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.
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?