Yesterday, for our group’s MOPS devotions, my middle daughter, Laryssa and I did a devotion on The Angry Mother and what it is like to be the child of an angry mother. This is the 4th time we have done this talk together and each time I am amazed at the intense spiritual battle I go through beforehand.
There is no doubt that I was angry when my daughters were younger. I felt that I had a lot to be angry about; my juvenile diabetes diagnosed only a week after we were married, my allergy to insulin, our financial situation, our church situation (trying to fit into a church where I didn’t belong), and all of my “unmet expectations”. Most of all, I was angry at God for not rewarding my “goodness” by making my life all that I expected it to be.
My anger looked like outburst of rage and trying to control what I could control. I took most of it out on my middle daughter because she is so much like me. What I picked on her the most was for her messy room. I would find myself yelling at her for what was really childish behavior – not keeping her clothes in the manner that I thought they should be. When I reacted in anger, I hated the way I was acting – but it seemed as if I could not control it. I was also angry at my husband and often took my rage out on him by withdrawing as well as picking fights.
Finally, God revealed to me that my anger needed to be dealt with and through His grace – He helped me discover and deal with what I was really anger at. In all honesty, I was not angry at my daughter’s messy room, I was angry that my life was not as I wanted it to be.
My daughter shared how inaqueate she felt when I was angry and how that made her work harder to try to please me. She shared with the mom’s how their children need to hear how much they are loved no matter what they do. Most of all, she demonstrated God’s grace as she stood and told the MOPS Moms that I was now her best friend and how she always knew that I loved her even when I was angry.
As I told the Moms, this is always a hard devotional topic for me to do. I rejoice in the work that the Lord has done in my life and there is healing in sharing it. I don’t need to make myself look good or to make God look good – I only need to share God’s faithfulness in my life. That is what God redeems for all of us – He takes our failures and weaknesses and turns them into His story of Grace.
I am so glad that anger does not control my life any more and I am so glad that I no longer have to put on the facade of trying to hold it all together. I am a broken woman who knows the grace of our Lord – He has healed me and our family. I can’t remember the last time I fought with my daughters or husband because of my anger. My recent memories are of lots of laughter, fun and inimate talks.
Not long ago, my middle daughter invited one of her college friend to our home and she said, “I don’t know what is happening at our home this weekend, but I know that it will be fun”. Oh, how that made me smile – a fun home filled with grace and love. Only by the Lord’s work could this happen.
Below you will find the resources I put together for our MOPS Moms, as well as outline from my talk.
“All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you along with all wickedness. And be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving one another just as God also forgave you.”. Ephesians 4:33
The Angry Mother Resources
This is a good book ..She’s Gonna Blow by Julie Barnhill…http://www.amazon.com/Shes-Gonna-Blow-Dealing-Anger/dp/0736915524/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318237312&sr=8-1
Defuse: A Mom’s Survival Guide for More Love, Less Angerby Karol Ladd http://www.amazon.com/Defuse-Moms-Survival-Guide-Anger/dp/0849907241/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318237366&sr=1-1
A Woman’s Answer to Anger by Annie Chapman http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Answer-Anger-Getting-Emotions/dp/0736910654/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318237503&sr=1-1
A Tired Angry Mom by Jennifer Dyer on Momlife Today http://www.familylife.com/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=dnJHKLNnFoG&b=3781367&ct=11199901
Changing an Angry Spirit by Ed Chinn on Focus on the Family http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/emotional_health/changing_an_angry_spirit.aspx
How to Deal with Being an Angry Mother:
1. The first step is to recognize your anger and identify it — ask God to reveal to you who and what you are really angry at. It probably is really not your children and their childish acts. It might be..
a) Unmet expectations
b) Stress from physical, financial or emotional situations
d) Spiritual Battles – not understanding why God is not doing what you desire or wanted
f) Dissatisfaction with yourself – low self-esteem
2. Pray for God’s help in dealing with your anger. Cry out to God with your need for Him to come in and help you with your emotions
3. Begin to let go of your expectations of:
b) Your Husband
c) Your Childrend
e) Your House
f) Your Friends
g) Your Extended Family
4. Take time for yourself, especially Mothers of Preschoolers. Go to the store, Barnes & Noble, take a bath, exercise, send the kids out to the playground with someone else.
5. Get Help as you need it from:
a) Others- Mentors, Christian Women, Pastor, Professional Counselors
d) Most of All – God by praying, reading scriptures, listening to praise music, having your Bible open, attending church and surrounding yourself with God.