Try a week.
Ok, almost a whole week.
Thank you, The Orange Rhino Challenge.
This was empowering.
I CAN be calm and I can deal with this without involving the passionate action of screaming at my dearest people.
I had left the opened bag of bulk cinnamon on the edge of the counter. The Edge, it turns out, is my toddler's favorite hangout spot. Down it went in a cascade of reddish-brown dust. "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" I shrieked! Not my brightest reaction. And then, "Oh, you made me break my no yelling rule," I sadly whined.
Talk about passing the blame.
Sorry, little guy. Heat of the moment and all that sort of thing.
I had set it up for him, after all.
Credit where it's due, you know.
Smoothie hour arrived and with it a phone call. Followed by banana, coconut, creamy slosh on the kiddie school paper scraps littering my floor. It could have been worse. It could have landed smack dab on the sorry excuse for a brown carpet that desperately tries to hide the messes we and the previous occupants have made over time. I squealed anyway, "Nooooo!" It was more of a loud whine than a yell.
I have recently discovered what a childhood friend has told me all along.
Oh, I hear it now!
I am trying to do something about it.
Shortly following the smoothie mishap, I was still on the phone with my dear sister whose voice I hadn't heard in too long. So when my toddler climbed up on the table and went fishing in his brother's glass of milk, I started it again. But I stopped in the middle this time.
Hooray, the mechanism is there!
The power exists within me to say no to the rising temper.
To respond with kindness.
I know it is there and I WILL learn to use it.
It will take time and discipline.
It will take a lot of love.
But I will get there through grace, forgiveness, and second chances.
Ironically, my children taught me that. Talk about a game changer. No matter how often I mess up they are willing to let me try again.
Today's kingdom of heaven is brought to you by little children: noisy, wild, beautiful, free, and most unconditionally loving and loved.