I had a woman tell me once that she could not imagine me ever yelling. All I could think was, "Wow. I sure have you fooled!" I certainly do not like to yell. It gives me a headache and often makes someone cry (usually me). There's usually a better way to communicate. But it does happen. Let's take today, for instance...
We've recently been battling the tendency of children to leave stuff everywhere pretty much all the time. It's disorganized and ugly and dangerous. But no amount of lecturing or disciplining seems to make an impact for any extended period of time. So today I was determined to get at least one room clutter free. MY room. Your stuff does not go in my room. Not your shoes or your toys or your dirt. Out! Out! Out!
As I stepped off the bottom step triumphantly carrying a large box of organized old kids' shoes (that I'd been graciously sharing my space with) I stepped on...a toy. A little plastic petit four to be exact. (Presumably to be consumed with plastic tea.) The box of shoes scattered everywhere as I felt that oh-so-familiar pain of an ankle sprain. I've been here many times before but it generally happens while doing something that's actually supposed to be somewhat risky.
The first thing I want to do at the moment of crisis is to throw out every toy within sight but I cannot effectively do so from my seated position. Then I yell loudly and randomly about little toys and little boys and what are you going to do with an injured mother since I'm the only one who picks up your stuff and makes your food and other silly (and loud) things like that.
This is all perfectly Lenten. An opportunity to take a crash landing in the middle of the day for a good dose of humility. I don't want a disorderly home. I don't want to yell. I don't want a sprained ankle (even though it isn't really that bad). Is this getting a little whiny? I don't want to whine either. Back to the foot of the Cross I go where I can remember His strength by remembering my weakness. I am not stronger than my temper. And am glad for the 20 minutes to ice my ankle, my anger and my pride as I remember that I'm always leaving things on God's floor for other people to trip on.