“You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV 1984)
As the new school year approaches I’m making a bold commitment: No more unglued mama mornings. I want our mornings to go better this year with less frustration, yelling, and chaos.
I started thinking about this last spring when we had a string of really hard mornings.
One day, as I pulled up to the school, the atmosphere inside the car was thick with tension. Not wanting the last words spoken to my daughter to be harsh, I tried to change the course of our conversation before she headed into her day. “Listen, I love you. I’m sorry we had a rough morning.”
“We always have rough mornings,” she shot back before slamming the car door.
Nothing quite makes a mom feel more successful than a little dialogue like that.
As I rubbed the stabbing feeling in my chest, I thought, “Something has got to change. Each day I promise myself I won’t yell at the kids. But each morning something triggers me and I just lose it.”
Ever been there?
It’s not like we wake up in the mood to get frustrated with our people, right? I mean honestly, I usually wake up in a pretty good mood. But then the stress of getting everyone ready and to school on time makes the crazy creep in.
This one can’t find her shoes. That one needs a report printed and we have no ink. The bread for sandwiches is still at the grocery store because I forgot to buy it yesterday. And to top it all off, I have no cash to give the kids so they can buy lunch at school.
The whining. The complaining. The feeling that I can’t ever get it all together. It all escalates and sends me over the edge.
Well, I want this school year to be different. I want to be like our key verse today describes: “made new in the attitude of my mind.” The Greek word for “made new” is kaino. One of its definitions is uncommon. I want to be an uncommon calm in the midst of chaos and an example of peace for my kids in a world of pressure. For that to happen, I came up with a plan:
Tell the world to wait.
When I wake up, my mind is like a dry sponge. What I soak up first will saturate me most deeply. If I don’t want to be consumed with the stresses of my day, I must soak up what will renew my mind instead — God’s Word. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, I’ve got to put the world on hold until I’ve checked in with God.
Remember I’m managing blessings.
If I want my attitude to be made new, I must keep things in perspective. While my frustrations seem big, things like lost shoes and less than perfect lunches aren’t big problems. They are small aggravations that come with managing blessings.
Let my kids own their ‘irresponsibilities.’
My kid’s irresponsibility will not become my emergency. I need to communicate my expectations so they know they’re going to have to own the consequences of their choices. For example, if they wait until the last minute to print their report and the printer has no ink, they’ll have to print it at school or turn it in late. Either way, I can’t own this situation and let it throw me into frantic, fix-it mode. I can let the consequences of my kid’s choices scream, so I don’t have to.
All of this is going to take some intentionality and I seriously doubt I’ll do it perfectly. But I’m excited about trying. I’m excited to “put on my new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Which is a fancy way of saying I’m excited to have less unglued mama mornings and a lot more peace this school year.
Dear Lord, thank You for the grace You give me every day. I don’t want to live in the same pattern of coming unglued anymore. Lord, help me put these principles into practice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
What is the Lord showing you about your role in your relationship with your children today?
Which of the following action points can you put into practice tomorrow?
1. Tell the world to wait.
2. Remember I’m managing blessings.
3. Let my kids own their irresponsibilities.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV)
Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
© 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.