Slow to Listen, Quick to Speak, Quick to Anger,

7:30 a.m. That's late for me. But I didn't move from my bed. I tried to listen for sounds from the boys' room. All I heard was gentle snores from my 12 year old. "May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Please, Lord?"

Last night's mishap flashed into my mind, as well as the look of hurt in my 8 year old's eyes. He said his thumb hurt and I lashed out "Stop making excuses! We had a deal! You played earlier but now it's cleaning time!"
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His response was, "You see? You don't care about me!!" That was all it took to get me on a rant about the MANY times he's disobeyed. The MANY times I've let him slide.  The MANY things I've done for him. You know, the mother rant... but even I can sense the icy edge to my words- like he was a burden.  I don't call my children names like stupid or moron or loser. Thank God that in the midst of my anger I watch that I don't say those words.  BUT my expression, my tone, my face, probably give them the impression that I don't think much of them.

If this was the first time I've let resentful and angry words come out of my mouth before, I would say that he got the better of me. It would probably be easier to forgive myself. BUT it wasn't the first. I've done this many times before not just to him but to his big brother as well. And to my husband, too.

I can tell myself that they push my buttons.  J is my button and boundary pusher. I can tell myself that I have the right to demand respect from my family and their lack of listening skills brings out the monster in me. 

Whatever happened to, "Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful to build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). If I had a nickel for every time I quote that verse to my children... There's something to be said about LIVING out the verses myself instead of just speaking it, though, right?

I am embarrassed to admit that within weeks of participating in Bible Studies that are supposed to help me with my tongue, I go back to my verbal diarrhea problem. (I am very sorry for the visual. I do hope you are not having breakfast now. But that's how I see my angry words- a disgusting, unpleasant mess). But that's the truth. I can throw the white flag and just accept me for being the foul mouthed, angry mama that I am. I can call myself a failure of a mama.

Or I can run to Jesus and admit my weakness. I can run to Jesus every morning and embrace His mercy and grace. I can come to Him with a humble heart and admit that I. NEED. HIS. TRANSFORMING. POWER.  I desire to be a woman who is "Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (James 1:19).  

So, this morning, I woke up and prayed for God to help me watch my tongue and guard my heart again.  And perhaps I'll play this song over and over again:


My friend, Christa Cordova, is hosting #NotFineFriday today.
Check out her website for more #NotFineFriday stories of
pain, struggle, grace and redemption from
everyday people like you and me!