For the Times When You Feel Like You’ve Really Blown It

lake pic

We were sitting in the car driving back from a lovely summer afternoon at the lake. I gazed out the car window at the rolling hills, lush evergreens, and aqua skies that where sprinkled with fluffy white clouds. My heart pounded and I opened my mouth in a confession, looking out of the corner of my eye at my husband who was driving, “So… I lost it with the kids this morning. Again. And it was all over a lost library book. It’s not how I wanted the morning to go.”

My eyes looked down at my sandy tanned toes as my heart felt like a ton of bricks filled with a bit of shame and a lot of regret. “When am I ever going to get victory in this area? When am I going to stop having outburst of anger at my kids? I just want to be a good mom. I want the anger that rises up when they push every button possible to leave.” Tears spilled out of my eyes as I felt my heart ache with a longing to love right.

No mom plans to yell at her kids. No woman who is great with child and anticipating motherhood imagines the fiery darts that can flash from her own eyes at the one she dreamed of nurturing tenderly. Yet the eyes will flash instead of soften. The loud and hurtful words will spill out of the lips that are meant to kiss away the booboos.  Anger will rise hot in the heart that expanded in love the first time it heard the sweet cries of life.

No mom plans on lashing out in anger.

James, the brother of Jesus, asked if fresh water and salt water could flow from the same spring. Though the anger that rises up feels like a product of the stressful circumstances and pressure that builds, if the water inside was truly fresh, the salt water that stings wouldn’t come rushing out of the mouth.

Oh how I long for truly fresh water inside the deepest depths of my soul to overflow.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me…
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
(Psalm 51:10-12)

So if we don’t ever plan on responding in anger – if blowing it isn’t a part of the life vision of any mom – then what do we do when we DO blow it?

We come back to the cross and ask again for the fresh mercy of God. Why else do you think He said that “His mercies are new every morning?” We need new mercy every single day. We lean into Him because we have no righteousness of our own, and we keep crying out for our hearts to be transformed into the likeness of Him.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
(Psalm 51:17)

When we can truly humble ourselves, even after we have blown it badly, He will never turn us away. Our Lord delights in a broken, humble heart. As we turn to Him in the midst of the guilt of our sin and confess what we did was wrong, we can let go of all shame and receive the buckets of mercy and kindness He longs to lavish upon us. We are once again reminded of the beauty of the sacrifice of Jesus.

I repented to my kids – for even as young as they may be, I need their forgiveness so deeply. I prayed that night for the Lord to transform my heart to be more like His – with the fruit of His Spirit overflowing out as love… joy… peace… patience… gentleness… goodness… kindness… faithfulness… and self control. Boy, do I ever need that self-control some days.

May you have a fresh and new encounter with His mercy today, no matter how you have blown it. He really does accept us as we turn to Him in repentance.

8 Responses to For the Times When You Feel Like You’ve Really Blown It
  1. Deb
    June 23, 2013 | 9:39 am

    Oh Charis, how tenderly you poured out your heart in a way we each can see ourselves through your words. It’s been years since my children were little ones, and I could still remember those moments like they happened yesterday. Thank you for pointing us back to the cross where mercy and grace are found. Praise God for His mercy and for fresh starts. Blessings to you!

    • Charis
      June 23, 2013 | 10:09 am

      thank you deb for your comment! sometimes it is intimidating to put it all out there because it is a part of parenting none of us want to acknowledge, and yet in failing to acknowledge it we all end up isolate and feeling like we are the only one who has these failures. i am so thankful for the cross and for mercy. Jesus is so good to give me a new beginning because i need it so badly. we all do.

  2. Missy
    June 23, 2013 | 10:35 am

    Thank you for reminding us that we all need mercy, and that mercy is always available. Those outbursts are so painful to reflect on. I know for myself, that when I lash out in anger, and feel those salty hot tears come, it almost feels like a double portion of heaping coals on my head. I’m just so thankful that God sees our sin and loves us anyway.

    Beautiful and gentle heartfelt words are such a balm to my soul- as you wrote here, Charis. Thnk you.

    • Charis
      June 23, 2013 | 12:25 pm

      missy, you described it exactly as it feels: “a double portion of heaping coals on my head.” but by the grace of God… His mercy towards us is worth giving thanks for every single day.

      i am glad that these broken words can be an encouragement to you.

  3. Sharon O
    June 23, 2013 | 11:24 pm

    wow… you have five boys? that is a challenge and a gift, and I don’t blame you for losing your cool it is ok sometimes. I still do and I am a grandma of six and age 58. sometimes we just lose it.
    the wonderful thing is we can always go back and explain “I was having a hard day today, or I didn’t feel good and I was wrong or please, forgive me for being harsh with you.” the act of asking is 80% of the issue the other percent is US giving ourselves grace. sometimes there are hard days. God knows that.

    • Charis
      June 24, 2013 | 10:50 am

      thank you sharon. yes, 5 boys! God must have thought a lot more of my patience than i do… though these boys can find where it runs out. 🙂 i agree that just being able to humble ourselves to a child and ask for forgiveness and admit where we fell short is powerful. i know i have always respected those older that me, especially when i was a teenager, who could admit when they blew it. i am hoping that i can model to them that when we do blow it, we are able to clean up our mess with humility.

      6 grand kids at 58 – you are blessed!!

  4. Nellie Pruitt
    June 25, 2013 | 1:38 am

    [1] I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.[2] I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.[3] In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.[4] All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.[5] Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.[6] Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.[7] Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.[8] The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

    • Charis
      June 27, 2013 | 12:24 am

      great passage nellie. thanks for sharing.