This is not an easy thing to admit and I don't say it flippantly: I am often tempted to lash out physically when I get angry. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I find it natural to express myself with my hands and through touch. Yes, my name is Abby and I'm a toucher! I hug on impulse!
I knew that this short fuse when it comes to anger and frustration would be challenged when I had children. I remember sitting in my friend's kitchen, about 5 months pregnant and crying, saying, "I swatted at the cat out of anger the other day. What if I'm tempted to hit my child?!" She laughed at me and my irrationality, but I was seriously concerned. What if I got so angry that I couldn't control myself? This has been tested over and over again on the changing table. How many times could I flip him back over when he squirms and wiggles and tries to crawl away? One time I lost it. I grabbed his arms so tight, smacked him on the leg, screaming in his tiny face, "LAY! STILL! NOW!" I immediately felt bad and looked at his arms to see if there were hand prints. From that day on I prayed that God would help me with my patience. "Lord, please! I don't want to be this kind of parent. Give me the grace to be patient!"
Mark 11: 24 says, Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. The light bulb finally went off in my head a few years ago that God will quickly answer our prayers when they are aligned with His will. The ones that aren't He WILL answer, but those answers might not come in the way we expect them or in the time that we wish. Often He wants to take some time to work on our desires and our relationship with Him.
I say all that because since I started praying for the grace to be more patient with Liam, I have felt it! I haven't had that teeth-clenched rage build up inside of me and when I have had real moments of anger, I've had the piece of mind to know that I am on the verge of losing it and I need to take a deep breath.
Tomorrow morning we're going to discuss this article from Susan Merrill of iMOM. She, too struggles with patience. Do you? Honestly, I can't imagine any mom who doesn't! Our children test us, push us, aggravate us... they NEED us. That need is just communicated in ways other than "Mom I need you." Whether it is patience or another fruit of the spirit (self-control, peace, kindness, joy...) that you are in need of, ask God to provide it and He will! Listen tomorrow at 7 for a chat about this!