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I have a confession to make.
I often come Unglued. I have raging inner emotions that explode at the worst times. I yell at my toddler. I snap out at my dog. And I stuff things away to later retaliate and throw at my husband.
It’s extremely hard for me to admit this. I have an intense amount of pride in regards to my emotions. I don’t like to admit that I have emotions, good or bad. I don’t like to cry. (I’m an ugly cryer when it happens.) I don’t get overly excited. It’s sometimes joked about with my family that I have no emotions.
Then I got married. EMOTIONS. Then I had a baby. MEGA EMOTIONS. I suppose part of it is that I’ve allowed myself to soften a little when it does come to emotional events. One of the reasons I was sure about my husband being the one for me, was the fact that he made me feel. I actually teared up at our wedding. Partly because he did too.
Five years later our Little Man arrives and I’m just all over the place. Most of it I account to being hormonal. Again, I don’t like to admit to my emotions. But honestly, I should be feeling all the feels when it comes to my baby. (Part of me is turning up my nose at that last sentence.)
Ok. So, it’s out now. I have emotions. Most of those emotions are positive. I am SO in love with my husband (yes, he drives me crazy, but it wouldn’t be as interesting if he didn’t). And I am head over heels with my little boy. I try not to spoil him but it’s hard to resist because he is SO cute and SO sweet. Most of the time.
That’s where I have problems. On those occasions when sweet-little-toddler isn’t being so sweet, my raw emotions will appear. And not the good ones. I alluded to my struggles and what I was overcoming after the first year of motherhood. But I have continued to struggle frequently with my buttons being pushed, an explosion, guilt, regret, and tears. And sometimes a complete breakdown with a phone call to my husband telling him I. Just. Can’t. Anymore.
Then I found Unglued. It’s a popular Christian Living book by Lysa TerKeurst. One that I would not have picked up (because of my pride), if it were not for my small Bible Study with a couple of good friends. We went through this book together and learned a lot about dealing with raw emotions and how to make wise decisions in the midst of them.
Lysa describes in this book the process of imperfect progress. I can try as much as I can to not explode when crisis hits, but I truly need God’s help to be in control of how I react. I must be regularly filled with his Spirit and keep his Word in my mind. I won’t always react with grace and gentleness at first, but a step forward and a half step back is still progress.
She helped me discover that God created our emotions as indicators, not dictators. When negative emotions come boiling up I don’t have to let them control who I am. I can use them to identify an insecurity, weakness, or area of pain in my life. Realizing why I’m having raw emotions in a situation gives me the ability to grow and progress toward a more Christ-like attitude.
The one thing that stood out the most through reading Unglued, is the importance of taking a Sabbath. God knew we needed time off from the cares of our daily life. Time to clear our minds and put specific focus on Him.
Taking time to set aside the to-do list, forget about the laundry, and solely allow yourself time to focus on God, is life changing. We need to be filled with his Spirit and we need to allow God’s strength to revive our souls. Letting go of the demands of our busy lives for a day, an afternoon, or an extended quiet time is so important.
I’m not talking about just a daily moment with God in prayer or reading the Bible. That is important and sometimes difficult for a mom with young children. But a set aside time during the week or weekend to really rest in God’s comfort. This may mean escaping the house for an hour while your spouse takes care of the children. And not to shop or run errands, but to just sit in God’s presence.
Or maybe you have the ability to spend an entire afternoon or day with God. It will look different for everyone depending on your season of life. The thing to remember is to take a Sabbath. Allow yourself the time and freedom to just rest.
Currently for me, I can take a Sabbath on the weekend during my little one’s nap. I set aside my list of things to do and rest. Sometimes it’s reading Scripture, and sometimes its coloring and reflecting on life and praying. (Coloring is amazingly relaxing.) I make it happen and it does wonders.
Giving myself time to take a break from the demands of life, daily reading Scripture (even a verse or two), and opening myself to God’s wisdom has changed the frequency of my unglued moments. I’m realizing why I’m feeling the way I am and am learning to put a stop to the outbursts before the happen.
I don’t need to label myself as a “yeller” or “terrible mom”. I am a child of God and I can be like him, full of grace and gentleness.
Another thing I learned through reading Unglued, is that I am not alone in this. Everybody has emotions! I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. God gave them to us. He uses them to teach us why we need his grace and how we can extend that to others.
If this is something you realize you are dealing with, you are not alone. Pick up Lysa’s book and read about how you can make wise choices when your emotions are out of control. I recommend it for anyone that has emotions. Which is everybody, including me, apparently. (And yes, I did cry when my little sister was trying on wedding dresses. Don’t tell anyone.)