What do you mean you peed in your pants AGAIN?!” Came the exasperated cry from my scowling lips as I glared towards my 4 year old daughter.
We were (of course) heading out the door on our way to church, loaded up in the Jeep, and as I turned to buckle that sweet girl in, she looked at me with somber eyes while giving me the thumbs down sign.
I wish I could say I was patient. I wish I could say I was understanding. I wish I could say I told her it was all right, I loved her, and then gently took the time to clean her up, change her clothes and then buckle her back up.
But I didn’t.
In anger I yanked her from her car seat, stomped through the house to her room, pulled off her shoes, stripped her wet bottoms off and hurled them with all my might across the room where they met the closet door with a mighty thud.
One look back at my daughter’s face showed wide, tearful eyes as she whimpered, “Mommy, I pooped in those too.”
Sure enough, in my angry haste I had missed noting that the offending pants were not only wet, but filled with poop.
There was indeed a stinky, poopy mess streaked across the white closet doors where my angry outburst had landed. Yuck.
Sin can be like that in our lives. Left unchecked, it will eventually explode onto the people or circumstances around us leaving behind a foul-smelling mess.
The book of Proverbs has lots to say about anger, self control and acting from a place of wisdom rather than being ruled by a hot mess of emotions.
- “ A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11
- “ Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
- “ A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Motherhood is hard. Constant demands. Ever needy people to attend to. Lack of sleep. Little appreciation for tasks done again and again in lonely faithfulness.
We could interchange “Life is hard” in there as well couldn’t we? No matter what season we are in, there is ample occasion for weariness, impatience and irritation. We all have nagging situations that press in on us, tempting the short fuse of anger to ignite.
I believe God wants to challenge us to not use our circumstances as an excuse to sin. I could say that a circumstance or situation forced me to be angry, (she pooped in her pants again) but the reality is that I chose to be angry (roughly throwing her pants across the room). My hot-tempered actions were more in line with the ways of a fool than a woman of understanding.
The good news here is that there is hope for us! Moms who blow their top are not beyond the grace of God, and neither are women who have screamed like a crazy person at their husband or boss.
If we know Jesus, then we have forgiveness of all our sins (1 John 1:9), and help in fighting the daily battle of the rage within (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So, when you feel the hissy fit well up inside you, consider the cross of Christ and seek His help to stop from throwing an adult temper tantrum. And when you do lose it, make sure to humbly ask for forgiveness, taking full responsibility for all the poop you just flung out there!
- “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29
Do you crave to become a more understanding woman who is marked by her gentle responses and soft answers to all of the crazy this world can dish out? There is more good news! James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Jesus wants to help us in our struggles, and the Holy Spirit is more than available to cultivate a harvest of fruitful characteristics in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).
Here’s looking ahead to less anger and more love. Less irritation and more joy. Less insane poop flinging days and more peace as we become deeply rooted in the beautiful, soul transforming power of our precious Savior in every area of our lives. 😉
P.S. This is only one brief example of a foolish mommy moment…there have been many more! I am in the process of being refined by God on this journey of motherhood, and am so grateful He doesn’t leave me to just try harder on my own strength. Praise Jesus for His infinite mercies and tender corrections in my life!