Tears on the Kitchen Floor

Janelle

Well, our summer sure started with a bang! 💥We had to work through some tough stuff today. And it seems like we always end up on the kitchen floor when we need to talk things through.

Anna
Anna

Uh oh. On the floor? What happened?

Anna
Janelle

Yeah. My 10-year-old was upset with his little sisters for not cooperating. He was trying to direct their play and it wasn’t going well. His 8-year-old sister wasn’t listening to his directions and he was trying to “help his 2-year-old baby sister not be like her.” The older two were tossing words at each other like darts, and things quickly got out of control.

Anna
Anna

Oh…I know how that goes. 😓

Anna
Janelle

Right?! Sometimes it comes out of nowhere. I called them all into the kitchen and sat them down on the floor where I could look into their eyes. Then we talked.

Anna
Anna

I get it now. Great idea to sit on the floor with them. What did you say?

Anna
Janelle

At first, I didn’t know exactly what to say. What I wanted was for them to get along, think of others, and not control each other. Then it dawned on me. Why not share what God has been teaching me lately?

Anna
Anna

So smart. Just share what you know. I know that would get my kids’ attention more than a lecture (which I tend to do…).

Anna
Janelle

Lectures come naturally for us moms, don’t they?! 😁 That’s usually what I do too! But this time, tears unexpectedly spilled down my cheeks as I told them how I am learning that I can’t control anyone but myself. I reminded them that each of us has plenty to worry about when it comes to controlling ourselves. No one can force anyone to do anything! It’s best to ask politely, then patiently wait for a response. And then be ok with that response, even if it’s not what you want.

Anna
Anna

Whoa. That’s powerful stuff (and a good reminder even for adults too). How did they respond?

Anna
Janelle

My son listened intently, concerned about my tears, and softly rubbed my shoulder as I shared my heart. He was no longer angry. I told the kids that the only way you can even hope to influence someone else is by setting a good example and praying for them, but ultimately, other’s choices are up to them.

Anna
Anna

That’s so true. (And so sweet of your son.) 💙

Anna
Janelle

The truth is, I’m being reminded of this again in my life in a very real way. I can only control my responses, reactions, words and actions and no one else’s. It is very frustrating in some ways, but extremely freeing in others! Only being responsible for me takes a huge burden off my shoulders that I am not meant to carry. 💪

Anna
Anna

Definitely. When I give back to God (or other people) the things that I am not really responsible for, it is like I can breathe again!

Anna
Janelle

You are so right! It also forces me to run to the Lord, since He is the only one who is big enough and strong enough to carry my burdens anyway. And I don’t have to worry about controlling anyone but me! 🙌Do you know what I mean?

Anna
Anna

Yes – phew! 😅 That is a reminder I need every day, especially when it comes to my kids. I mean, how do we parent them and shape them without worrying about controlling them? It’s hard.

Anna
Janelle

Well, maybe there isn’t an easy answer for that one! My children sometimes push me to my limits, my husband can try my patience, and the things that I want to happen right now often aren’t priorities for others. But God promises to take my burdens because He cares so much!

Anna
Anna

Yes, it takes a lot of trust that God is working things for our good. Even when that includes tears on the kitchen floor. I mean, look at the lesson your kids got, and how they saw your heart.

Anna
Janelle

Maybe that’s the answer! We mother without controlling our kids with everyone home this summer by opening our hearts and sharing what we are learning each day. Just carving out a minute to sit on the kitchen floor and look into each other’s eyes and talk. 👀 And maybe, just maybe, the truth that God is much better at being in control than we are will stick in our kids’ hearts too!

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
  • “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
  • “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
  • “My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.” Proverbs 23:15
  • “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28

Music to inspire you:

  • “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz – “Just breathe the Peace of God that overcomes. Just breathe, Let your weary spirit rest. Lay down what’s good and find what’s best. Just breathe, Just breathe, just breathe. Come and rest at My feet. And be, just be. Chaos calls but all you really need is to just breathe.”
  • “Cast My Cares” by Finding Favour – “I will cast my cares on You. You’re the anchor of my hope, The only One who’s in control. I will cast my cares on You, I’ll trade the troubles of this world for Your peace inside my soul.”
  • “His Strength is Perfect” by Steven Curtis Chapman – “We can only know the power that He holds when we truly see how deep our weakness goes. His strength in us begins where ours comes to an end. He hears our humble cry and proves again.”

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

 
Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • One saying that I have to remind myself of often is: “The only person I can control is myself.” You aren’t responsible for controlling others, nor can you. They have to make their own decisions. Leading by example is a powerful tool.
  • Remember that you don’t have to have all the answers, all the time. Share with your kids what you know, and what you are learning.
  • Sometimes when I realize I’m trying to control a situation (or I wish I could control one of my kids’ or husbands’ heart — whether it’s to be more kind, to be sorry, to be more grateful, etc.), I get alone and pray with my hands out (like I’m releasing it from my grip). I give the control back to God and ask Him in his infinite wisdom to do whatever He sees best to change their heart.

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more.

In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

 

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