“Mommy has a problem. She yells too much.”
3 minutes before that I was literally face down on our pink carpet, tucked between our bed and dresser. “Momma? Where are you?” Elam stood in his doorway, trying to figure out what was going on.
“I’m in here, Elam.” “What are you doing, Momma?”
Then I led him into his sister’s room where I tried to explain sin, repentance, my struggles, and how God can help us change. All that in a few short minutes in the presence of my 5 and 3 year olds, happily playing Legos.
It had started out innocently enough: the kids would paint while I washed the floors in the kitchen. I had to remind them about 10 times that the floor was wet. Elam fell once and got paint on the wet floors plus managed to paint his sister’s rear end plus her underwear. Without being too graphic, she was painting in a t-shirt only. I was fairly frustrated, but kept it together and then was very clear I didn’t want them to walk around too much until the floor dried.
Then I ran downstairs to do the 6th load of laundry, pick up a bit and quick dust the Barbie mansion (seriously Mom, a mansion? This house is 4 feet high, 3 stories. Barbies never had it so good. They even have an elevator… I’ll have to blog about that sometime because this parathetical interruption is getting to long…). We had gymnastics in a hour and I was a machine: SuperMom, Wonder Woman and Martha Stewart in perfect harmony.
Then I came up to find two screaming kids on the carpeted staircase, paint in various places and I yelled, “Get into the kitchen! No painted kids belong on the stairway!”
We got back upstairs and again, I regained composure. Until I looked at Elam’s face and hair painted green. I scrubbed him off and Calista started to giggle. Something just set me off. I slammed their art cabinet door and sent them both to their rooms, and I sent myself to my room.
I hate yelling. It makes Elam cry. I makes Calista yell back at me. It makes my stomach hurt even though it was almost 24 hours ago. It makes me embarrassed as a follower of Jesus. It makes me sad to have to call Brian and confess.
Later that night I was doing my Bible study in Exodus. The Israelites had been camping at the base of the mountain where God had led them safely out of bondage and oppression. He graciously spoke to Moses and gave them the 10 commandments. Then He told them to pack up and head out again. Change. Goody.
The application question was, “where is God asking you to make a change?”
Suddenly the tantrum I had focused less on the kids’ disobedience and more on my poor time management skills and parenting. SuperMom, Wonder Woman and Martha Stewart forgot to ask the convicting Holy Spirit to the party.
I shut my Bible study book. I looked at Brian and I said, “I need to make a change.”
And I did. More on what we did later… But I did some things. Immediately.
Repentance: it’s not for sissies. But thank God this mom who had spent part of the afternoon on that horrid pink carpet had forgiving kids (they had forgotten by the time we headed out in the snowstorm, on a sled that I drug behind him, to gymnastics an hour later) and a supportive husband who insists I don’t yell as much as I used to.
To watch Elam’s adorable video, explaining about all of his “roads” on his picture, click here: