tantrums

imgresThis week has started out…bumpy.

The first rattle began bright and early Sunday morning. I think I got myself into this one…

Our small group leader meeting ran late, so I was rushing to get to my group’s carpet round. One of my small group girls attacked me with a cookie order form before I even got both of my scurrying feet into the classroom, and my harried auto-response kicked in before my brain did with a “no, thank you”. What happened next, though, really woke me up.

She threw the form onto the ground, kicked it, and snarled at me, “well now I did all that work for nothing. I brought it all the way to church and YOU didn’t even buy anything, so I can’t even believe how much work I did and it was all for nothing.”

The “Lead Small” in me kicked in and realized that even though I probably should have initially overridden or quickly taken back my “no thank you” auto response and just ordered some cookies to show my support of her extra-curricular activities, the mom in me would not allow me to reward terrible behavior.

I’m still trying to decide how to recover from this one…I think next week I’m going to sneak her an envelope to be opened at home with a small donation in it because I don’t want to seem unsupportive, but our family budget won’t allow me to support each of the girls in my group asking for money, so I’ll have to be subtly supportive.

This morning jolted me as if I were using cruise control on the highway and unexpectedly hit a speed bump. While dropping off my preschooler, and despite three instructions to do so, he chose not to get himself unbuckled by the time we arrived at the drop-off spot. He informed me that he didn’t want to go to school today, he wanted to stay home and watch DVD’s.

I gave the “helper” permission to “hug him into school” (aka carry him in) and she did, despite his kicking and screaming. Our routine is that he unbuckles well before we get to the drop off point, that way he has time for a hug and a kiss from me before being dropped off so we don’t hold up the line.

But today, his poor choices and refusal to get out of his car seat didn’t allow him time for the hug and kiss and the helper and I (and probably everyone in carline behind us along with anyone in the path from carline to his classroom) had  to suffer his consequences.

I think God is trying to show me something about myself by allowing me to bear the brunt of a peculiar amount of tantrums in my life right now. My eyes are being opened to see how ugly, selfish, and unnecessary they are, not to mention how awful they make everyone in the vicinity feel.

I’m rattled. So I’m stopping to take a look and make sure I’m not living a giant “tantrum” right now, because I’m thinking if there are so many happening to me, God might be pulling one of those awesome-parenting tactic “teachable moments” on me right now.

Gulp.

So instead of plugging my ears, rolling my eyes, stomping away and slamming the door, I’m tentatively looking into His eyes and whispering, “what am I doing wrong? What do you want me to do to make it right? I’m sorry. Will you please let me try that again?”

Some verses running through my mind that help me remember how to deal with anger and emotional outbursts are:

Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I definitely need to do less of one and more of the other.

Have you ever had a “grown up” tantrum? What are some other great verses you’ve found helpful?

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8 thoughts on “tantrums”

  1. Are you spying on me? Are you trying to make me feel guilty? Ha! I’m like the biggest 2 year old ever! Plus, Ewen has been having mega-tantrums lately, like as in, screaming, hitting, name calling, have to hold you with both arms and legs for an hour kind of tantrums. And I’ve always seen my anger and short temper reflected in him. I’m totally guilty! You may have been speaking from your own experience, but I can’t help but think you’re talking to me…

  2. We seem to live such concurrent lives, you and me, Amy Murphy. Not spying on you, I swear. Does the moon affect emotional outbursts? The weather? I’m not sure what to blame all of these crazy dramatic moments on, but I’m finding myself guilty too. And not liking what I see in myself or in my kids, either. I was worried to put this one out there–I was praying that I wasn’t alone and that this wouldn’t precipitate a hundred people de-friending me. So, thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one.

  3. Memorized this one a few years ago to help with remembering God’s perspective on anger (at the time I seemed to struggle on an hourly basis not to respond with my own tantrums every time one of my children threw one): “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.”

    1. Going to be working on committing this one to memory. I’m sure it won’t be long before I “get” to put it into practice. Thanks Amy.

  4. Logan and I are working on our anger issues too. Logan definitely handles anger the same way he sees me respond to it. I get so aggivated when he interrups something that I think is important or when I’m tired and grouchy already and he is naggy or sneaky. I’m slow to learn. When I step back, I can totally see what’s going on, analize it and know the solution, but then the two-year old inside of me says, “but I don’t wanna”.
    I’m starting to see how my selfishness and anger has really shaped how Logan gets angry so quickly. I find that our best and most sweet memory days together are when I’m totally invested in him and giving him the attention he needs. Afterall, I am his favorite “toy”, that nothing in his toybox can fulfill; nor do I want it to!
    What I’m really telling him, is that what I’m interested in, is not him, or that my email/facebook/book/etc. is more important than he is. Harsh reality that I am working on changing… Balance is key, yet so hard to obtain.

    One of my life verses is Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”. Colossians 3:16-17 are very potent. You can just feel the bolded words that stick out in your heart.
    And the other is Galatains 2:20, “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 meand gave himself for me.”
    As I was reading through Galatians, I “stumbled” across Galatians 5:15-26. Key phrase in acts of the flesh: “fits of rage, selfish ambition”. Gah!
    Sorry, novel. 😉

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