Reaching Your Limit

Photo by jepthe in stock.xchng

Photo by jepthe in stock.xchng

If you’ve been a mom for more than a day, more than likely you have experienced the feeling of reaching your limit.  If there’s one more argument between your children…if you hear one more whine…if you have to pick up after someone one more time.  You get the picture.

At times we reach the limit and then it just unleashes.  A line is crossed.  An unholy word flies out of our mouth.  The voice shrills.  Something gets slammed.  And left in its wake are guilt and shame.

Been there and done that—too many times to count.  It always left me wondering what God was thinking when He made me a mother.  How could I blow it yet again?  Why didn’t I have that sweet, gentle spirit that other mothers seemed to have?

So then I would try to mask the frustration and anger that I often experienced.  I would speak under my breath, in a menacing tone only they could hear.  I would slip my hand casually toward my child and pinch a thigh.  I thought that by hiding my anger, it was somehow better.  But the guilt and shame never left.

Early in parenting I found that my limits were quite short.  It didn’t take much to reach them.  Through a lot of time in prayer, seeking God for help to overcome this struggle in my life—little by little, my limits started to stretch.  It took more than just a one-time occurrence to ruffle my feathers.

When I look back at where I was five years ago, ten years ago and beyond—I am utterly amazed.  By no means have I completely overcome my limits.  They still exist.  But I can tell you that they are miles longer than before.  I’m so grateful.

Something tells me that I’m not the only one.  There may be a mom (or dad) out there who struggles with limits…who lives daily with guilt and shame.  Can I just say, that it can be different?  The first step is to acknowledge it.  You can’t reach a solution without admitting there’s a problem.

The second step is talk to God.  Not just on a daily basis but a moment-by-moment basis.  Ask Him for strength when it feels like you’re reaching that limit.  And if you do mess up, confess it right away.  But also ask your child to forgive you.

Third, confide in a friend.  Share your struggle and ask that friend to intercede on your behalf.  That was an important part of the reason I gained victory over this battle.

Remember that as humans we may have limits.  But God doesn’t.  When it comes to His love and mercy, it’s limitless.

© 2014, Stephanie Romero

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