Which closet are your GIFTS hiding in?
Stiff as a board…lobster red skin…an open mouth with angry screams issuing from it. No, this is s not a horror movie I was watching…except my own personal horror show. Rather, this is the response that I have been getting for saying “no”. Have you seen these signs in your children? Yikes, it’s kind of scary. And there has been a sense of dread that this could happen out in “gasp” public.
I know this happens to other parents, but sometimes I feel like I am the only one having these moments. Some days I get really down and let it get to me. I allow that instance to control my entire day. Some days I work past it and we move on, but it’s a lot of work.
Today I was reading 2 Timothy 1:7. I have known this verse by heart from the King James version for as long as I could remember. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. This has been so ingrained in me. Yummy and I say it all the time together as he is getting into that “I’m scared” phase (which personally I believe not to be a fear thing, but an attention game). We even shout at the end…that means NO FEAR (well, Yummy says No Sear, but he is working on his f’s).
By now you are thinking…what does a kid throwing a fit and no fear have to do with each other? Well, today when I was reading that verse I read it i a different version than I ever have before and instead of a sound mind, it says self-discipline. Usually when Yummy starts to get angry and throws one of “those” kind of fits we tell him to calm down that he needs to control himself and when I read self-discipline I realized that is one of the ways he has to deal with his anger. So, of course I had to go read it in the Amplified which is my favorite research version. This is how it reads, For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. And the Message reads God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
Wow…all those words hit me. CALM – WELL-BALANCED MIND – SELF-CONTROL and the way the Message refers to these things as GIFTS. How many times have I forgotten to use these GIFTS as a parent? Am I training my children to recognize what God has given them and use it or am I training them to leave their GIFTS wrapped up sitting in a closet? Let’s be realistic…everybody likes GIFTS. Most of the time we all want to use what we’ve been given. I really believe that if I continue to instill in him that God has given him so many GIFTS and TOOLS to use that he will. He can be calm instead of over-reacting in anger. He can think clearly and be balanced in how he responds to not getting his way. He is able to discipline his body to stay at peace or as we say in this house…grow his peace muscles.
And I can too. I can grow my peace muscles by using the GIFTS that God has given me. I do not need to fear angry outbursts, but rather rejoice that God is doing a good work in my children and when flesh tries to take control they are learning that they don’t have to let it. I am learning that I can be a parent of calm and orderliness. I can speak peace and see it change what used to be my moments of misery into my moments of celebration.
May you find today that the GIFTS you have been given are greater than what you thought they were. May you remember to open the closet and take them out and unwrap them. May today finding you doing something differently than you did yesterday.