It only happens once a year. Our extended family on my mom’s side gathers in a cabin – all 20 of us – and we have Christmas, in January!!
We eat too much food, play games, catch up on what’s going on in each others lives and wear pajamas for days. We only get pretty, or purdy as they’d say in Tennessee, once – and that’s for the annual family photo above, ha!!
This year, we had the Bellomy Family Olympics (my grandparent’s name that we all come from). Imagine this – each person brings their own minute to win it style Olympic game, complete with a homemade medal. It was fantastically and hysterically crazy and sooo sooo much fun, y’all!
These are blurry images because they’re captured from videos, but you get the point.
There were so many more games that I didn’t capture. But, really – you should do this with your family. And there were pies in the face involved. It was Casey’s idea to get his own mother.
Confession: I get super competitive when it comes to winning. I mean, I did win 2 medals.
During one of the games my oldest daughter decided to make some smart comment towards me while I was giving it my all in competition.
Without thinking, I said jokingly, “Oh shut-up, Kayla!”
To which she replied OUT LOUD for everyone in my family to hear, “Oh, my mom tells me to shut-up allll the time!”
I’m pretty sure I couldn’t concentrate on a single thing after hearing those words come out of her mouth – a dagger to my mama heart.
Yes, that sweet mini-me said that!!
Second confession: my oldest daughter and her smart mouth cause my temper to flare in ways I never thought it would and yes, I have told her a handful of times when I couldn’t take it ANYMORE to kindly just, “shut up.”
Dad – no comments here on this being payback. I know. And yes, I remember that my smart mouth and eye rolls were the death of me and you during my teenage years.
I think what hit me more than anything is the fact that my daughter perceived my not so good choice of words to be “all the time.”
I know that isn’t true. But, I can’t ignore the fact that she probably feels it’s more than just a few instances.
Her innocent comeback has been a wake up call for me as a mom. I have to get a better grip on controlling my reactions.
The minute those words of frustration and anger leave my lips I regret ever saying anything like that to my child. I realize that in losing my cool I’m providing exactly the kind of example I don’t want her to be.
Yesterday’s Proverb of the day spoke to me on this topic – chapter 25, verse 28.
Could you imagine for a moment what your house would be like with the windows and doors all knocked out?
There would be no protection at all – from the elements, from intruders, from anything.
It would be so easy to come in and destroy everything you’ve built and worked for, instantly. The windows and doors are there for our protection, for access and for letting the light shine in the darkness.
The same goes for self-control.
God gives us self control to protect us from the enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. Without it – all that is available to us in life is at risk.
We have access to this fruit of the Spirit and it can be used as a light to shine in the darkness. In fact, self control is just one of many tools we have available through the Holy Spirit living inside us:
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
So, what do we do when we struggle in one of these areas?
#1 – be honest with our faults
Tonight, I’m planning to sit down with my children and have this conversation. I’m going to explain how it’s been wrong for me to lose my temper and use unkind words. No matter how frustrated I get, this behavior is not acceptable in our family.
#2 – ask for help
After sharing with my family about this struggle, I’m going to ask for their help in doing better. In moments where I’m about to lose my temper, I want them to remind me of this conversation. I want them to call me out. In those instances, it would be better for me to walk away from the situation and cool down before going any further. Setting that expectation with them now will be helpful for when those times come. And they will surely come.
#3 – seek God daily to check my spirit and show me where I have room to grow
We’ll never be perfect in this lifetime. Once we conquer one area or topic in life, there will surely come another season of testing and purifying – until the Kingdom of Heaven. I’m thankful that God chooses to correct me me and show me where I have room to improve. The only way I’ll continually have that stirring in my soul is to be close to Him daily. When I listen and pay attention to the tug of His calling, that’s when He can use me despite my faults and failures.
No need to remind me that I’m a wonderful mom and I’m being too hard on myself. I’m not. I’m simply sharing a struggle and something I feel God convicting my heart on to improve.
How about you? Do you or someone you know struggle with controlling your reactions and words? I’d love to hear how you continually work to improve.
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