The reasons, factors, conditions, and circumstances are endless. There is always an excuse for why I can abdicate my day to the waking up on the proverbial "wrong side of the bed":
"It makes me crazy when I wake up to children screaming."
"I just need everyone to be quiet."
"I'm so annoyed by the kids' whining."
"Why isn't anyone else doing their job (like I am)."
Idols of A Mom's Heart
And while no one will argue that motherhood is very often exhausting and stretching in every way, the reality of the cranky mom syndrome is that our attitudes as moms have less to do with how our households are functioning, and more about the function of expectations in our homes. My daily life as a mom is replete with examples of how I often turn training into expectations, expectations into idols:
The desire to wake up to a quiet house is reasonable, but has it squelched my ability to respond to my children's (sometimes foolish) needs with patience?
Is my need for peace and quiet so strong I'm willing to be unkind in the pursuing of it?
Does my children's whining annoy and inconvenience me more than it drives me to pray and train?
Am I so prideful in the way I perceive my diligence that I am blind to teachable moments?
One of my favorite authors, Elyse Fitzpatrick, says this from her book, "Idols Of The Heart":
"If you're willing to sin to obtain your goal or if you sin when you don't get what you want, then your desire has taken God's place and you're functioning as an idolater."
The starting point for us, moms, in any difficult parenting situation...in any challenging schedule...in any wearisome trial, is to examine what idols our attitudes and actions are pointing to. You see, my intolerance, impatience, frustration, and crabbiness, can often be traced back to an inordinate desire for ease, comfort, calm, and self-assurance. What makes us crabby often reveals where our idols dwell. My idolatry of those things make me willing to act in whatever way seems fitting when something (or someone) stands in the way of that ease, comfort, calm, and self-assurance. Can you see it in your own life?
Replace Idolatry With The Worship Of Christ
Friends, our only hope for overcoming the idols in our lives is to replace them with He who is greater. There is no magic formula or instant solution to overcoming a bad attitude or a crabby outlook...but there is hope when we know where true hope may be found. When we worship Jesus, and focus our hearts on who he is and what he has accomplished on the Cross, we begin to worship Him, and not our comfort. We begin to see Him, and not our expectations, as being worthy of worship. We begin to trust in his work in us, rather than our work for him.
Because of Grace,
Ruth Chou Simons, gracelaced.com
Find more encouragement in From Grouchy to Great: Finding Joy in the Journey of Motherhood. It's a daily devotional with discussion questions to encourage you as a mom. Grab a journal and study through it by yourself, or gather some girlfriends and study together!
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