I was an angry mom today. My girls and I went to the grocery store, which would be easy to view as an innocent errand… but that would be an incorrect assumption.
The girls fought about who would steer the cart, who would pick out the fruit, who would put the sticker on the fruit, and who would put the fruit in the cart. Four fights and we hadn’t even gotten to the vegetables yet. Grrrr.
This summer, my kids are driving me crazy.
And my crazy is turning to anger.
Being an angry mom is an emotional indicator of the state of our soul.
“Anger is an important signal that something is wrong,“ writes Harriet Lerner in The Dance of Connection.”It always deserves our attention and respect.”
Anger is a protective emotion, and like an onion, it’s multi-layered. “Anger comes from a hurt which comes from an expectation which comes from a need,” writes Adam McHugh in The Listening Life.
In the case of the grocery store, my anger came from the hurt that I’m clearly not as good of a parent as I thought, which comes from my expectation that I’m to parent perfectly at all times, which comes from my need to be perfect and in control.
That’s a lot to come out of one crazy, summertime trip to the grocery store.
So what can we do to deal with our anger this summer?
Remember that our anger isn’t bigger than our Jesus.
I’m a master of marinating in my lack of perfection. It’s far easier for me to think about all the ways that I’m failing, making them mountains in my mind. But this anger-mountain is obstructing my view of Jesus because it’s all I talk about and see.
In his sermon Goliath Must Fall, based on the story of David and Goliath, pastor Louie Giglio shares that even though we’re in Christ, and therefore victorious, we still have giants in our lives to battle.
This summer, my battle is with anger that’s left me demoralized, Look Jill, you screamed at the girls again, and good moms don’t yell at their kids.
I’ve failed to understand how big, powerful, and authoritative my God is. Who in the world can defeat my anger?