Sundays are hard on my family. I’m usually up and out the door by 6:30 at the latest and I may or may not have one or more children in tow. Sundays are a work day for me, I am the worship leader at our church which means attending all services and working very hard. By the time the morning is finished I am exhausted and so is my family which is the perfect recipe for disaster.
Mama just doesn’t have the patience or the energy to deal with the normal sibling bickering. Yesterday seemed impossible for my 7 year old. No matter what she just could not get it together. The tears, the screaming, the fits, it went on for over an hour. (Who knew that not having your 12 year old brother play a game with you could cause the world to end!?) Every few minutes I would pull her aside, give her suggestions for other things she could do and encourage her to stop the junk. It didn’t work.
Finally I was done. (The slamming of the door threw me over the nice-mama edge.) Sitting on her bed I gave her the rundown and informed her that she was to stay in her room until further notice. In that time she could play, read, clean (never hurts to hope for a miracle), it didn’t matter what but she had to stay there. After an hour of peace and quiet I went to check on her and she was curled up in bed asleep.
I see myself in her. I may not throw fits quite the same way, but I know that I throw them none the less. God, being the good Father that He is, sees my distress and gently encourages me to take a step back and chill the heck out. Some days I get it, I hear Him and I listen. Other days I do just what my daughter did and I ignore the warnings, I push aways the instruction and I continue on in my fit.
God will always put an end to our temper tantrums.
He will not allow us to continue like an out of control T-Rex destroying everything in our path, including ourselves. Eventually He will stick our bums in time out, just like I did with my daughter. It may not seem fair, it may feel like punishment, but it is for our own good.
I knew that my daughter desperately needed rest but she was defiant in every way. She couldn’t see that she needed a nap, it seemed preposterous to her. Are you missing the cues telling you that you need a time out? You have a choice, you can
- heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit and put yourself in time out
- keep plowing down the road of self-destruction and have God put you in time out
Time out is not always a punishment, sometimes it’s for our own protection (and for the protection of those around us). But what are the warning signs that you need a time-out? Do any of these sound familiar?
- Everyone seems to annoy you?
- You feel like the world is out to get you?
- You have a hard time making decisions?
- Your kids ask you a question and cower as they wait for the response?
- Your body is tense and in desperate need of a long, hot bath?
- The highlight of your day is when everyone is in bed?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, it may be a sign that you need a self-imposed time-out. Do yourself and your family a favor and take that time-out. The number one thing you need is time with Jesus. First of all you have to deal with the spiritual side of things. Pack your bag and head to your favorite coffee shop or park and invest some time in your Jesus-relationship.
After you’ve invested that time with Jesus then you need to deal with the natural, perhaps you can ask your husband to man the fort for a few hours and go wander the mall with your favorite iced-coffee drink. Meet your favorite (non-stress inducing) friend for a drink and some girl talk or go get pampered a bit and have a pedicure. You know what recharges your batteries, do it and don’t feel guilty about it!