7 Quick Takes - #30

Here's another "7 Quick Takes":
  1. Herman, please stop.  "Since I've been campaigning all week, I haven't had an opportunity to sit down with her and walk through this with my wife and my family. I will do that when I get back home on Friday," Cain told reporters " -- It's painful to watch his arrogance and lack of concern for his family.  I can't imagine anything that would keep a respectable man from hopping on the next plan to his family, when accused of something like this, if false.  This is horrible to watch, and I wish he'd just retreat and let the Republican race continue without this being the top story.  There are much more important decisions to be made, and this perpetual Herman Cain/women story obscures the importance of the issues & decisions facing Republican voters.
  2. Are you listening to Christmas music now?  We are, but I'm kind of bummed, I lost about 1/2 of my Christmas music collection when my computer crashed last year.  I can't abide by cheesy or sub-par Christmas music, so it had taken me a while to build up not just tolerable, but enjoyable Christmas music (Sarah McLachlan, James Taylor, Reliant K, top-notch orchestras -- lots of good stuff).  So for now, I'm mainly settling for Pandora stations.
  3. I've been embroidering like mad.  I'm enjoying the fuel-for-ideas that comes from Pinterest.   Here's my embroidery board, if you want to get an idea of what I've been doing.
  4. Our ladies' Bible study group has been working through the book "What Did You Expect?", and though the cover looks like it was written in 1983, it was only published last year and is a wonderful book about marriage, expectations, and sanctification as believers.  It's very convicting in the very best ways.
  5. Doug's at an interview right now, as I type.  This whole transition (our family deciding to stay here in America) has been faith-rebuilding for me, as once again, God reminds me of how much He has always cared for and provided for us.  So many verses come to mind: "Remember the Lord," "The Father of Lights", "The Lord is near," "Forget not His benefits," "He cares for you," "Consider the birds of the air," "The Lord will indeed give what is good."  That is not to say I believe that God will make us wealthy or always comfortable, or that everything will be smooth and easy, but I really am confident that our needs will be met, because He cares for us.
  6. Yelling in anger.  Do you yell in your home?  I didn't until our oldest was about 4 or 5, and suddenly, the stress overpowered my will power, and down went the house of cards.  I began yelling at the children when I reached that "boiling point"; it became a pressure valve.  I'd rarely (almost never) yelled at Doug, but began yelling at the kiddos, and I've always hated it.   And of course they hate it too.

    So yesterday when a friend and I were discussing this sinful habit of ours, she shared something challenging and convicting-- that she was trying to fully get her head around the idea that God can help her stop it completely.  That it IS possible to never yell again.

    Something about that flipped a switch in my brain.  I began thinking and praying more fervently last night... I know it is God's will that I not yell in anger at my kiddos (I say "in anger", because I have no problem yelling a name across the house if I'm cooking and need to tell them something... I just want to ditch the angry yelling), and I know that they hate it.  It is hurtful and it is like poison in our home.  It changes the tone and uses intimidation and bullying to accomplish the desired effect, rather than patiently continuing to teach and love them.  I would never throw acid in my child's face, and yet, I will spew angry words?  That doesn't make sense, and it's not right.

    So I am praying that God will work this change in my life... that He will restrain me, that He will enable me to be self-controlled and REMEMBER the distasteful nature of this sin.  That I will not excuse it, or justify it, but that He will help me cut it out of my life.  Please ask me about it.
  7. Check out this bit of hilarity:  Jeff Tweedy (lead singer of Wilco) singing the Black Eyed Peas' "I Got A Feeling".  It shows the inanity of pop-song lyrics.


Lisa said...

I don't know you, don't know how I found your blog. As a licensed counselor and mom who used to yell alot, I think your anger is much more than Jesus take it away. I found that parenting brought out the ugly in me like nothing else. But I was angry, about stuff that had nothing to do with the kids. What could that be for you? The kids did not do what I wanted them to do and sometimes they were in the way of what I wanted to do. Selfish me. Welcome to the human race and to fallenness. The homeschool crowd would say that training is of great value as you raise your kids. I rarely yell now. 14, 12, and 9. No reason to. They can do so much more independently and so can I---run errands alone, reducing frustration. They are trained in certain things that are no longer an issue. I say this to give you hope that it is VERY hard to raise 5 little people and remain a calm zombie. God gave you emotions so feel them without hurting those you love. Find a woman whose kids you admire for tips on training....ie I say it once or twice and then calm consequence ensues....but that dont work too well with babies. Saying you are sorry to your kids is good humility. Expecting to be perfect is a recipe for failure. God bless.....

Christy said...

Oh Jess, this has hit home with me today. I, like you, never yelled until my oldest was about 5. And then, the pressure of adding our 3rd child to the mix was like a switch and I "turned into" a yeller. I do not yell at my husband. Just my kids. And I regularly find myself apologizing for it.

Thank you so much for the reminder that God is bigger than my sin, and He can change me. I've had this verse, Ecc. 9:17, on the window sill in front of my kitchen sink for months now - "The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools." I have it memorized; I just forget to apply it to my own life daily.

