Wednesday, November 5, 2014

losing my voice

i got sick last week. a little tickle in the throat turned on me like a toddler at target in the checkout lane. you know what i'm saying...everything's fine and then within 10 seconds someone has peed on the floor, stolen a pack of pokemon cards, eaten various and sundry chocolate and or chapstick items at their leisure and then topped it off with a demon possessed tantrum.

i was fine and then. and then i was laid out.

on monday, i woke with 100% no voice. of course this couldn't have happened on saturday or sunday when my husband was home. it happened when it was just me manning the house. THE ENTIRE DAY i whispered. sometimes i had to clap so someone would look at me. a couple of snaps every now and again. a whistle here and there. basically i looked like a frantic one man band with no instruments trying to play for a sold out audience. of 4.

i whispered or just couldn't even try to intervene with the kids all day. and guess what, they whispered back. or they just dealt with whatever it was, because i couldn't help.
with the intensity in which i communicated with them, they communicated back.

this was incredibly convicting because, in general, our house is loud. there are tantrums and melt downs. my kids yell at me. we've been having lots of chats about being disrespectful in this house. do you see where this is going?

we're an angry household. my kids roll their eyes at me because i roll my eyes at them. they yell at me because i yell at them. just gigantic mirrors walking around. i totally get that some kids have anger issues that don't spring from their parents, but in most cases around here, i think it's pretty learned.

it's sort of hard for me to say that to the internets because, i don't know. no one talks about being angry with their kids. we can talk about all the other ways we fail, but for some reason, you can't be an angry mom. you can pinterest fail all the things but you can't REALLY fail as a parent. hashtag too far.

I lost my voice and I gained an eyeful of my sin. i laid in bed whispering to my husband that it has to change. and he whispered back, we need God to change us. 
and then i yell-whispered, quit matching my whisper, dammit. you can talk!
we fell asleep laughing. i repented and i think it might be the first time as a mother that i didn't feel shame about such an awful, repetitive sin issue. i actually felt relief and gratefulness that God would care enough for me to show me a sin issue in such a tangible way so that i could repent and so that he could change me.

i didn't wake up saying that i was going to not yell and not be angry. no unachievable goals we all give ourselves in the morning. no.
i just swam in grace.
by now i've realized that me making me change leads to repetitive sin patterns that never get fixed. it also leads to a lot of shame. i was supposed to do better today! i am the worst because i did so many things wrong.
or it leads to arrogance. i'm amazing! i've done the right thing for 4 straight days! look at all the other moms who are doing it wrong!



listen, if you're an angry mom, you're not alone. in fact, if you're experiencing it, chances are there rest of the 400 bazillion moms are experiencing the same sin issues. because we're all humans who need to be saved from ourselves.

i guess the point for me isn't to stop being angry (or behavior change), it's to run to the cross. if that is the case, then slaying my sin isn't what i'm focused on, because, well that's impossible. have you noticed? we all just keep sinning. so i'm not playing the too-christian-to-share-my-shit game. i'm not going to pretend that my life isn't full of terrible sin and that i don't yell at my kids. i'm not bowing to the internet Gods and making my life seem incredible, with a few mom fails here and there.

i'm more desperately lost in my sin than that.

i want to keep losing myself and my reputation so that all you see is my need for grace. i want it to be the only flag i'm flying. i want it to be the only thing i am able to say when i see Jesus. have mercy on me. i come with nothing but the grace you gave me. 

55 comments:

  1. Amen. Thank you, so much, for your transparency and for sharing your heart. Iron sharpens iron and He refines us.

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    1. the truth does that. :) however hard it is to expose.

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  2. Your genuineness is absolutely refreshing. And although I don't have kids just yet, this lesson is one for me to take heart. How often do I really recognize a husband, a friend, or a family member's actions for what it really is--a reflection of my own failed approach to them?! And how much more often do I fail in by the self-help approach? Today I'm thankful to read your words full of wit and even fuller of wisdom...and for Jesus's grace showing up in my life from your little corner of the internet. Hope you're feeling better!!

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    1. a million times YES. it shows up in whatever relationships you're involved in.

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  3. look at me commenting on a blog. years its been probably. look at me crying over you and the holy spirit punching my heart out. but that happens like every other week. the freedom of grace is so scandalous. good stuff mrs. nato. also: i would like a play by play with pictorial updates on all the oils you are smearing ingesting sniffing sprinkling and dancing the rumba in. thanks.

