love/fear

Yesterday wasn’t one of my finest.

We went to the store in the morning, something I try to do as little as possible with three small kids. Because it was a PERFECT time to shop, aka almost empty, James (almost 5) decided that the open aisles meant FREEDOM.

Off he ran. Repeatedly.

I stayed calm. Until I didn’t. After many, many warnings, threats (no spending the night at Tita’s house!), and “gentle reminders,” I finally yelled at him in the bread aisle. Something I did purposefully to embarrass him… hoping he’d stop!

Any mom or dad reading this will know the result – it didn’t work!

So we huffed and puffed through the store – James popping out at intervals from his “hiding spots” – me, sweating and cursing under my breath.

GET ME OUT OF HERE.

{thankfully, the “little old ladies” in the checkout line felt my pain and said stuff like “oh no, it’s hell on earth shopping with kids – I feel ya!” instead of the typical “enjoy every moment – they’re so precious!” ughhhhh Yes, yes they are… just not. right. now. lol. Thanks for backing me up, ladies!}

In the car, I unleashed the torrent of “disappointed upset mommy” crap to a small child who probably heard every third word while he counted cars.

What can I say? I’m clearly a professional, y’all.

Fast forward to a few small mishaps at home (with all kids involved, not just big boy) and my call for help was made. Grandma came to swoop James away and save the day… and his hide… and my sanity.

But last night, as I reflected on his behavior, my responses, etc etc etc, a lesson from graduate school popped into my head. We were discussing SOMETHING relevant, but I don’t know what, when my professor said “a lot of what drives anger is FEAR. Fear is a root feeling to anger.”

Fear … Anger…

Sounds about right.

I don’t fear my child being abducted from an otherwise empty store. I really don’t.
Perhaps subconsciously though… because even though I don’t watch, read or listen to the news (yes, for real), as a parent, you can’t ever quite “shake” a fear, whether rational or irrational, like a child abduction or other harm coming to your baby.

Upon reflection: I was scared that James would get lost. Or hurt. Or taken. And so I lashed out in anger.

The problem here is this: 1 John 4:18 states “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…”

Now, I am no Biblical scholar, but it seems to me that even a minuscule amount of fear/anger on my part blatantly ignores the love that Jesus has for my son (and me). If I say the prayer and sing the songs every day “I trust you, Lord,” but I don’t reeealllllly feel secure about my son, then do I actually trust Him?

Surely, He wouldn’t let anything happen to my child?

I know He doesn’t want harm to come to James or any child. Any person for that matter.

Yet, we live in a world of sin. And one of free will. I can’t control the world or another person’s sinful nature. Or even my kid’s little racing feet.

What to do?

Pray, love, breathe. Trust.

And also teach your kid not to run away.  (??) An earthly solution is still necessary, right?

I’m working on it.
Any ideas, mamas and papas? My solution will probably be – don’t shop with kids! Haha!

In the meantime, I’m grateful that everyone is safe, healthy and otherwise happy.

***

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

10 more days until Christmas!

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