And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your Hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what He requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10
I have been in the habit of praying this semi-regularly, not like it is a lucky charm, but because it communicates so directly to the Lord the deepest cry of my heart, to reach others for Him. Apparently, enlarging my territory is exactly what the Lord had in mind for me.
We had reached the point of the summer that we moms live in dread of, the doldrums. The other day, my eight year old yelled at me, “You are the worst mom in the whole universe. Ever.”
And I stopped to thank God for expanding my territory.
I had moved from being the worst mom in the world to having my stature encompass both time and space. I’m not even sure how I got there . . . apparently movies, rootbeer floats, and trips to the pool are the direct route.
Seriously, though, I did pray that He would keep us all from evil in this time of great drama, that I would react as an adult and not on equal footing with an eight year old. One of my favorite tools is just a little question and answer session, asking my nominator of the “Worst Mom Ever” award to tell me how I qualified for it. When kids, and adults, live in a space of absolutes, our reality will feed into that. When we are required to list concrete occurrences, we start to lose our footing and can see, rationally, that maybe, just maybe, we are overreacting.
Once the intensity of the moment has passed, I am free to extend a little grace. Being on the receiving end of the Worst Mom in the Universe award is really no easier than nominating someone for it. Heat, humidity, boredom, and just plain old being a kid, can take its toll. I remember those days, of feeling trapped in a world that I had no control over, and can afford a little compassion.
After the talking is over, that is.
What strategies do you have ready to go when someone needs to be the adult in a situation? Come up with a few “diffuser questions” now, before you need them.