Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remedy for Screaming

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. – Psalm 51:9

Like many moms, I sin when I’m stressed. I get stressed when I stop trusting God and try to do His job. It all begins with a wrong priority, when I make it my business to rule the universe and neglect the attitude of dependence on Jesus.

It’s a little cliché, but really, be careful what you pray for. You might get it! On the first day of a visit to Washington D.C., I hauled the kids from pillar to post, stressing about our schedule and all we “had” to see. Although we did enjoy some of our day, and things went very smoothly, by evening we were all crabby. I’d become irritable, snapping at the kids, and they’d responded in kind.

The next morning, I prayed through Psalm 51 privately. Then, I shared it with the kids, and we confessed our sins and repented together. We asked God to help us learn to depend on Him in times of temptation to stress.

That day, God answered our prayer. Everything went wrong! First, my son locked us out of the bed and breakfast, and our hosts were gone for the day. Unbelievably, his shoelace got stuck under the securely locked front door! There we were, locked out, stuck child, with the hosts’ phone numbers inside the house.

After struggling through that, we left our coats in the car and walked the streets in a downpour. We waited outside the White House for the tour I’d booked several months in advance. When we got to the front of the line, we found out we should have come to the gate at once, as the line was for a special event and not our tour. We were turned away, soaking wet! Our day continued along the same lines.

Interestingly, we enjoyed our day. Our trials seemed funny, not stressful. We were much happier than we’d been the day before, when everything went smoothly. The difference, of course, was the presence of Jesus. We were responding to stress by turning to Him instead of pushing Him away. Irritability was a distant memory. These trials were such an obvious answer to prayer that we could only laugh!

“You do not desire sacrifice….The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise.” – Psalm 51:16-17.

God’s priority for us is not religious duty. It’s all about a broken, contrite heart. From a dependent heart, God can produce the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Lest we forget.) We needn’t fear the exposure of our sin; it keeps us humble and broken, which is God’s priority for us because it allows for relationship with Him. When we’ve been faithful, we have no sin to hide; but this is only possible when we retain our attitude of dependence on Christ. Otherwise, we flee from our own shadow, hiding instinctively because of our fallen condition, not because of any particular act of sin.

So there it is, moms – a remedy for screaming. I’m going to keep this lesson handy!


  1. If only I can remember to 'look for the funny' when things don't seem to be funny. Thanks for sharing this in our vB group Parenting Teens and Adults!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend, Becky Jane

  2. I agree with Becky. Most of the time i forget to look for the funny

  3. Hi! Found you off VB! "I get stressed when I stop trusting God and try to do His job." Boy, do I get that. I've nominated you for the Stylish Blogger award. Check out more info at
    I can't wait to read more of your stuff- I'm following you now, btw.
    Talk to you soon!

  4. Just stopping by to show some blog love! Boy I know the feeling. When I first started blogging I remember asking myself can I do this? Do I have time to do this? It's been great! It has offered me a way to connect with others reminding me that I am not alone and that God is always there, especially during trying and turbulent times. Like right now I am patiently waiting to go to my doctor's office to find out what the next tests are for this pregnancy. I have run into more complications, but I have also been able to keep my mind busy and away from negative thoughts because inspiration hit me and I decided to do a blog series about great programs for bloggers and I was also selected to host two very special events this month which has been keeping me busy ~ when I am idle is when I feel stressed most and when I tend to "snap" at the kiddos as well. I try to remember that they are just kids and that they don't really understand the "big picture", but atlas sometimes I forget this. When I pray I reconnect with that higher sense of well being and breath a sigh of relief knowing again that I am not alone on this path. Thank you for reminding me that we are all in this together. :)

  5. Thanks for your comments! Thank you so much for the Stylish Blogger Award, Amber! Now that we're back from our travels I'll be sure to follow through on that. Mikey, you're right - it's great to know we're not alone. Looking to Jesus changes everything. I hope and pray your pregnancy goes well! Blessings to all!

  6. What a wonderful lesson for your children, too! They were able to see this in a profound way. Just think... if things had gone smoothly the second day, it probably would not have been anywhere near as obvious. We also have to remember that God has a great sense of humor! :-)

    In Christ,
    and fellow member of Voiceboks

  7. Oh! And I am definitely following your lovely blog now, too! Hugs!

  8. Now I know why you were drawn to my Mamapedia post!

    So much of your post sounded strangely familiar!

    Don't all of us moms have those days, and don't we all forget to give it over to God?

    Thanks for sharing!