Monday, July 22, 2013

A Melted Mess

Last week I asked my husband to help me out with the laundry a little (which he very willingly did!) and put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer.  I forgot to warn him that my bath scrubbie was in that load and needed to be set aside instead of going into the dryer.  And he didn't notice it as he loaded the dryer, turned it on it's highest setting and started it.

Knowing what happens when plastic gets hot, you can imagine what I found the next day when I pulled my scrubbie from the dryer: it was a shriveled, melted mess.  I attempted to use it in my shower... Let's just say I got a great exfoliation treatment for my WHOLE BODY.  Yikes.

And as I scraped that scrubbie across my tender shoulders, I thought about how sometimes I'm a little rough around the edges, too.  Especially when life applies "heat."

Having four kids can often be a pretty intense thing.  I am usually as cool as can be when I'm dealing with just ONE of the kiddos, even if she's having a meltdown.  (Yes, it's usually my daughter...)  But when you add the other three kids and a time crunch, I begin to have a meltdown of my own.

Kind of like my scrubbie.

I get all hard and abrasive.

And my kids feel my harshness scrape across their spirits as I unleash the anger that has built up under the heat.

I don't WANT to be like this.  I'm like Paul when he said in Romans 7, "I do what I don't want to do."  But sometimes I just can't help it!

I can't help it.  I absolutely CAN NOT.

But God can.  Galatians 5:22 says that the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in me will be "love...patience, kindness, gentleness...self control."

Heat is a funny thing.  Given different situations it can produce very different things.  It melts plastic, but it helps plants to grow.  One it destroys, to the other it gives life.  What I've got to decide is whether I'm going to let the "heat" of difficult circumstances melt me, or whether I'm going to allow it to grow the fruit of the Spirit in my life.

But let's be honest...talking about keeping a good attitude and actually doing it are two different things.  If you're like me, you need some good, practical ideas to help you accomplish this.  I'll share a couple of mine, and then I'd love to hear some of yours!

1) When things get really frantic at my house and I feel like I'm on the verge of a meltdown, I usually stop and breathe a quick prayer: "God, help me deal with this without exploding." 

2) I remind myself that my kiddos are PEOPLE...they have good days and bad days, too, and they don't like to be yelled at any more than I do.

3) Sometimes I give EVERYONE a timeout, whether they need it or not...including myself!  Even if it's just ten minutes, it gives everyone a chance to cool off.

4) I apologize when I blow it.  I think it's important for my kids to see that I know I'm not perfect any more than they are, and that I can accept responsibility for my mistakes and my bad attitude.  Usually that changes the entire atmosphere of the exchange, especially between me and my oldest.

So...that's a little of how I deal with the "heat" of raising four kids.  Will you help a girl out and share your tips and secrets?


2 comments:

  1. I don't know if I have any secrets.....I just tell them it would be good if they could go and find something to do, even if that would be t.v. or computer! This is just what I needed to read today!
    Thanks angie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, sometimes the kids just need to be redirected! Thanks for commenting!

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