Social media is a typically where people show their highlight reels. Here is a bit of my blooper reel (though I wish it were funny):
Today it rained in my house.
I yelled at the culprit for letting the upstairs bath tub overflow. I might have thrown a fit that could impress any toddler and it wasn’t even because I was mad about the water or the mess or even the carelessness of the child who caused it.
I am irritable for a variety of reasons. I hate heat more than most people can understand and it’s been pretty hot here. I’m missing a friend I wish I could share life with; I miss friends who have moved away or I am not near because I moved; friends are preparing to move… things are changing in our world with the changing of Matt’s career and that’s always interesting.  
Nothing is wrong. I’m fine. I have the best life I could imagine, and I am so overjoyed at where we are at this point.
But at the same time, there are hurts that lie just below the surface, dormant, until something minor flares them.
Today the one who caused the rain to fall inside my house greeted my, “Wake up, son” with attitude because he was tired. His abrupt words fanned the glowing embers inside my heart and then when the water started splashing onto the downstairs floor the fires burst from embers to an all-out forest fire.
He felt the brunt of my anger, even though those flames weren’t even really for him. I hate I reacted the way I did.
As a parent I can’t make up for how I acted but I did apologize. I explained to him why I was so harsh not so I could excuse my behavior, but so that he could learn from my mistake.  I don’t know what to do other than be transparent with my children and apologize when I make a mistake.  I know I need to model good attitudes, and yet the past few weeks, I’ve been modeling irritability… it’s no wonder he greeted me this morning irritably. 
I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.  After the amazing few weeks we’ve had with our daughter turning six months to getting our finalization paper work yesterday, I don’t want anyone to think our lives are perfect.  They are the perfect lives for us, but we struggle and we make bad decisions.  I don’t want to be accused of only showing the positive side, because life isn’t always good and I don’t always feel chipper or positive.  (And when living in Texas, I’m pretty stinking negative in the summer.)
As I sit here with tears just below the surface, I can still feel the heat of those embers, I prepare myself to greet my boys pleasantly when they emerge from their rooms post-rest-time.  (Seven minutes, but who’s counting?)   I can make the decision to speak kindly when I want to bite their heads off.  I can answer their questions with gentleness rather than with anger… even when they repeat the same question I’ve already answered seven times.  (I only have five kids, and one can’t speak yet… why in the world do I hear the same question seven times in a row?!?)
Seven minutes…  I’ve got seven more minutes of quiet…  I think I’ll spend those seven minutes with Jesus.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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6 Responses to Embers.

  1. Christy says:

    I miss you more than words can say!! 💗 I think you are one of the best moms I’ve ever met, and those kids are blessed like crazy to have you.

  2. CJWill says:

    Love your big heart!

  3. Judy Gloy says:

    Oh you precious thing, you!!! We ALL know that none of us are perfect. But, you know what? By doing what you did – TEACHING (as you always do) your children to realize no one is faultless, even though we try so hard, that life isn’t perfect, that we some times fail. However, by NOT hiding that, by BEING TRUTHFUL, admitting mistakes, apologizing, etc., you a re the best teacher/mother/friend/wife/sister/daughter anyone could ever expect. You are SUCH a GREAT example for so many people… helping us through hard times, just being honest, and – as far as I’m concerned, your family is one of the most perfect families ever! And, a great example for us all and we KNOW that God loves you for it. Don’t be “down” on yourself… you are a great mother. There is nothing wrong with expecting the best, either. You realize that even though we all want to be best in all we do, there are those times when it just doesn’t happen. That’s okay. And you are bold and smart enough to admit it, apologize for it, explain it – so that your children KNOW that it happens in life – and, when it does, “own up to it” and fix it the best you can.

    You are precious and are loved for it. You work so hard at it, and I only wish I could work as hard! But, never doubt yourself, you are the best of the best!

    We love you.

    Ralph and Judy.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love your encouragement! I need it so much! You are loved, and I can’t wait to meet you in person!

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