It hasn’t been a good day so far. There are legitimate reasons- I’ve been sick for the past 3 days, one kid was rude and disrespectful during homework, another was overly-dramatic and scream-crying, all while the third was playing in the sink in the bathroom.
Thinking he was offering a helpful quip (and genuinely trying to be loving), my husband told me, right as he walked out the door, “Try not to be in a bad mood all day.”
Not what I wanted to hear.
But maybe what I needed to hear? Maybe. But my heart wasn’t ready to hear it.
What my heart was ready to do was to process how unhelpful that advice was, and to think about how often I dish out advice like that to my children.
“Change your attitude.”
“Get that look off your face.”
“Stop being such a punk.”
“Quit acting that way.”
I am such a behaviorist. When my kids (or anyone else, really) are doing something that I don’t like, I just want them to stop doing it. I don’t want to have to put in the time or effort to find out what’s actually going on and how I can help. I don’t want to worry about their hearts.
I want my middle child to stop crying every school day. I’m tired of trying to reason with him and my encouragement seems to make no difference anyway. I just want the behavior to stop.
Lord, have mercy.
There’s a lot to pray about right there, but right now I’m also trying to stop being in a bad mood. It’s timely, then, that my friend Katherine wrote this post today.
Since I read that,
I walked a mile.
I made a smoothie and a sweet potato with kale.
I’m going to come up with a few more things to add to my own checklist, but hers is a great place to start.