Correction does much, but encouragement does more. ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I find it kind of ironic that this week I was awarded the “Nice Matters Award”. I try and keep it civil and avoid controversy for the most part, but I just got a kick out of the fact that during the week that my hormones are the most wacky, I would be awarded anything with “nice” as a part of the title. If only Terrill could have been a fly on the wall in my house this week.
Let’s see… there’s the pizza face incident… and aside from telling you that progesterone must be a magic cure for zits, I’ll leave out the rest. Whining played a big part in that one. Whiners are just not nice. Then there’s the day that I absolutely lost my cool and got sarcastic and mean with the kids for no reason (later to be forced into a tearful apology as I realized that it was really my hormones and grief that were to blame for my unhappiness). Apologies are good, but the damage is done – and that’s not nice. It is a good thing kids are so forgiving. OH… and there was the depressing music pity fest last night. Making your kids listen to Pink Floyd, Verve, Moby, Depeche Mode, Cold Play, and all manner of mind-numbing techno music isn’t nice, either; especially when they are used to hearing Zoe Girl and the Newsboys. You can’t get any more upbeat and “nice” than Zoe Girl or the Newsboys (unless you want to subject yourself to the pain and agony of Hannah Montana). Morgan kept asking me why I was forwarding through all the ‘happy’ songs. “I’m NOT HAPPY” was my coy reply. She didn’t say anything else. I even cried on my son’s shoulder last night. Putting the weight of the world on a ten year old is not nice. After all, he can barely carry a 24 pack of Aquafina. He always knows just what to say. “It’s OK, mama. Just be glad that our little brother didn’t have to suffer on this earth or ever shed a tear. We'll get to see him in heaven one day.”
Yeah, and he’s a ten year old. Looks like HE'S the one who needed the nice award this week, eh? Not his sniveling, whining, sarcastic, rude mama. He’s going to make a great daddy one day.
Needless to say, I haven’t felt very nice lately. I haven’t even felt tolerable... or like I want to be around any live person at all. Even the cat has gotten on my nerves. She's enjoying this brief moment of non-squishy-ness, however. The less I like her, the safer she is. I’ve felt sorry for my kids for having to put up with me, honestly. I’ve had to pray about keeping a good attitude with not just my kids, my mom, and my husband (who have really been there for me when I wasn’t very “nice”) but with God himself. It is a good thing He is “longsuffering” and “patient”. I haven’t wanted to be either this past week. I have just wanted to stomp my feet and pout. And cry. And stare out the window at the dead grass in the back yard.
However, I always try and look at the bright side (at least when I’m blogging and being quoted on it). Just because I'm not always telling about the gritty details of my hormonal displays of grief and anger doesn’t mean that I never throw a temper tantrum or have a few moments of ‘head-spinning evil-mom syndrome’ now and then. Let’s just be brutally honest with each other. I would worry about a woman that absolutely never yelled or cried. Emotions are good things. They mean that we care and feel deeply... and that is nice, too. Being able to really love someone, very deeply (even if that makes you vulnerable to get hurt by them) is a blessing. However, as adults... we should try and remember that how we react to our circumstances is a lesson to our kids. We are homeschooling them when they are home - even if they spend eight hours a day at a public school, five days a week! We can either teach by our bad example... or by our good ones.
Two years ago in August, we were moving and I caught myself yelling at the kids to help clean up the mess. They kept slinking away into their rooms to play like all children do (because moving and un-boxing is so boring and such hard work!). I yelled at them and they came down the stairs like little crabs with pinchers (making fun of me for being so crabby). “Crabby Mommy! Crabby Mommy!” they chimed together through their giggles. It made me laugh to see how I looked in their eyes. “CLEAN UP THIS MESS!!!!” My little girl screamed like a madwoman, revealing mommy to be the monster I was acting like. How can you be mad at them when they are so RIGHT?
It is good to get a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror now and then. It is also good when we can be truthful with ourselves and see that we really do need improvement. I do want to improve.
I appreciate the “Nice Matters Award”; not because I deserve it (just like I don’t deserve salvation that my Lord freely offers)… but because it helps me to have something to aim for. A goal to set my sights on… and a measure to test myself by. I hope I can be a little nicer each day; because nice really does matter.
And as a very important after-thought… the last half of my Godiva Raspberry Dark Chocolate bar might be helpful as well.
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