I see the affect that my yelling has on my kids, and I don't like it. I know that it stirs up anger in them and it hurts them too. They don't respond to it with obedience, so why do I do it??

Last spring we had a bball coach who was a yeller big-time, and my boys did not like playing for him. Really helped me to realize that I was yelling at them like he was...only my yelling would be much more devastating to their little hearts.

I will pray that God will give you victory over this sin; please pray for me too. We are expecting our 4th now, and I know stress levels around here will rise again. But I don't want to be a yelling mommy; I want to live out love in our home (patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.).

Jess said...

While I agree that the fruit of anger comes from a lot of different roots, I disagree with you on many points in your response to it, and it is clear that you misunderstand where I'm coming from. I am not trying to have an instantaneous change without effort (this has been something I've been actively working on-- with God's help-- for about 18 months now), and I'm not having some "Jesus take it away" moment (which seems to me to be a quite reckless description of prayer & the human will working with God to submit to His work in us).

But Jesus does want me to "be perfect as He is perfect" as Scripture teaches. He means to sanctify me, and refine me to look more and more like Jesus as I grow. And I mean to work hand in hand with HIm. When He gives me big moments of insight, I want to hold onto them and not let them go.

Listen- I'm not setting myself up for failure; I AM a failure. This is my admission of it. But I can grow, I can change, and by His grace-- yes, the grace of Jesus-- He will help me.

I'm not going to downplay scripture and settle for mediocrity, just because we're all human. I hope I'm like the writer of Proverbs says-- "burning brighter and brighter until full day". Forgiveness is a daily, sometimes hourly, practice in our home, and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to model that for our kids, but that doesn't mean I won't work to decrease the number of instances in which I offend them.

My aim is not at all to remain a "calm zombie", but to be a loving, patient mom. Clearly, as evidenced in this response, LOL, I can get my hackles raised. I'm not in danger of zombie-hood, and not advocating for others to be that way either. I don't think the two options are "yell" or "calm zombie".

But I AM (like all humans) in danger of remaining complacent in my sin and letting it keep going unchecked. My confession here, and continued prayers about it, is part of my effort to combat that tendency.

Anonymous said...

I yell at everyone; always have. I grew up in an emotionally abusive home where yelling was the default way of communicating.

I am a lot better now, but I still do it. For me, I think it's a habit, and once a habit is formed it is extremely hard to break.

From the brief blurb you shared, it sounds like you are way ahead of me and have different reasons for your yelling. I hope to be on that plane someday. I can't imagine not yelling for 5 years and then starting. I wish I was that good, LOL :)

I have found it helpful to study the verses that mention anger, the tongue, etc. as I'm sure you have also. I wish I knew a mother that didn't yell that I could look to as an example.

God seems to highly value a meek and gentle spirit, which is so hard for me.

On a random tangent --
I wonder if Matthew 5:48 means something like be "complete" (instead of the other meaning of perfect -- without flaw) in loving all people, not just loving those who love you (like the pagans). I can't remember where I read that, but it was an intriguing thought. More prayer and study needed!

I read that Michelle Duggar had an issue with anger with her kids, and she practiced forcing herself to whisper instead of yelling when she felt like yelling.

Anyway, I wish I had something helpful to say, but may God bless you in your journey for no more yelling :) And me too! It seems so impossible, but I am encouraged.

Erin said...

Hi Jess,

Right there with you...and many others. I am a yeller, and I don't remember yelling before my oldest was four or five (which just happens to be when my 3rd and 4th children were born). I am ashamed to say that I have never asked Jesus to help me stop...I have tried to on my own, and failed of course. And like yours, there is a lot of opportunity for teaching forgiveness in this house. I make a practice of apologizing to my kids for yelling and praying in their presence, asking the Lord to forgive me.

Something that might be worth trying: a wonderful Christian woman told me that she forced herself to discipline on her knees - literally. To remind herself not to yell or overpower her children, she always got on her knees so she was eye level to them. She said sometimes she was so mad and wanted to yell so bad she would make herself lay flat on the floor before saying a word to her children!

Thank you for your transparency. It always helps to know we are not alone in our struggles.

Anonymous said...

I completely relate to your struggle with yelling. I grew up in a home where yelling parents was the norm. I always hated it, but have allowed it to creep into my parenting. My husband and I tell our son that it's not okay for him to yell at us, but we turn around and yell at him sometimes. We always point out our sinfulness afterward, and we pray for forgiveness with him, but we long for it to stop altogether. I'll be praying for you as I pray that God will give my family self-control in this area.


Tanya said...

