Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confessions of an Irritable Mother

During the past eight months of my blogging “career,” many fabulous doors have opened. Doors to ministry, doors to professional growth, doors to spiritual growth, and doors to friendship.

Throughout middle and high school, I spent hours corresponding with myriad pen pals. Many of those friendships formed through pen touching paper were just as deep as the friendships derived from personal interaction.

Blogging takes me back to those pen pal days. The medium for my messages has changed. Instead of pen and paper, I use a keyboard and type short notes in a comment box. From there, e-mails have been exchanged. Many of my new bloggy friends have encouraged me through tough times and cheered with me during triumphs. Truly I am blessed.

One friendship in particular impacted my life as a mother. Several months ago, the Lord led me to the site Surviving Motherhood. If you read any of my PPMD posts, you know why this title attracted me. Shortly after finding the site I discovered that the blogger, Karen Hossink was also an author who wrote the book Confessions of an Irritable Mother. At least once a day, each and every day, I earn the title Irritable Mother. I knew that was a book for me.

One day, while checking my e-mail, I found a message from Karen asking me for my address. She wanted it so she could send me a copy of her book. Her only requirement was that I read it with an open heart and allow the Lord to teach me as I read. She didn’t request a book review or any accolades. She simply found joy in sharing the beautiful lessons that God taught her.

When the book arrived, I immediately read the back cover and after the following words grabbed me by the collar, I knew this was a book I needed to read.

“Are you frustrated with mothering? Are you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless? Have you ever secretly questioned God’s wisdom in giving you children? YOU’RE NOT ALONE.”

I answered yes to all of those questions. I read the first four chapters and then through every day distractions, I set the book aside for a few weeks. I picked it back up this past Sunday and finished the entire book in two hours. Why such desperate reading?

The Professor was away that weekend and by Sunday evening I was weary. Pickle was starting to scream this high pitch terror inducing scream at the mildest inconvenience and both Pumpkindoodle and I, who get easily over stimulated, were on edge. And trust me, it doesn’t take me long to go from edgy, to irritable, to irate. By 6:30 p.m. I was speaking to my lovely daughter in an ugly, sarcastic tone. I was even scolding my one-year-old. And let’s not even mention my sweet dog whom I kept tripping over. Poor girl looked at me as if she knew I was about to stick antlers on her and make her carry a sled of junk down a snow bank. If you’ve seen The Grinch you know what I’m writing about, so go ahead and sing it…”You’re a mean one, Mrs. N.”

I was mean and I hated it. I got my kids to bed by 7pm, an hour before their normal bedtime, and then I went to my bed and cried. Then I went back into Pumpkindoodle’s room and apologized. She forgave me, we hugged, and praise God she didn’t ask if she could get out of bed.

I then went back to my room, prayed and opened up Karen’s book. And as I read, I prayed. And as I read and prayed, I was blessed.

For a moment, forget the title….this book is a must read for every woman, mother or not. Karen is honest, direct, and loving. She does not come across as a “know-it-all.” Instead, she writes as a woman with a surrendered heart dedicated to allow her Heavenly Father to refine her into the woman, wife, and mother that He desires her to be.

The book offers hope, suggestions, and scripture references to women who are pursuing holiness. What the book does not offer is condemnation. After I finished reading Confessions of an Irritable Mother, I felt renewed. I was also reminded that I have so many choices, and whether or not others around me are making nerve grating choices, I can still choose good.

I learned so much from this book and am planning to share some of these lessons at Becoming Me during the next few weeks. I’m going to leave you with this one thought from page 60 in Confessions of an Irritable Mother: “According to a popular story about refining silver, the silversmith was able to tell when the purification process was completed because he would be able to see his reflection in the molten silver.”

How beautiful is it to know that God uses each fire of life, and let me tell you, there are some wild fires in mothering, to refine us, so that one day, His reflection will shine. I told you it was a hopeful book!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have abundance for every good deed. 2 Cor. 9:8





22 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

Love this. And how easy it is for us to remember and focus on the days when we fail instead of rejoiceing & focusing on the days we do it right (with God's grace), such as your sweet conversation with PD about heaven.

Mrs. Sidney said...

I sure did need this.. although I secretly wish I heard it last night when my nerves were fried. I feel blessed each and everytime I stop to visit your blog.

I need to get that book ASAP!!!

Thanks agian,
Ronel

Stephanie said...

Thanks for suggesting this book...I must get it. I fight those "Irritable Mother" moments all too often!

graceunbound said...

It sounds like I need this book right about now. "Irritable Mother" would be an understatement for me over the past week.

Irritable Mother said...

Thank you for your kind words, Angela. As I said before, I am so pleased God has encouraged you through this book. He loves us so much, and He'll use everything - even the fires - for our good...And we will become beautiful! *grin*

Jamie said...

Parenting sure can be a challenge at times. I love to read books that help me grow as a mom. This sounds like a good one.

trish @ another piece of the puzzle said...

This sounds like a good book to get back on track. Thanks for sharing - I've got it on my list!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I'm quite sure anyone who is a mother has experienced days like this. I know I have. Thanks for sharing, sounds like a must-read!

Shannon said...

Such a perfect post for me today. I have been an irritable mother the last couple of days. A wise friend once told me that it is never her children that make her days hard, its the other stuff in her life. It's just easiest to take it out on the kids. So true for me. Kids being kids never really bothers me but when my mind is swimming because of life issues, motherhood becomes nearly impossible...decent mothering I guess. I think I need to pick up that book!

the160acrewoods said...

sounds like I need this book desperately! thanks!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I completely empathize with you. I struggle daily with being an irritable mother, and I would love to read this book. Thanks for hte recommendation.

Xandra

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Sounds like a great book. And ALL moms are irritable at some time in their mothering lifespan! Glad to hear how God used the book in your life. I will have to look into it. :)

Sarah Markley said...

sounds like a great book, angela! i am often irriable too =)

We are THAT Family said...

That sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing it.

Mari said...

I confess I am an irritable mother, but I do not want to be. This is one area that God has showed me that the enemy has stolen from me, this was not His plan. I'm fighting mad and ready to get back (in mothering) what God intended in the first place. Thank you for being honest and exploring an area that many struggle with, but just do not talk about. I am excited and READY to hear what you have to share.

Beloved MaMa said...

can't wait to hear what you have to share!

GrandCanyonMom said...

I would love to read this book. I have defintely been irritable lately! Thanks for sharing this!
Jaime

Wendi said...

This sounds like it would be a wonderful read for me as well. :) I love all of the honest mommies out who have left comments here. Helps me feel like I'm not the only one...

Gretchen said...

"At least once a day, each and every day, I earn the title Irritable Mother"

Umm...preachin' to this choir, Sistah.

I so need that book. We seem to be separated at birth on a whole lot of levels. Thanks for your authenticity and grace. You rock!
xxxooogretchen

Darla @ UltraBeautyBoutique said...

*slowly raises hand* I can so relate. There are days I am SOMEONE ELSE, I swear it's like I become someone ELSE. I hear it come out of my mouth and I think, WOAH...and it just keep flying. *sigh*

Alana said...

Sounds like a great book and one that any Mother could relate to!

Steve n Vickie said...

I love a good book. My favorite one with all the answers to lifes problems is Proverbs. Whenever I get irritable (and its been more times than I care to admit during the course of this move), I know that I need to spend more time reading it. I also started "The Character of a Virtuous Woman by Marilyn Jenson So far its pretty good. We all need encouragement on a bad day.
Vickie

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...