Friday, December 5, 2008

Easier said than done

It's time to get honest. My heart and flesh are conflicted. Remember how I said the other day, that I figured I'd be in for a few rough days at home? That, in my efforts to honor the Lord, that there'd be "opportunities" for me to practice and such? Yah well. There have been plenty and I have failed quite miserably. While it'd be easy to keep posting and act like I'm dealing with my "season" in a spiritual manner... it'd be nothing but a smoke screen and my conscious can't handle that (Thank You Holy Spirit!).

So, my heart is so passionate about loving Jesus. That passion is literally growing every day! I'm eager to read the Word, I'm eager to be reflective and silent in His presence... I am more and more eager to talk to Him daily. This is exciting for me as for a while I felt like I was in a bit of a desert. It didn't seem like a LOT was soaking in. When it did, it seemed temporary and I felt parched soon after. God is faithful and He never walked away, never stopped loving me, and for whatever reason, His voice is close to my heart again and I am ever so thankful.

BUT, my flesh.... oh, my sinful flesh...

I struggle with anger. There I said it.

Lots of you who know me "in real life" MIGHT be surprised by that. When you see me I'm happy, funny, telling stories on my kids, laughing at life... But behind the closed doors of my house (or my CAR! why DO they act like maniacs in the car?!), I admit that a different woman sometimes comes out. It's nothing I am proud of. This morning, in tears I apologized to my oldest son. It seems that he and I are a lot alike in temperment. He's emotional, dramatic, quick to frustration, sensitive, and easily hurt.

His heart is huge (he gets that from me too!!!) and he loves people, he's creative and energetic (that MUST be from his daddy!), and SOOOO smart! I am proud of him, SO proud of him..... and yet.... the two of us can butt heads on a bad day that make me fear for the days he's a teenager!

As he and I were engaged in a battle of words today, inwardly I was telling myself to just STOP talking! The ridiculousness of the conversation was comedic and sad at the same time. Here I was engaged in a conversation with my 6 (almost 7) year old son that was going no where. It was one of the talks that no matter what I said, he'd find a way to dramatize it; which would further irritate me, I'd scold him for over reacting or making assumptions that were NOT even brought up; which would then send him into tears and he'd start spouting off how naughty he was, and how stupid he was and how he'll never get to do anything fun anymore, and he'll never play the Wii again, and mommy doesn't love him......... blah blah blah... it could go on for minutes if i let it. At this point, I should walk away... well, actually, i SHOULD have walked away LONG before this! By now, i'm furious. I'm demanding he LOOK at me, telling him to "knock it off", speaking to him in tones that I'd never speak to a friend in.

And then this comes out of my mouth, "Would you talk to your teacher this way? Would you talk to your friends at school this way!? Do you ever show them this amount of anger or disrespect?"

"No," he says.

I reply to him, "Then you do NOT act that way at home. You will not speak to me or your dad or your brothers and sister that way! You will treat us with the same respect and love you treat other adults at school and your friends there. Your friends will come and go but your family is FOREVER! Do you hear me?!"

"Hhmmm... do YOU hear me, child?" whispers the Spirit. "DO you talk to your friends like you speak to your family? Do you raise your voice, use sarcasm, or get angry over little things? Do you show your true colors infront of strangers? Do you openly show disapproval and frustration or regret? Can you hear what you're saying? Have you modeled the behavior you are so desiring in him? Think about it.... get back to me on it...."

Tears immediately welled up in my eyes. I looked into his angry eyes this morning and a wave of such emotion flooded my heart. My poor baby... he carries so much around - and he shouldn't need to. He reacts according to me. He follows MY lead. And I let him down... over and over and over. I'm short tempered... easily frustrated and i am WRONG, dead WRONG to let my emotions control me.

I told him that we needed to pray. He was slightly resistant but he curled up in my lap. I asked forgiveness of the Lord and I prayed for my son and I. I prayed that God would make me a better mom, that He would help me with my anger and my reactions.... I asked that He would help him have a good day at school, and that his words and actions would be pleasing to Jesus' heart.

The rest of the morning went better. He hugged and kissed me when I dropped him off at school today - even OUTSIDE the car, where people can see!! :) HEE HEE!!!

Later in the day, I was doing some Christmas shopping and I had the radio on. The lead singer from the band Building 429 came on. His opening line was, "I used to have a problem with anger." Yes, I laughed outloud!

He went on to read Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare." Thank you Jesus... such confirmation of what you're doing in my heart...such constant reminders and words to encourage me...

