Sunday, January 10, 2010

ReRun: Who are You?

I'm preaching to myself in this one... glad I found it when moving posts.


Who are you when the pot boils over?

boiling water 300x199 Who are you when the pot boils over?

We have had Trouble in the Peterson Household over the last week to ten days. Last Friday was really, really cold. We had dripped the faucets overnight, but I forgot to run them when we left for a 4-H meeting. By the time we returned home, they were frozen. We have the pipes run somehow that we would still have water in one bathroom even if all the other pipes froze. By Saturday, even that pipe was frozen. My wonderful husband had taken the day off to go to a gun show with a buddy of his, [I'm perfectly glad to have him do this since it means he lets me go to the homeschool convention with my friends in the spring...], so he was around to help with the current fiasco.

My wonderful husband gave up his gun day to help us thaw out our pipes. When they did thaw, they burst, and we almost burned out our water heater. Thankfully we caught it very fast.

We also had the faucet break in the kitchen, a toilet break, the dryer belt shred, and the vacuum break. Oh yeah — our heater needs to be replaced, too, so we were FREEZING here! When my husband got up on Saturday morning it was only 56 degrees in the house!

In case it sounds like I am whining, I’m really not. Mostly because it is all fixed now. But even if it hadn’t been, I had the chance to prove who I really am. Because you are not the person you show all the time. You are the person you show when the pot boils over. When the children are all clamoring for your attention, the dinner is burning, and the baby is crying and needs a diaper change.

I am not always good when the pot boils over. When the preschoolers are destroying the house while I am trying to give spelling tests and the phone is ringing, I am not always sweet and patient. When I am pregnant — which is most of the time — I am rarely ever sweet and patient. When I haven’t slept the night through in what feels like a decade, it is very hard to be patient.

Other times I have failed. I am sure I will fail again. This time I did not. I am working on my self-control when everything seems to be louder and crazier. Because I have come to a conclusion…

The image we have in our heads of the children sweetly getting along and doing their work without reminders…all the beautiful little heads bowed over their schoolwork, with their hair in pigtails and all wearing matching homemade dresses, and the mother sweetly correcting the toddlers gathered about her knee…GUESS WHAT?!?! That’s fake.

Reality is the baby having a poopy diaper, the toddler flushing the toilet paper, and the school kids bickering and losing their math books.

I am not the sweet mother in the paintings. Just in case you thought I have it all together. I am a human. Thankfully I am a human saved by God’s grace… and infused with HIS Spirit. The FRUIT of that Spirit… the things which should be common in my life (yes, even when the pot is boiling over…) is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

So I ask again — who are we when the pot boils over? Are we ruled by love, joy, peace, and all those things? Or do we lash out at the nearest person just because they are there?

When we fail — ask forgiveness. Both from God and from those who were on the receiving end of our failure. Start again… slowly but surely we’ll get better. And there will come the day when everything happens bad, and you can plow through it with a smile on your face, and the Peace that passes Understanding in your hearts.

Keep on Keepin’ on Mamas. You can do it.


  1. Thanks for that, I am also not always patient or calm when the pot boils over. I long for that peaceful scene in which my girls all get along and realize how great they have it because they have each other. Alas, by the time they understand they will probably be adults and wish they had been kinder to each other as children. But I must persevere and model serenity to them. Thanks to God for his forgivness of my weaknesses.

  2. This is particularly timely for me this week... we are painting the whole downstairs right now. Then we will have new floors laid. So all our furniture is packed in the bedrooms, and we are trying to keep kids upstairs. It is not a low stress time here. But with God's grace, we will be back to whatever normal is next week. I hope.