Sometimes it comes on me like a tidal wave. Too many needs, simultaneously. Like a cork on a fine champagne bottle, I feel like I may pop. Lunch time and dinner time are the usual bubbling moments.
The twins with drooping eyes, are clinging to my legs and whining, "Uppy, uppy, I want cuddle. I want blankie." The table is set with seven empty plates that match equal numbers of empty tummies. The two oldest children are racing to the office to put away books, yelping and scuffling over who'll get theirs in first. I'm dictating the last of the spelling words and trying to place frozen bagels on a cookie sheet for unthawing. The phone rings. I'm about to say, "Let the answering machine get it." Instead, I hear pattering feet and silence before, "Mom, it's for you!"
As I scoop up one toddler and shuffle to the phone with the other clinging to one leg, the dryer buzzes, signaling nap-time blankets are done. I take a breath. About now I have to remind myself to breathe. I glance at Duplos, Fisher-Price farm animals, and Matchbox cars strewn about the family room floor. On the phone, a librarian informs me that books I have ordered are in. Wet training pants remind me of two piles of clean laundry waiting for me on the downstairs couches.
So I acknowledge my anger. I know it's telling me that I'm doing more than what I am comfortably able to accomplish at one time. Too often I have lashed out, wielding my words like thrusts of a sword or raising my voice as if to drown out demands. I have yelled somewhat inanely, "Stop it" to a two-year-old and have meted out excessive consequences to the older children.
Afterwards I have regrets. When the cherubs are snuggled in their beds and I look at their sweet innocent faces, when the day is done, I wished I had handled these tidal wave moments differently.
I am grateful to learn that peace comes from within. Love is not easily provoked or irritated. I chose to be peaceable, not turbulent. I desire that my responses give no offense. I can find contentment and quiet my spirit, even in the midst of a storm. My children will be difficult at times and sometimes there will be chaos around me. The Lord has begun to teach me the value of a meek and quiet spirit. When the gale-force winds blow, Jesus calls, "Be calm". Instead of trying to get in the boat, seek the search and rescue helicopter, or drown, I can ride the wave.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NASV