I burned the first batch of bacon.
The kids were playing outside after school. While I was trying to have a slightly-tense conversation via text with my husband, watch the bacon on the stove, crack eggs, add spices, and dip the French Toast, all the while washing my hands like a brain surgeon in between touching everything so as not to cross-contaminate – the bacon was burned.
I marched downstairs to call the kids in for dinner, and no one came. As I angrily marched back upstairs, I saw my daughter, and sharply called to her. I went upstairs and waited. No one came. I was reeling.
I opened the door, and right at the bottom of the stairs, my kids are just talking with the neighbor kids. I yelled at my daughter again, and she, baffled at my demeanor, comes in. (Neither of my sons, mind you; just my daughter.) I was steaming!
I proceeded to unleash a boatload of mama drama onto my daughter for not coming when she was called. She said she didn’t know I was calling her. She said she saw me at the bottom on the stairs, but didn’t know why I was there. I was so mad at this point, that I could only speak enough to let some fumbly “should’ves” rain down on her. I’d just HAD it. Nobody does what they’re TOLD!
Somewhere in here, I burned the second batch of bacon.
I told her to go call her brothers, and she did. No one came.
I gave my daughter her French Toast. She thanked me for it, then coughed her way through the bacon smoke to the table. I furiously mumbled that the boys just won’t eat since they don’t want to come when they’re called. Whatever. It didn’t matter to me. I gave my daughter two of the probably-okay pieces of bacon – her “reward” for coming in.
A few minutes later, I marched back downstairs, yelling at my sons to come in for dinner. This time they did, though both of my boys hadn’t the foggiest idea why I was so upset. So, with all the class of my first interrogation, I found that they thought I was just calling to my daughter. (Well, one of them did hear when my daughter called to him, but he thought she was just making it up.) Dissatisfied with my dwindling claim on indignation, I plunked their French Toast down on the table, and put the kibosh on my son’s syrup quest in the kitchen. And he wasn’t getting any of my burned bacon, either!
I knew I was being awful…but so were they! I mean, I DESERVED a freak out moment.
Actually, no, I didn’t. I realize that there are, quite frankly, several problems here – not the least of which was that I was behaving like an immature brat. But above everything else, it was quite clear that God was telling me I was freaking out, and that I needed to stop. I heard Him. I just didn’t obey. And while He waited, He remained in control.
He let me know that He was not happy with me, and that regardless of what my kids did and whatever correction I needed to take, my humble apologies were certainly in order.
The bottom line is, in fact, something my counselor made clear to me a couple weeks ago: I don’t get to freak out. Ever. He was also telling me that this truth covers every other unhealthy outlet.
I don’t get to be anxious, even if I my bread pudding isn’t set yet, my icing is seizing up, it’s 82 degrees in the kitchen, and we should’ve been at the party a half hour ago.
I don’t get to pretend that it doesn’t hurt when a friend doesn’t invite me to a girls’ night at her house.
I don’t get to hold a grudge when a family member says awful and unjust things about me behind my back.
But it’s not RIGHT!
True. It isn’t. This stuff does hurt. But when I’m overwhelmed with any feeling, my only recourse is to do exactly what I was designed to do: go cry to Daddy.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” – Psalm 46:10a
He is the only one that can fix it. All my attempts to do so just end up breaking myself and everyone else. He may not fix my situation the way I want. But He always fixes me when I ask Him to. He plops me on His lap, acknowledges the trauma, and when I trust Him enough to remain still, He gently washes out the dirt. He cradles me in His infinite love and security, and in His time, fixes my broken feelings.