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    1. i feel honored! lol. but seriously, i believe we are kindred spirits in so many ways.

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  4. This is awesome. Thank you for being real <3 you my friend

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  5. Oh, You are speaking my language Momma () Just had this conversation at MOPS monday. And you just NAILED it, word for word. ;) Glad you are feeling better I am sure your EO inventory got hit hard!

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    1. girl you know i was dripping in the oils. i was probably really shiny. LOL

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  6. Preach it sista. Just lost my shit this morning! When I am calm, my son is calm, but when I am angry, my son reacts angrily to me, and throws tantrums, and hits me. Which just frustrates me even more. Oh how I need Jesus. Praise God that I actually listened to him this morning, when I could feel myself losing it, I reached out for prayer. I don't feel shame because I know I need help. I am a sinner.

    Thanks for your honesty! Jesus is so much bigger than my anger.

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    1. yes. that is so good. reach for the grace. don't fall for the lie of shame.

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  7. Well, I cried. Then cried some more. This has absolutely been my reoccurring mom sin, or at least the most glaring. To be reminded to turn to the cross, and that I'm not alone, allowed me to sigh with the kind of relief that relaxes the shoulders and brings joy back to the forefront of my heart... I'm thankful for how Jesus is pouring you out for the benefit of his kingdom.

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    1. me too me too me too. it's this reuccuring thing that makes me keep running to the cross. now we know how paul feels when he talks about that annoying thorn in his flesh that won't go away but he battles with daily. it's nothing new! i take comfort in that.

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  8. YES! I second everything you said. Thank you for keeping' it real and challenging the rest of us to do the same!

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  9. thanks for sharing! I'm a yeller and an angry mom too and i keep trying to fix myself. thanks for the reminder that all i need is to run to the cross over and over and over.

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    1. baby runnnnnnnn . insert microphone emoji

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  10. I love this post..firstly because I lost my voice a few months ago and had the same annoying can't talk/stop talking back to me in a whisper situation, and secondly because this is good stuff. I too, have been feeling convicted of too much yelling/too much frustration/too much grumpiness with my kids and this post put into words what I've been thinking on.

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    1. we'll walk through it together then

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  11. i cant count all the ways i love this and so exactly what i needed to hear. i never thought i had anger problems until i had children lol! beautiful post!

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    1. yes. kids are the worst. LOL. ok fine, it's actually ME.

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  13. Love your honesty and transparency. Always have. Thank you for sharing your struggle and how the Lord is working on you so we don't feel alone in our struggles.

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  14. Sometimes when my kids yell back and I get angry(ier) about it, I realize I'm lucky they don't yell more based on who parents them. This was amazing. I want to swim in grace too.

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  15. This is what I mean, Jami Nato. Gospel posts that matter.
    Your ministry is wide!

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    1. thank you for your encouragement. that means a lot. the gospel is incredible and refreshing and it's on the internets sometimes. LOL

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  16. Living in this so much this week, and failing so much. And my oldest is only 2. Seriously. =( Then I saw this, too: http://lisajobaker.com/2014/10/10-things-to-do-differently-before-you-lose-your-temper/. Thank you, Jami. Balm for my raw sinner's soul.

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    1. yes, i loved that quote from sacred parenting!!

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  17. Jami, I can't thank you enough for this post. You have such an incredible way for putting things into words that some of us can't. This was spot on and exactly what I needed to read. Thanks for being transparent and honest.

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  18. Blerg. We're yellers too. And shocker, self help hasn't fixed it.

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    1. i am so tempted to do the self help thing. you know? like even christian bloggers preach it and sometimes i get sucked in. the gospel seems foolish because it's so simple. he changes us, not us changing us. it's hard to submit to that.

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  19. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this post. And it came on such a timely day. A day I was wallowing in the fact that i, too, am an angry mom. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. How can I possibly get so friggin mad at a three and almost two-year-old? Yesterday, in a tense moment in the car, my three-year-old asked me, "Mom, are you 'bout to freak out?" I laughed, but it's only part funny...funny cause it's hard to admit the gross sin that my kids plainly see in me...their number one example. I don't know how to change, besides asking Him to change me. But I'll add you in when I'm praying for me�� Thanks for keepin it real...you're one of the few that do. I am all too real on my little blog, which is mostly followed by friends/family, and I feel so convicted to write truth, but the feelings of judgement can be kinda scary after being so vulnerable and honest about life. Keep it up! Love, your sister in Christ, Crystal

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    1. girl, i will take all the prayers. thank you for your sweet words.

