Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cookies and Anger

This week is reading week at the children's elementary school. Oh I just love reading, and this week is full of fun things for the kids to do. Monday was the book fair. Tuesday was Dr. Seuss birthday. Wednesday was monster day. Thursday is pirate day, and Friday is Fancy Nancy day for girls and detective day for the boys. The kids are allowed to dress up for the theme and each day they have stories, crafts, and other special treats.
Well, I've gotten a little overly ambitious about reading week, simply because I love love love to read, and am so proud of my little ones for learning to do so. I volunteered myself to make special treats for my sons kindergarten class for pirate day, and then had this great idea to make bows for fancy Nancy day for my daughters class. Well, with all my other normal daily going ons I think I may have just over committed myself a wee bit this week. And needless to say, after an entire day of housework, and a teething baby my patience was wearing a little thin.
I finally got my cookies made for the kindergartens pirate day snack. They were cooling, and my hubby was home from work. So I decided that I should hurry and run to the market and pick up some things that I needed for dinner. Art kept the older kids and I took the babies to the store with me. Before I left the house I left the unmistakable warning "NOBODY touch the cookies, they are for school and I need them all !!" You know what happened next, don't you?
I came home from the market to see that I no longer had 22 cookies, but only had 14 of them. I was missing 8 cookies. That is the part of the story about cookies, now here is the part of the story about ANGER.
I lost it, and just started spouting off. I'd just had it, and I let them all know. I had my oldest daughter crying, my son scared to death, my little girl ran off and hid, and my husband apologized thoroughly and took the blame. I get cranky and testy sometimes, and they are use to me being a little ill tempered, but not use to me being blatantly angry.
After only a few moments I felt just awful, because I know very well that I gave into my anger, over something so stupid as cookies. I was overworked and overwhelmed by my day, and I used cookies as an excuse to throw a fit and rant and rave at my family. I was not wise, but foolish.
The bible says in Proverbs 29:11 a fool gives full vent to his anger , but a wise man keeps himself under control.
I do not want to be a fool. I did quickly apologize to all of them, and ask them to forgive me. I admitted that I'd just had a hard day all together and was taking it out on them. I also gave special apology to my husband for talking down to him and stepping out of bounds with my words. I don't like to talk to my husband that way, emasculating him, or criticizing him. I prefer to encourage or just say nothing at all. After all it was only cookies, and if he wants to take all of those cookies and just flush them down the toilet why should I complain.
So I did the only thing I could do, and I made another batch of dough and a bunch more cookies, problem solved, no lives lost.
But what bothers me and why I'm writing this is because for that I allowed myself to loose control of my anger, and instead of putting it in check, I burst. I've heard the arguments before about anger being natural and that a woman should have the right to vent and complain all she wants, but I just don't buy into it. Why? Because that is not what Jesus says.
I could easily justify my anger, saying it was all somebody Else's fault. Yet the bible repeatedly warns against giving into our anger when we are upset about what somebody else has done. Sure there is righteous anger, and sometimes problems and situations need to be dealt with, but even then we are suppose to exercise self control, and not fly off the handle so to speak. However if we are honest we can admit that most of the time our anger is not righteous but selfish, because most of the time our anger comes from a place where we are focused on our own happiness and comfort.
God does not want us to act emotionally, but with wisdom and a gentle spirit. Our anger, venting, and out of control emotions are luxuries that we simply cannot afford to have. The wages of such luxury are high, as is illustrated throughout the bible. "Mans anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" James 1:20
So the next time you find yourself in a situations where you feel like you are going loose it, take a step back and check yourself. Is your anger righteous, or are you coming from a place of selfishness. Are you angry over true injustice, is you anger going to solve anything or will it just make things worse? Remember what God says about anger, and heed the warning, because out of control emotions and reckless words carry a high price.

Here a few scripture verses to reflect on the next time you feel like your going to boil over.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath, do not fret it leads only to evil Pslam 37:8

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered Proverbs 17:27

Do not say "I'll pay you back for this wrong" wait on the Lord and he will deliver you Proverbs 20:22

Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing 1 Peter 3:9

Oh, and the cookies did turn out wonderful as well as the other things I made for reading week, once I calmed down. Here is a picture of my pirate treasure cookies...arrrrrr!!!
Oh, and just as a little disclaimer, I get angry often, far to often. I indulge in my emotions more than I should, so don't let me fool you into thinking that anger is a stranger to me. I'm just admitting that I know better, and am working on doing better.

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