Hey, remember that bit I just wrote yesterday about gratitude?
Yeah. Well. It's didn't even last 24 hours around here.
And remember that bit I wrote about being on the warpath? Well that did take off, and in rare form around here today. Because, at last, it happened.
The Super Colossal Nuclear Melt Down.
It was priceless. There was kicking, screaming, crying, yelling, sobbing, railing, and even the proverbial weeping and gnashing of teeth. It wasn't pretty.
And that was just me.
I couldn't take it anymore.
I never really had a total collapse like that. Never. In twelve years of poopy diapers and sleepless nights (yes, I realize a lot of you out there have several more years on me in this), this was my first, good ole-fashioned, knock-down, drag-out, blow it out your ear, heel-drumming, exhaustive, temper tantrum. I literally was sitting on the floor gasping for breath by the time I was finished.
Afterward, there was a tiny part of me that physically felt great. It actually was cathartic to release all the frustrations that had been fermenting inside me for who knows how long.
Mostly though.....it felt awful. And, oh how embarrassing.
My first thought was how I surely had just scarred my kids for life. My son found me, came up to me, knelt down, and gave me a hug.
"Are you okay, Mom?" he asked softly against my back.
I shook my head and turned to hug him fiercely. "Oh honey," I whispered. "I. Am. So. Sorry!"
"For what?" he asked, genuinely puzzled.
Ah. I had hope.
I know you'll find this incredible, but we have seen temper tantrums from the Lilliputians in our house. The only puzzlement to my son was what had caused this particular one. And why me.
After mopping myself up, apologizing to my kids, and taking a few minutes to privately pray and review my actions, the most amazing thing happened.
I learned something.
And not just anything.
1). I learned that I cannot be a disgruntled servant to my children. I must raise, train, and shape their lives with joy, so they grow up as a people of joy.
2). I learned that I cannot "do it all". The world will not stop spinning on its axis if my To Do List, School List, Chore List, Thank You Notes List, Errand List, or any other threatening list remains unchecked at the end of the day. I must focus on what God did want me to accomplish that day, however unplanned or small (e.g. - everyone got fed today, yippee!), and acknowledge His gift of my ability to do so.
3). I learned that I still believe the value of excessive "Me Time" is a myth (more on that in an upcoming post). I must focus on our whole family's simple well-being, which happily does include (notably without guilt) moments for my own prayer, eating, sleeping, and other mundane but nourishing endeavors.
4). Most of all, I learned that, “Then if my people who are called by my
name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from
their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins
and restore their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)
I was never so utterly, totally, and completely humiliated and mortified in my entire life as I was to have had that temper tantrum before God. In retrospect, it seemed to me just that -- a spoiled, pampered, unruly, ungrateful child's temper tantrum, drumming her heels about her perceived "problems."
But then I remembered that sometimes we do get overwhelmed with our responsibilities in life. Everyone's cross at every moment is different.
And then I remembered something I learned earlier in life: In times of trial, don't ask God, "Why me?" Instead ask God, "What are You trying to teach me?"
And then I remembered that verse from second Chronicles. Thankfully, God is a much more forgiving parent than we are!
Each of us specifically was created to know, love, and serve God in this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. Regardless of the responsibilities, joys, trials, or endeavors He permits us in this life, He still wants us to be our best self and ultimately be with Him in heaven. Even when we screw things up, if we humble ourselves and seek His face and turn from our self-centered ways, He will forgive us and help us restore what He created.
God accepts us as we are, but He doesn't expect us to stagnate and stay that way. If we allow Him to do so, He will use our every endeavor, whether good or ill, proud or embarrassing, to help us grow and be lead ever closer to Him.
Thus, as they say, most of all I learned....that I still have a lot to learn!