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  20. I've been really struggling with this for a while. My oldest (he's only 4) is a very challenging personality to parent. I think if I didn't have him (I have two others that are, I think, pretty average personalities) that parenting would be easy-ish. But I do and it's not. This doesn't mean I don't love my oldest because I do, fiercely. But he's so. freaking. difficult!!! I've been thinking lately that God gave him to me to teach me patience and open my eyes to my anger issues. I used to think I wasn't an angry person and didn't really see how angry I actually was but I keep responding to him with shouting and anger because I just don't know what else to do. It's horrible and I feel like a miserable failure every single day because I can't just stop all on my own. I've been doing a lot of praying and taking of deep breaths.

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    1. dang kids bring out the worst in us. JAY KAY. it's already in there waiting for an opportunity to show itself. i hate that it comes out with my kids. praying that the lord redeems my harshness.

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  21. this. is. truth. God honest truth. and the truth sets us free.

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    1. so thankful for the truth. it's hard to look at other things presented as truth and not fall for it. help us, lord.

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  22. Thank you thank you thank you. That is all. Just THANK YOU!!!

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    1. well thank you for saying that and for reading. means a lot.

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  23. Whoa. I found this from Amy's blog. Talk about looking in a mirror. We're yellers too. So difficult to change but your husband is right, God needs to change us. GREAT post!!!

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    1. i hate it when my husband is right. hahahaha

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  24. I lost my voice last thanksgiving and the same thing happened to me...I was so worries b/c my husband is gone with work a lot and I thought how in the world am I going to parent multiple children with no voice....but you are so right they responded how I responded.

    P.S my toddler tried to steal many bags of candy during check out the other day...lol.so your not alone.

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    1. those little thieves. LOL. well at least we're not alone!

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  25. wow, thanks. yes. far more angry than i ever like to think/admit, here too. ugh. but love the laughing and the honesty. and the cross. as always... -nancy b

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    1. it's pretty ugly to face. but the truth is so good. and so refreshing.

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  26. Oh Jami, thank you. I am a yelling, talking under my breath, teeth gritting kind of mom. I was parented that way, and my excuse is that's all I know. However, I know better. I know grace. I need to run to the cross. I need God 's help to break this vicious cycle of sin... So thankful for your transparent, honesty self. Loved you at Hope Spoken & love you more now. Blessings, Hattie

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    1. cycles are not bigger than God. thankful for that truth!

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  27. i bet this post will end up being one of your most read/most commented on/most popular posts from 2014. :)
    clearly, you aren't the only mom who gets angry. that's a relief, as bad as i hate to say it.
    my kids are soon to be 15, 13, and 8. those early years are hard...yelling happens. God teaches us so much in those years...we get older and hopefully wiser by his grace...speaking of grace..we learn to receive it and swim in it. the more we receive grace, the more we give it out...
    of all God's graces, i'm so very grateful for his grace that covers over our mistakes in parenting...i look back at my own childhood, and even with all the dysfunction, i wouldn't trade a thing...he has used my parents to make me who i am. trusting he'll do the same thing with our kiddos. :)

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  28. Man... excuse how LATE I am at checking my emails... (I always save yours to read later if I don't have time right away) but this post was ON.POINT.

    Thank you for that. <3

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  29. Hey, stumbled across this post tonight and I know its old but it is what I needed to hear tonight. I am sitting here with a 7 week old sleeping fitfully on my chest and im feeling absolutely horrible about how I treated my toddler today. She was just being her normal self, procrastinating everything from going to the potty to napping to eating...and whining because she wanted to be the one to pull her pants down for the potty and so on... And of course the instant I set the baby down to help her he starts screaming bloody murder. I've had a really short fuse with her today and raised my voice with her constantly, frustrated at everything. And then she looks at me with her big eyes and smiles and laughs because somehow God gave me a child with the sunniest disposition. What an awful mom I was today! Now that she is in bed I just want to go wake her up and hold her and whisper to her how much she means to me. But I'll do it tomorrow.
    Anyway thank you. Thank God for grace.

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  30. God has blessed you with such an amazing way with words. I've been reading your blog posts for years now and can honestly say that it's one of the top reasons I turned to faith in my life. I'm still learning but love how you're able to apply His words to everyday life. I've cried reading your posts before as I'm sure many others have told you. God really does move through you and it's such an inspiration. It was great to "hear" from you again! As a previously silent reader, I just wanted to say a huge thank you. There are those you are impacting that you may not even be aware of!

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