On Not Being A Screamer

I get a lot of feminine wisdom from this blog. Last week there was a blog post written, entitled Screamers. It began as a caution against raising screaming children, but ended as chastisement against women being “screamers”, or as my dear sweet Rev would so kindly put it, “over reactors”.

It hit a bit close to home. Not only do I come from a long line of screamers in the sense that yelling at the children comes naturally, but complaining and overreacting seem such a great big part of my sin nature. My house is not quiet. My house is not calm. I do not sweetly tell my family that dinner is ready, instead I yell down the basement stairs “DINNER SINNERS!!!!”.

I want more for my family. I want peace in my home. I think I am going to make more of an effort to be a milder woman.

I started today (I start again every day). The Rev had to hit the road to speak at an LWML event. I made him a pot of coffee, and he took most of the pot. Something odd happened when I made the second pot. I set the coffee maker up just so, but for whatever reason (lack of coffee perhaps?) I forgot to put the coffee pot under the drip basket.

I went downstairs to start a load of laundry (not an uncommon event). When I returned to the kitchen to pour my cup of sweet comfort, I found coffee, and water, and wet coffee grounds ALL OVER THE KITCHEN COUNTER! (ooops, I just screamed again). I have a slightly fancy coffee maker, it has a pause feature. This is a great feature, unless you forget to return the coffee pot. If you forget to place the coffee pot under the basket the basket overflows from the top, instead of out of the drip hole.

My friends, here is the important part. All of my inmost being wanted to go into full out scream mode and inappropriate pastor wife language wanted to come out and I wanted to turn red and stomp my feet and blame the boys. Instead, I calmly turned off the machine, grabbed some kitchen towels and began wiping up MY mess. I did not snap at the young one who came in in the middle of the clean up and tell him to get out until I was done. I did not bark orders at the big one.

And now, my friends, that fresh new pot of coffee is ready, and I am going to grab a cup, and enjoy my progress.

Sign Number 6,751 That School Needs to Start Soon:

The boys are beginning to get extremely possessive of Legos. It is to the point where I would like to go in their rooms in the middle of the night, break all of their creations and find their secret stashes of valuable pieces and put them in my underwear drawer…where I keep my girl stuff…eeew.

I really don’t care that some of those sets were purchased with their “own” money. Most of that “own” money, is my “own” money, which, much like the children’s money, was not earned by me. Which technically makes all of the Legos the sole property of the Rev.

Of course, in our home, Legos are not for building. They are for battling. They battle against each other. They often cause each other to cry. The oldest boy child often has a far superior army, and he tends to make up battle rules as he goes, along with having multiple invisible weapons on his battleships. The middle boy child has been known to “disarm” these ships at night, by shutting down all of the computer security systems and removing a crucial Lego brick. Of course, oldest boy child denies that such modifications are possible, leading middle boy child to cry and quit. This somehow leads to the two youngest boy children to screech and whine and leaves me threatening total Lego annihilation!

Of course, I took all the Legos away once…huge mistake. Four boys without Legos are forced to only watch TV or play video games, becasue nothing else in the whole wide world is fun and everything else is boring. And some boys never, ever, ever share, and life is so incredibly tough, perhaps they would prefer to walk to school uphill both ways because that would make life oh so much easier.

This is why I drink a glass of wine every night. In case you wondered.

Vocation

I’ve been thinking about vocation lately. Martin Luther’s view on vocation is that we serve Christ, by doing what we do, doing it well, and therefore serving your neighbor. This view of vocation has been especially comforting to me in my journey of motherhood. I have a college degree, yet I have not worked full time outside the home since Andrew was born in June of 1996. Am I of less use to society than a woman who runs a successful business AND gets dinner on the table (all organic) for her family as well?

Admittedly, I do not fulfill my vocation of wife and mother even close to the best that I can, and perhaps I fail a bit in the serving God and serving my neighbor as well. I have the best of intentions, but my human failings are an obvious blemish.

I’ve been pondering vocation a lot lately because of a classmate of Andrew’s, named Taylor. She just found out that she is battling cancer a second time. I am seeing so many people living out their vocations and serving Taylor. From the doctors that treat her with such knowledge and wisdom, both at the Mayo, and right here in Bismarck, as well as the nurses who help and comfort. To the media professionals who have helped give a face to Taylor’s story, showing the world what a blessing Taylor is to so many people. The teachers and staff at Martin Luther School who are working tirelessly to make Taylor’s dream of performing as Annie come true this weekend, are also living out their vocations, serving Christ, and Taylor as well.

As for me, I’m excited to see the sneak peek of Annie this Saturday night, and giving Taylor a night to remember.