>Monday was a rough day. I mean, a really rough day! But, amazingly and miraculously, it was also a very, very precious day. Yes, I know, it sounds like quite the conflict, but it’s so true. Let me explain…
If you’ve been reading my challenges you know that the Lord has really been working on my attitude and presentation toward my family, especially my children. Sunday He reminded me once again that my attitude and the tone of my voice are not pleasing to Him. Over and over in my head Psalm 19:14 has been playing and reminding me to consider my words and thoughts before the Lord. On Sunday I made a determination – I have to let the Lord be in control of my words and tone of voice as I interact with my family.
The first thing I’ve been challenged to deal with is my yelling. Yes, I’m a yeller. I’ve yelled for as long as I can remember. When I get angry, I yell. I hate it. That is something about myself that embarrasses and frustrates me. I yell and then I feel so horrible about it.
So, Monday morning I woke up with the prayer that the Lord would help me conquer the yelling. I prayed He would continually remind me of His Word before I started yelling – I didn’t want to get into it and then feel the remorse and apologize. I wanted to stop before I started!
So, I set into the day with hopeful expectations. And, almost immediately those expectations were challenged.
Our house smelled horrible thanks to the city sewage that had been backing up into our yard all weekend. After our last 10-day plumbing ordeal, we had no idea how long this new one would be with us, and I honestly didn’t know how long I could bear the stench wafting into the house from the front yard.
Then the girls got up. That was all it took. They began their day in blatant disobedience and disrespect, and continued all morning. Usually on mornings like that, I can encourage, remind, discipline, nag, plead, love on – pretty much do anything I like – and they will still ignore me until I yell. Then, suddenly, they respond. Well, I told them up front I wasn’t going to yell. Their attitude persisted, I cried a couple of times, but I did not yell. By lunch, I was exhausted – but I had not yelled.
In the midst of it all, I was determined to seek the Lord. And, He showed Himself in very strange ways. I think He has always showed Himself on days like Monday, but on this particular Monday, He enabled me to actually see Him.
He showed Himself in…
…a reminder to do as much laundry as possible that morning, an action which diluted the mess in the yard enough to control the stench.
…little things like a typically distasteful task of laundry becoming something incredibly helpful.
…the quick restoration of my attitude each time I walked away from the girls instead of yelling.
…Steven staying happy all day. And, boy, was he helpful!
…an earlier than expected resolution to what I’d feared would be a drawn-out plumbing ordeal. The city was out at 8:30 that morning snaking out the line!
…a pile of sheets…
I’d asked Steven to take a basket of sheets to his room so I could make his bed. He went the extra mile and emptied the whole basket onto his bed! It might not look like much to you, but to me, it was a beautiful sight to see what my precious two-year-old (already proud that he was big enough to carry the basket instead of pushing it!) had done to help Mommy.
It is now Friday. Many more frustrations have flowed our way over the last few days, things that would have normally caused me to be less patient with my sweeties. But, thanks to the Lord’s intervention and faithfulness, I can delightfully say that there has been no yelling in my home this week. There’s been discipline. There’s been some fussing. There’s been frustration. But, no yelling. The Lord has given me a great awareness of my tone and my words, and He is growing me.
And I am hopeful.