She was in a mood from the moment of waking.
One that demands full attention. There is no option for ignoring her explosive screaming, her defiant attitude. I instruct, discipline, discuss, and remain consistent but can not derail this runaway train barreling through every barrier, smashing resilience and home school schedule and peace to bits.
Tantrums and testing and long times of wailing can wear the nerves raw and I am angry.
I'm angry that a two foot tornado with a scowl and a wispy blonde mullet is hijacking my schedule.
I'm angry that I have to continue to discipline her for the umpteenth time when I'd rather be learning, teaching, playing with her.
I'm angry that shrieking, dramatic, emotional manipulation has been the sound track of the morning.
I'm angry that I can't give more than busy work to the seven year old because these offenses can not be ignored.
I'm angry that I can't hold the crying baby while I have to keep physically stopping, disciplining, and re-directing the destructive force that is my second born blessing this morning.
I'm angry that I can't process my own emotions and thoughts that are slamming against my insides as relentless tidal waves that tempt a surge down my own sinful flesh-fingertips to shake this little person who rattles me to the core.
How can a hysterical parent teach a child to not throw fits?
I can think of a few things I'd like to scream. Throw. Slam.
I walk away for a few minutes. For space. For desperate prayer.
I hear a familiar crashing against the wall upstairs followed by the seven year old wailing.
I take the stairs two at a time and I hear it, like times before, Selah begging "Alexaaaaa! PLEASE. Stooooooooooop!"
Another crash. Two. More crying.
I'm at the door.
And I find her just as I knew I would, hand cocked and loaded with her next block-missile aimed at her cowering sister in the far corner.
When a beloved child intentionally hurts another beloved child there is such a collision of intense emotion and only the Father can fully understand, can correctly respond.
It is to Him I spirit-cry out indecipherable pleas in decibels that I am sure reach His throne room.
It is later, during nap time and quiet when the events of the crashing morning replay and pound hard that a simple thought keeps resurfacing clear and poignant.
She is angry because she is not in control, and is not getting what she wants.
And the answer to the prayer I've prayed for weeks about my intense anger that grips my throat and drains my energetic drive, my joy... it comes softly, a piercing that is the beginning of the healing.
You are angry for the same reasons, too.
How can I turn from the voice of Truth? He sees me. I am known.
And there is no condemnation but rather I am flooded with relief to finally, clearly, know the source of the destructive anger that has been suffocating so many moments of praise, of opportunity, of availability.
I am not in control.
I am not getting what I want.
I can respond and discipline and teach and train but I cannot control.
He continues to teach me through her, me this child trying to learn to not throw fits.
What is needed for her to have a HEART response, a real change of attitude, of perspective... to not be internally still throwing a fit?
I can see her face set as cold and hard as stone, and I know the eventual process and WHY of her softening, and I have my answer.
I have to really give up my illusion of control.
I have to conform my wants to His will, His desires, what He says is best.
To stop screaming, and fighting, and internal sulking I have to recognize His desires and plans as better than mine. I have to really believe His thoughts and ways are higher.
What does He desire for me, then? What is this good thing that trumps a day of productive homeschooling and house work and play time?
To have a heart like His. To be full of love that is willing to suffer long and still be kind. To be humble, slow to speak, slow to become angry, and quick to listen.
It is when I acknowledge that I really do want those things too, that I stop fighting the process, and instead allow myself to be trained, conformed, transformed in the process.
That means if He decides my day is best spent learning through a tantrum-bent toddler to lean not on my own understanding, but to acknowledge Him in every moment of my parenting, trusting Him with all my heart and desires and schedule... that I must remember He lovingly directs my paths.
In this fear-of-the-Lord trust I begin to find Wisdom.
Whose paths are all peace.
But... It is extremely difficult.
It gives me more sympathy for the raging, dramatic wreck of a toddler.
But what I deeply desire for my child, He desires for his. We really want the same thing. And that is a relief.
Though she may continue to struggle against me, I will choose to cooperate with Him.
I am not my own.
I will heed the Holy Spirit, my Loving God, my patient Father, and by His power, persistence and grace I will learn to not throw fits. He promises me as I return to Him that He will cure me from backsliding.
What a gracious, beautiful, loving way He is teaching me about surrendering my time and this illusion of control.
Have you struggled with anger? What do you think the source of your anger was/is, and how did you/do you deal with it?