Journal entry from 2005

Oh, Lord, I am so full of sin and I’m so tired of it. I’ve lost my temper with all three kids already this morning, and It’s only 8:10 a.m.

Cade pulled his diaper apart and wanted me to change him and he kept whining over and over and over until I blew up at him because I needed to get Lindsay’s cereal first.

Then Lindsay pulled her pony tail holders half way out (she wanted them “low”) as I was scurrying around trying to get her out the door (the carpool was in the driveway waiting for her).
I blew up and said she was getting on my nerves and she better not pull them down again. I felt horrible sending her out the door with tears and no resolution. 

Then, as I was lamenting over all of that, Cole dropped the paper cups in the toilet twice in a row and I yelled at him, too. 

Oh, Lord… I am so horribly selfish and controlling. Anger is my way of claiming my rights. In my sin, I’m convinced I have a right to peace and quiet, a right to my daughter’s hair being cute, and a right to my son not making mistakes. But your way is for me to surrender…

I read this journal entry today and was so convicted. Not because of my sin from a morning eight years ago; but from my sin just this morning–when I, once again, lost my temper with all three kids by 8:00 a.m. This time, it wasn’t over diapers and ponytails; instead it was over homework and missing the bus and complaining about the only clean shirt left in the closet.

It would be easy for me to become defeated and depressed, because in the past eight years of parenting, I haven’t eradicated this problem; I’m still struggling with the same sin! But then, I realized that I will always struggle in this way. I’ll never be able to control everything happening around me. I’m always going to be tempted to give into anger when I begin losing my grip on control. This is not a struggle that’s going to go away with time.

I can get better at planning ahead, but I cannot keep my kids from complaining or making bad choices on homework or being untimely. I can try to create a peaceful morning, but ultimately I am not in control the people or circumstances around me.

But your way is for me to surrender…” It’s just as true today as it was when I wrote it in ’05. God wants me to surrender! Surrender means yielding my heart to God–whether he’s choosing to work through ponytail issues or missing the bus.

Any hope for change is in God, not me. His work is to make me more like Jesus. My part is to cooperate and yield. In this, there is much hope.

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