Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Better Choice

Let me start by saying I love our puppy. I really do. But he is a puppy and therefore gets into a lot of trouble. My son captured this Kodak moment when I was trying to play a game with my kids and Charlie kept biting my ear. These kinds of things happen all day long and most of the time, I roll with it. But after my husband had been out of town for a week and I had been running the show solo, I lost it.

My husband had gotten home at 2 AM and I tiptoed around trying to get the kids and myself ready for Charlie's 8 AM vet appointment. By 7:15, one kid was dressed, one was half dressed and not making any effort to finish the job and my baby girl was still in jammies. I hadn't even brushed my teeth. The entire morning had been one interruption after another. As I poured coffee, Charlie peed on the rug. When I took him out to pee, my middle child fell and started to cry. You've had that kind of morning, right? I set out breakfast for them hoping to keep them busy while I threw on a coat of mascara and some lip gloss but before I could put toothpaste on my toothbrush, I heard screaming.

"AAHHH!!! CHARLIE IS BITING ME!"
"AAAAHHHHHH!! CHARLIE IS ON THE TABLE! HE HAS MY CEREAL!"

I threw down my toothbrush (so mature, right?) then marched out to the kitchen table. I saw upturned cereal bowls, juice dripping from the table to the floor and a lab puppy standing on the table happily lapping up milk and Golden Grahams. I felt a rage rise up. "That's it!" I grabbed the dog by the collar and pulled him down. "I've had it with you!!" I locked him in the lanai, left the mess and I went to compose myself in my room. I rarely act out in anger and I was ashamed of myself and frustrated with the situation. Tears started to fall. 
"What's wrong?" My husband asked groggily.
"I've just had it! I've had it." 

He jumped out of bed to help out which made me feel better and worse at the same time. The whole purpose of this nonsense was to let him sleep. He corralled the kids telling them that I needed a few minutes then began cleaning up. I spent a few minutes calming down then went out and found my son, Drew, crying.

"I'm so sorry guys. I wasn't angry at you. I was frustrated with the dog. But even he doesn't deserve to be yelled at. I lost control and I shouldn't have. I'm so sorry."
They hugged me fiercely, glad to have their sane mother back again. I saw my husband out of the corner of my eye grinning a bit at my outburst. I felt my heart begin to lighten. Drew pulled away from the hug and said, "Mommy, next time, praying would be a better choice than getting angry, right?"
This wisdom from a four year old blew me away. "Yes, baby. Yes it would. Would you pray for me now?"
"Okay...Dear God, help Mommy to remember that you are her friend when she is mad. Help her to pray instead of yell. We know you are stronger than anyone in the whole world and you can fix anything. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Amen. God is so much more powerful than our emotions. He will fight every battle for us, no matter how small.  If you have something that is making you feel crazy today, say a prayer before and as you deal with it. Drew is right. God is stronger than anyone in the whole world. 

P.S. He's also the very best at forgiveness. If you messed up today like I did, please know that we are both already forgiven. XO



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