Thank You Jesus, for this season you have me in. This season, where I am more and more aware of how I am allowing my emotions to control my behavior. It's ugly. Thank you for opening my eyes and convicting my spirit. It's hard to admit. I don't want others to think less of me... but even more Jesus, I hate to imagine your face as you watch me treat your children w/o respect, w/o unconditional love, and in a manner than does nothing but teach them how NOT to love others. Set angels at the doorway of my mouth if you have to; send extra measures of patience and grace that i might extend it to my kids. Create in me a new set of eyes, that allow me to see situations as teachable moments, and not as a chance to "set them straight". Thank you for your word that continually reminds me of your faithfulness and love.

Create in me a clean heart, O God
and renew a right spirit withing me
Create in me a clean heart, O God
and renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from thy presence Oh Lord
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me, the joy of thy salvation
and renew a right spirit within me.



Terra said...

You are speaking words that most of us wish we had the guts to say. I struggle with the same things. Just know that through praying with him has shown more then anything to him about being Christlike. We are imperfect and for us to admit that to our kids makes them grow into better human beings. They won't be afraid to ask for forgiveness when they mess up. Good Job!

stacy pietsch said...

such courage to write about what happens behind your closed doors, charity and they are so close to what happens behind mine! :)

just want to throw this thought out: what do you think our anger is telling us? i have been addressing this question in my own life for the last few years and it has done WONDERS in easing my anger. i have found that my anger communicates that there have been many disappointments and losses in my life. i dont like feeling "weak" and i dont like grieving--both make me feel powerless--and so i resort to anger which makes me feel powerful. i have so far to go on this journey but i have found that instead of asking Jesus to take it away, I have been asking him for the strength to face what it represents. praying that God will be near me as i grieve disappointments that happened in the past and those that are still present today. for me, the task is no longer about how to resist my anger but rather how to embrace grief. i just keep hoping and trusting that he really is near the brokenhearted.

thanks so much for sharing, charity...send my love to eric.

just me said...

OH man, stacy... that's powerful stuff you're challenging me with. i love it and hate it all at the same time!! what IS behind my anger!? i'll need to do some thinking on that, but i'd have to readily agree with you and your thoughts.. disappointment, unmet expectations... and fear...

today i was folding the overflowing basket of socks at the kitchen table... i started talking to God ... whispering to Him, my feelings and emotions... i had on some music that was encouraging me... my immediate thoughts were sadness... but then i was thinking about the words to the songs and wouldn't you know - it was a song called The desert song! IT speaks of being in the desert and in the midst of the battle.. and that i can still BRING HIM praise. i've been told the difference b/w happiness and joy.... but it was actually a moment when i said to myself, "SO this is what that is". Deep down, i'm joyful and grateful and confident of the work God's doing in my heart/life. At the immediate surface, i have feelings of pain... and i think that's ok.

stacy pietsch said...

charity, i love you.

i think those feelings of pain are more than okay--they're biblical! i remember so often the verses that talk about contentment, joy, patience, etc...but I forget that there are PLENTY of verses (and story upon story) that talk about people being brokenhearted, suffering, being fearful and God being NEAR them! what if in reality my pain is what is deep down in my heart and my joy, confidence, and thankfulness toward God is only at the surface...what would be so terrible about that?

but it is lonely and frightening to admit this and to sit in those dark places of pain. which is why your blog, charity, has so much potential to rally the troops together (and it looks like it already has!). plenty of us are angry, frightened, hopeful, bitter, and desperate toward God but we have so few people around letting God be God. i dont think he panics as much as we do about becoming apostate--or losing our faith in Him! :) i think he is looking for more people who are courageous enough to admit that this world does NOT make sense and sometimes, even when i make the "right" choices, i still dont get what i thought was coming to me...AND...i'm kinda mad about that. :):)

peace to you, my dear friend.

just me said...

I am so excited you're here, stacy pietsch.... big fuzzy hugs to you, girlfriend! i love your insight and perspective... tis good for my heart. since our face to face talks are so rare these days, this is good food for my soul!!! :)

God does handle our "not handling" it, better than we can imagine, i'm sure. he's probably up there having quite a chuckle at my franticness to just relax and go with it and not try to "force" life or FORCE our relationship.

and oh how true, how even when try to have the purest of intentions, we are so often looking for the "kickback" for our good behavior!! ack!

thanks for makin' me think today!!
love you.