A few months ago, I scored some pasta for free. We don't really have a pantry in our house, so I was storing the extra packages downstairs in a box. The boys' room is downstairs, too, and they often play down there.
On a rainy morning a few days ago, the boys were playing fairly well together. Of course, this always makes moms happy, and I felt a little looser about checking on them as often as usual. First mistake. Second mistake was not to get a clue when one of my boys came in the kitchen to see what I was doing, and I asked him if they were getting into mischief. "No, mommy. I just came up to check on if you were getting into mischief up here." Hilarious!
They were playing well together, but their play was mischievous. The worst act was getting into a box of whole wheat pasta, and breaking the noodles clear from one end of the basement to the other--ending in their bedroom closet. Noodles can't really be vacuumed up; they have to be picked up by hand. There were hundreds to pick up. Not a fun game of pick up sticks for a very pregnant mother. (My gracious husband took care of it later that day).
What is it about situations like this--the unexpected finds--that cause us to just completely lose it? Someone once wrote about "simmering in wrath." (Here's the article). I felt that that day. I know I needed to get out of it. "Justified anger should fade quickly with the removal of the provocation. Do not entertain the grievance overnight. If the anger lingers until nightfall it is no longer a natural reaction to injustice; it is simmering wrath." ("Angry Children")
At times like that, it's best for me to take the kids and get out of the house. Even if I'm still frustrated (which I usually am), at least the environment changes. There's other stuff to think about and focus on than what happened at home. Plus, we're in a public place, and that simple fact helps to keep our emotions and words to our children in check.
So we had some rough moments with the noodles of wrath, but we got it cleaned up--inside our hearts and in our home. Learning lessons every day...
Love this Psalm: "May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need." (Psalm 79:8).