Temper Tantrum! Dog Style

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Well, last week I posted the story of my mommy temper tantrum. This week, it’s a dog style tantrum. I’m sensing a theme in my life this month. I know God is refining me in some critical ways. I’m just thankful I don’t know “for what” yet. Sometimes, not knowing is so much easier!

Today was grooming day for our two dogs. It always seems to happen the same way. They can hardly wait to jump in the car. In fact, they are so excited I can barely get their leashes on. I don’t know where they think they are going. When there is a car ride involved, it’s usually the vet or the groomers. Neither of which they love. Maybe it’s just the idea of leaving the mundane. A new adventure beyond the house and yard. When we arrive at the groomers and they jump out of the car I have to drag them into the shop and sweet Miss Martha has to try to coax, carry and coddle them to the back for baths and haircuts. I decided dogs just don’t enjoy a good “get your hair done” or spa day like I do.

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. Romans 12:2

On the tails  (no pun intended) of my tantrum, their tantrum stood out to me. I realized how often I drag my feet, complain or fight (internally) when faced with a trial, difficult to love person, uncomfortable moment or other opportunity to show God’s love and just don’t want to, don’t have the energy to, time, desire or strength to.

Instead of seeing these moments as gifts to show God’s amazing grace, love, kindness, and mercy He has shown me ~ I see it as an ostacle, a problem, nuisance, pain, problem or bother. Why? Why? Why? Why can’t I embrace these moments every time they come my way. This is where my guilt and shame have a tendency to settle in. It’s easy to embrace the tough stuff when I’m happy, the kids aren’t arguing, the bills have been paid, my “to do” list is complete and all is right. Seriously, those days are a lot fewer and farther between than the days when all isn’t perfect.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:9-12

I can’t let my state of mind dictate my behavior, attitude, love, forgiveness and grace that I extend to others. When we are in touch with God’s Word and strength it’s possible to get ourselves and be the person God desires for us to be. I say instead of fighting and ending up exhausted, guilty and full of regret we stop tugging and pulling for control and turn it all over to God to handle. For if He is for us – who can be against us?!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 13:13

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A Temper Tantrum – Mom Style

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I’m not proud of this story, but as the week has gone on I’ve felt more and more compelled to share it. I was minding my own business one morning, happily humming a praise song as I got dressed in our bathroom.  . . .  When, all of a sudden . . . . . . I’m bum rushed by two angry, whining, arguing children. Yes, they were mine. For several minutes I tried to calmly get their situation under control using patience, mediation skills and prayer. That worked for a about five minutes and then. . . BAMMM!!! I threw my hairdryer down on the counter so hard it broke! I think I was as surprised as the kids, but I heard enough! (And yes, I had to go to Target that night to buy a new one. It’s a family joke now, but it wasn’t so funny at the time)

We all lose our tempers! It isn’t pretty, but at least I didn’t throw it at my kids, right?! My point is this: We all sin. EVERYDAY! It may not look like adultery, murder, stealing or other things that we consider BIG sins, but God doesn’t rank them like we do. Sin is sin in His eyes. Thankfully, no matter what our sin is He approaches us all exactly the same way. Just as He did in this story from the book of John. As you read it, please pay close attention to the posture of Jesus. You will find Him stooped down and bent down as they bring the adulteress before Him.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8:2-11 (NIV)

I promise if we ever find ourselves in a court of law being judged for speeding, or other things the posture of the judge will not be stooped and bent. They will be set high upon a bench, in a “sacred gown” to set him apart from others, looking down on all those who come before him for judgement. Not our God! Not our Savior! We can go before Him everyday, every hour or every minute with a humble heart an He will lovingingly, non-judgementally and graciously forgive us, wipe our slate clean and restore our hearts. Don’t be deceived, we will mess it all up again soon, but we need not every worry about those “thrown down your hair dryer days” when we have a Savior bigger than all we face and more loving and forgiving than anyone we will know.

Father, may we seek your face and wisdom for all we lack. Create a thirst in us for you than will never be quenched. Your love is a mystery to us, but I pray that, although we will never understand it this side of Heaven, we will believe and trust in it above all else. I pray Satan never gains a foothold on us because we are clinging to tight to your Word that there is no room for anything but your Truth! Amen