It only takes a moment to change a lifetime. It almost sounds like an overly dramatic cliche, but I am trying to grasp the impact of the statement. It's in the small moments that I have found myself losing my temper lately. My three-year-old girl will be four in February and my one-year-old son will be two next month. They are both approaching a transition and I am lagging behind in my parenting methods. This creates frustration for all. Suddenly my daughter is desperate for one-on-one attention of any kind and my son is gaining more power over his environment every day. I have a preschooler ruling my moods and a toddler ruling my home! How did this happen?!
It's not important how this happened. What am I going to do about it now? I have found myself stealing moments away from God. They are the seconds before I lose my cool and burst forth in anger at one or both of my kids. Sometimes even fractions of a second when I ignite a fire within my chest with certain selfish thoughts. Phrases like, "How much of this screaming can I take?" or "I just can't handle this anymore!" or "STOP!" come rushing at me with the force of a freight train and I am powerless beneath them. All because I am looking to my own strength to overcome them.
I've started planning what I can do to prevent outbursts of anger. I injured my lower back a month ago and any form of living room workouts just aggravate it. The only prescribed exercise for lower back pain is walking, bicycling, elliptical, or water aerobics. Winter is happening this week and should last for the next several months. I don't own any of those machines or a pool. The only thing I've even considered is the gym. But I digress.
I believe the LORD wants me to be dependent on Him, not some exercise plan. Yes, exercise is a necessity for stress relief and I plan to look for His hand helping me do it. But I shouldn't look to any thing as a means of peace during moments of freight train anxiety. Truth be told, when I exercised regularly I was known to lose my cool then too, albeit less often. This back pain has been a blessing in disguise to show me where my dependence should lie.
So the next time my little girl stands one foot away from me whining, "I want my mommeeee!" over and over and my son find another book to shred, I can reach out to God's open hand and walk into His peace and wisdom. The train may come but I am not going to lay myself on the tracks and give up. I will walk toward the light and sense that terrible force of anger rumble on behind me and off into the distance. Soon I know that my bursts of anger will be like a distant train whistle and a memory of where I was without God's peace. He will soon redeem those moments and restore my children's confidence in their Mama.