I am planning to write a series of posts on cultivating the Habit of Calm in ourselves as Moms. Many moms who read this blog are homeschooling moms of several children and find it a challenge, as I do, to be calm in the everyday situations that come up in our homes. Things like sibling bickering, teenage attitudes, disobedience and a host of other things can easily trigger a default to yelling and generally losing our cool. This lends itself to losing the respect and co-operation of our children which then sends the whole situation around the circle again.
There have been times in my life when I have been well-trained in the habit of calm. My default setting has no longer been to yell or lose my cool. Recently, though, I find that I am struggling against myself a lot and I believe it is because I have allowed myself to get out of the habit of being calm. Time for some retraining.
I would like this to be a time where none of us are feeling guilty. If you are joining me on this journey, would you please commit yourself to banishing guilt? If, when you are reading my posts or when you are in the trenches at home with your children, you come face-to-face with a shortcoming of yours, I urge you to take note of it, write it down if you want (in a matter of fact way to be worked on later) and remind yourself that this is an opportunity for growth, not something to lament and to feel discouraged about. The reason I ask you to do this is because other than the rare situation, we are not motivated to make changes when we feel guilty. Normally, guilt will just serve to be discouraging, reminding us of our imperfections and fooling us into thinking our situation is hopeless. I believe that the real motivation comes from godly vision and the positive thinking/talking that goes along with that.
Positive thinking/talking is not the worldly idea of repeating a self-focussed mantra over and over. It is about knowing, accepting and speaking the truth (to ourselves and out loud) of what God believes about us and our situation. For example, when children are bickering, saying to yourself, “Ahhhhhhh!! These kids are such brats! They deserve each other!” might make you feel temporarily better but it is neither truthful or helpful. The truth, in this situation is that these children are God’s beloved little ones, created to love Him and each other. However, they are highly immature (like an unripe fruit) and need help in learning how to get along with each other. This is an opportunity for learning. Do you remember in the Bible when Esther is agonizing over taking the brave steps necessary to save her people from genocide, her cousin Mordecai says to her,
“For if you remain silent at this time , relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (italics mine)
Mothers, this is what we are here for! We have come to this royal position (as daughters of the King) for such a time as this. Our children are at risk. This is very serious. They are at risk of not learning to love our Lord and each other and of eternally perishing. What an opportunity we have to stand in the gap and work our tails off to teach them, through the love of God, to love the people in our world beginning with each other.
Can I encourage you to begin today to memorize Esther 4:14? I will do it along with you, for our first step in training ourselves in the habit of calm is to know and believe the truth and vision of our Lord. So, grab yourself an index card or a small piece of paper and write out this verse. I am going to write it out two times to place on my fridge and on my upstairs bathroom mirror (where I brush my teeth). Do whatever works for you.
Tomorrow’s post will finally be the comments from our last Parent’s Review Article, Othello and Goose. If you would like to join me in sharing your comments, please print it off and give it a read. 🙂