Dear Jess. I am also prone to yelling. Even though I know how damaging it is and I hate the fact that I do it. I still do it.
I would like to say I am being encouraged but more truthfully I am being challenged and convicted by Marilyn Howshall's writings. Her last book is 'Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith'.
She also has a private group on Facebook called 'home educated mom'. It would be the perfect place for you to be accountable for sin in your lfe ( yelling). Its a group of moms who are serious about getting their hearts right with God, laying down their 'self' at the cross and committing to choosing to love like christ loves us. It has many testimonies of what is happening when the Mom is willing to lay down her 'self' and love.
Marilyn has recently started the ' lifestyle of learning association of Christian home educators' . To quote her ' true repentance is. Being deeply sorry for hurting the other.
Barbie Poling (co-founder) says " God wants our every thought, attitude, intention, and motivation to be loving...it is when we are stressed...that what is within us flows out. These times truly do reveal what is in our heart, and that is what God wants to change. Our part in that change is to continue to cry out to Him, press into Him, pray out loud to Him, and recognize our desperate need for His transforming work as we repent to Him for our thoughts, attitudes, intentions and motivations. If we are serious and relentless about it we eventually come to the place where we are sick of struggling against what comes naturally to us - our old unloving ways and thought processes. We become desperate to be filled with His loving nature. it's at that point that that God miraculously sets us free, and those sorts of thoughts, attitudes, intentions and motivations just don't occur to us anymore. Our heart is changed. Then even in stressful,overwhelming times, we don't struggle to act lovingly, we are just loving, from the inside out.". It's encouraging in that it offers hope.
Also on the journey

sandra said...

I was so moved by your #6. Yelling in Anger. I'm not sure when I started yelling, but I really do want to stop. Thank you for sharing this!

sara said...

Jess, I'm with you on the yelling thing too.

The past few weeks I've been mulling over the idea that something being common or "normal" doesn't make it good or even O.K.

Phyllis said...

I thought I had commented on one of your Margin posts, but I can't find it now. Oh, well. Your blog posts made me want to read the book, and so I found a way to borrow it for my Kindle. I'm enjoying it. One main thought is that it's making me appreciated the way my parents raised me, maybe even before marginless living was such a problem. It also makes me appreciate my "boring" current life even more. :-)

If you have time, I'd love to hear your thoughts on margin and culture. Did you see that this was such a problem in other cultures? It really seems to me to be pretty much an American problem. Even my little children have made comments about how they want to keep living overseas forever, because life in America is too fast. (!!!) But maybe you saw the rush in Turkey, too, because you lived in a big city?

Also, if you happen to have time for a little personal counseling/discussion along the lines of this book, could you email me, please? (fylliska@gmail.com) I completely understand if you don't, or if the discussion would have to be later, but I'd like to talk to you, if you can.

Annette said...

I have by no means achieved perfection when it comes to communicating effectively with my kids, but your post brought to mind a tidbit I wanted to share about yelling in anger.

When my oldest children were young I yelled a lot. I "ranted & raved," as my husband used to put it, and it accomplished absolutely nothing (nothing positive, anyway.) The kids didn't even seem to hear me. I began to notice a pattern: if I yelled they lost respect for me and acted accordingly. However, if I spoke respectfully to them, they responded in kind. They developed attitudes based on my own. That was a pretty good incentive to me to watch my tongue and control my attitudes.

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing this. I also struggle with anger/yelling at my kids. I grew up in a home with a lot of yelling, but I never thought I was prone to it, or an easily angered person until probably around the time my third was born.

Having kids has revealed sin areas that I wouldn't have otherwise known were there.

I'm still searching for good resources and information on how to overcome this habit. Please share, whatever resources or techniques you find helpful.

I'm going to see if I can remember in the moment to try the whispering/on my knees thing.

Sara said...

Also, to address a different part of the post, we are so disappointed with all of the republican candidates. The last election we voted *against* Obama, even though we weren't thrilled with the alternative.
This year, we are determined to write in Ron Paul, even if he isn't the nominee. He is the only candidate who votes and acts consistently on his principles and has not wavered due to opinion polls or been bought off at some point. He has been consistently pro-homeschool, pro-life, and pro-liberty.

JoAnna said...

Jess, just skipped over to your blog from the SL Int'l forum, and I have to say thanks for your openness and honesty re yelling at kids. I've been struggling with this lately and I can see it affecting my kids and have been trying to work on triggers, and asking the Lord to respond better to the pressures in my life. As all areas of character development, it's always a process, but what I'm holding onto is that He's the one enabling me to change.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Jess,

Nice to meet you. I found you via another's blog, and have had fun browsing around your posts. Thank you for your honesty.

As a person who has lived overseas at times, your recent status grabbed my attention too. (Thanks for the wonderful verse snippets on God providing! Always a tender reminder for me too.) How long were you in Turkey? What prompts the move to Texas?

Wishing you and your family God's grace,
Jennifer Dougan

Beth Moore said...

I'll be more shallow and just thank you for the hilarious Jeff Tweedy video. It brought me much joy in the midst of my "sitting on the couch riddled with the flu" sadness.


Cat said...

I don't comment often but do read...missing your posts and hoping your adjustment to staying in the US is going well. Take care.

Sanders said...

Dying to know what's a-going on. What's your take on the debates and such?? :O)

Hope you've had a great christmas and New Years!


Katie S said...

Hey Jess, I ran across this article and it reminded me of your post. It's relevant to the whole "yelling" discussion, so I wanted to share it here. http://www.feminagirls.com/2012/01/12/masking-anger-as-justice/#more-3977

Jess said...

Thanks for the article... it made some great points.

This has been a great season for me to see God's grace in my life, reworking my parenting and interactions with our children... he is so good to keep refining us.