even in my wandering.

I run to His arms and allow His power to be made perfect in my weakness. I trust all of our hearts to His love.

(song adapted from Forever Reign by Hillsong)

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Comments

  1. Through tears I am reading this beautiful post Elizabeth! I am just getting back on facebook after a busy month of moving and having a new baby and am so glad I saw your post. I totally can relate to everything you said!! I have to remind myself of this all the time also!!! Elizabeth, you are a fabulous mom and put into words so well what we’re all feeling! Keep writing, it’s a blessing to so many!! Love you!! Carmen

  2. Through tears I am reading this beautiful post Elizabeth! I am just getting back on facebook after a busy month of moving and having a new baby and am so glad I saw your post. I totally can relate to everything you said!! I have to remind myself of this all the time also!!! Elizabeth, you are a fabulous mom and put into words so well what we’re all feeling! Keep writing, it’s a blessing to so many!! Love you!! Carmen

    • I KNEW I couldn’t be the only one! 😉 I’m glad these words were good to you.

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing well after all of your excitement. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that you were moving while due for your new baby!! You are amazing. :) And your sweet baby is gorgeous! I love you.

  3. Sigh…I remember those moments all to well. I WISH I could say I do not have those moments these days…when the babies have long since grown up and I am dealing with young adults that are, for the most part, taller than me! But just yesterday afternoon, after what felt like the hundredth snarky look of disrespect, I LOST it…and actually chucked something in the general direction of the snark-faced one :0(.
    It gets easier and my own fits are more spaced, but the reason behind them is the same: “Hard truth: She was inconvenient to me.” I did NOT have my child’s best interests at heart. I was annoyed and tired of repeating myself. Good thing HE never grows weary of repeating Himself to me: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” A work in progress here.

    A word of encouragement—even though the moments of frustration linger far into the teen years and beyond, I have asked my now adult children how much of my “mom fits” they recall and baring a few REALLY wacky moments (yes, I have sent my kids to play in the snow and told them NOT to throw it???0_0), they do not recall the yelling as much as I feared. Our children are eager to forgive us and when the good, loving, kind words are there–and hopefully out weigh the other moments—they will be okay!
    Hang in there…these moments will pass. Hug ’em lots!

  4. Oh, those ARE encouraging words, both that it does get a little easier and that my girls won’t remember every time I hollered at them. Thank you!! (and I laughed out loud when you threw something at your kid! Hilarious.)

  5. So thankful HIS grace is sufficient ~ period!
    Beautiful and inspiring words. Thrilled to connect and look forward to Allume! Subscribed to your blog and followed you on twitter.
    Have a lovely day…

  6. I can relate Elizabeth, so glad He gives us GRACE!

    Saw ya on the Allume link up, so glad to be going, hope to meet you! 😉

  7. oh you should have seen me yesterday when my 7 YO lost it over a shirt that was stained that I threw away a month ago that she just noticed was missing… It’s one of her favorites and it was the end of the world and I was less than patient!!

    thankful for the reminder that He is good when there is nothing good in me! :)

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