When Anger is My Expected Response

Last week I shared a little bit about my struggle with anger. Of course when I open up and share the ugly and my hopes to overcome the struggle…I have to anticipate that I will be given plenty of opportunities to “practice” a different response.

Anger

This past week I have had some failures and some successes. For a bit of light today, I want to share a success and why it was a reminder once again that my attitude and response to my kids can make such an impact.

On Wednesday last week, Dominic and I took Isaac back up to SDSU for a college visit. Becky (Dominic’s mom) was in Marshall and picked up the kids from school for us because we weren’t going to be back in time.

Usually the after-school pick up is the time that I have with just me and Gabriel to ask how his day was. Depending on the day he usually has a good, or a bad point to share. 🙂 It is less than 10 minutes really that we have together, but it has become an important time for both of us.

We got home from the college visit right before it was time for Gabriel to go to Awana. So he and I jumped in the car and drove the 15 miles to our church.

I took the time to ask Gabriel about his day and he paused, sighed really big, and said that he just had to tell me the truth about something. He seemed stressed, so I told him to please go ahead.

He said that he lost his folder. His main folder that holds his homework, contains his reading log…it is kind of a big deal. He was unable to participate in math class because he didn’t have his homework…and he feared telling me because he anticipated that I would be angry.

You see when anger is my first response, I teach my kids that anger should be the expected response. (<====Click to Tweet)

When Gabriel told me about his folder, I honestly wasn’t angry about it…but he was afraid that I was going to be. He said that he didn’t want to tell me, but he remembered once when I told him that I would rather know the truth and deal with a situation right away, then not be told the truth.

I said that I was sorry he had lost it, that it had caused stress during his afternoon. I asked if he wanted to pray about it and he did. We prayed over his finding his folder. We prayed a prayer of thanks that God forgives, and I reminded him that we all make mistakes. I said that he could learn from this and work a little harder about checking to make sure he had everything he needed when he left his classroom.

After it was all said and done he thanked me.

It honestly broke my heart, but he thanked me for being comforting and not getting angry.

You see he has experienced me being angry at him enough, that when my response is one of compassion, he thanked me.

It was a reminder why this journey is such an important one.

I want my automatic response to be one of compassion, not anger. (<====Click to Tweet)

Yes we will all make mistakes, and while there are consequences, my attitude doesn’t have to make the consequence worse.

Such a stronger reminder to me that my response can have such an impact.

And the next day Gabriel found his folder in his block 2 class. Praise God.

Lord, I thank you for giving me opportunities to “practice” at being a better responder. My prayer is that my response will not be one of anger, but of compassion and patience. May my life be a reflection of all the patience and compassion that You have shown to me. In Jesus Name, Amen

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4 thoughts on “When Anger is My Expected Response

  1. Maria Marino
    Twitter:

    Oh Kristin, this brought tears to my eyes as I pictured the the tender compassionate exchange between you and Gabriel! So proud of you! And you know what else? It happened because of something else you gave him beforehand when you told him you would rather know the truth and deal with a situation right away, then not be told the truth. You gave Gabriel plenty of reason to trust you and I think on this day you were both glad you did!

    Happy to hear Gabriel found his folder too. God bless you as He answers our circled prayer for you to continue reflecting His patience and compass. xo
    Maria Marino recently posted…God is Watching Over You!My Profile

    Reply
  2. Amy
    Twitter:

    Kristin!! I got chills reading this, because I had an eerily similar situation with Luke last week. And when he saw my reply (to a bad grade) was grace and love instead of anger and basic “lose-it-ness”, I could visibly sense his spirit lift, instead of deflate. I’m with you, oh man, I am so with you. My default button is set on “fly off the handle”, but by the grace of God, I’m seeing that change. And it’s totally a testament to God’s power to completely transform us.
    Praise him, praise him, praise him. 🙂
    So glad you shared this. Knowing I’m not alone in that mess is awesome!

    Reply

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