Thursday, December 11, 2014

When You Criticize A Mom

Yes, it is snowing outside.  Yes, I am aware that my son has no coat on and is wearing a short sleeve shirt.  When you ran up to me in the parking lot and yelled in my face “that kid needs a coat on, your freezing him” it was my last straw.  It was all I could take. When you walked away by eyes filled up with tears and the stress, exhaustion, and hurt from that day came flowing from my heart. 

I could barely hold back my tears as I buckled up my son’s cold little body in that filthy seat. He pointed to my tears and said “mommy sad”. I kissed his sweet little face and said “only a little”. Mommy’s heart is just a little heavy.

My heart felt like a brick because all morning long I had watched my son feel miserable and scared.  For most of this time I felt completely helpless, which as any mother knows, is a terrible feeling. 

You see, my son did have a coat on when we left the house that morning to make the hour long trip to my doctor’s office. We had both been sick for weeks and were in desperate need for this appointment. When we are about to arrive at our destination my son starts coughing….then choking. 

His face is turning red and he is reaching out his hands to me in desperation. My fight or flight immediately takes over and I pull over on the side of a busy road. Fingers trembling I climb into the back seat as my son starts to vomit everywhere. 

I was feeling so relieved that the choking had ended that the amount of vomit that was covering his entire body and car seat did not even matter. Even after changing him into an extra outfit that I thankfully had in the diaper bag, he still had vomit in his hair, on his shoes, and all over his seat. The coat got the worse of it so I put that in a plastic bag and threw it in the back seat. 

The rest of the morning just continued to get worse. The experience at the doctor’s office was terrible. I had never seen my son that upset before and it broke my heart. After numerous tantrums on the floor in that tiny office, he had no more tears and eventually laid his head on my chest. His hair was crusted over from the vomit, his feet were cold, and his eyes glassed over. 

My heart ached for him and I desperately wanted to get him into some clean warm clothes, put him into a clean car seat and drive home as quickly as possible, but those were not options for me. I was all alone, with no one to call to help me. So I did what I had to do. 

I took off my sweater, did my best to wrap it around his shoulders, and I rushed out into the wind and snow. I was running, and my large 2 year old son was squirming, and my little sweater was just not staying on him. And so yes, my son was out in the cold snow wearing short sleeves. 

We made it home, and soon he was napping in a nice warm bed with clean clothes and hair. We are both filled with joy and happiness because we love Jesus and we know that He loves us. Our Faith in God, and our haven of a home fill us with comfort and joy and I am so very thankful for that. 

The woman in the parking lot’s words pushed me to my emotional breaking point, but it did not break me. Nothing will ever break me because when God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31). 

Evil is everywhere we go. We live in a continuous spiritual warfare and we have to be prepared to get rattled, pushed, and knocked down, even in the worst of times. 

If I did not have the Faith that I do, I would be emotionally damaged from all the times I have been hurt from the world.

It makes me think about the people who don’t know Jesus, and how especially vulnerable they are to people’s words and actions around them. 

In my previous job working in mental health care, I came across many people who have considered ending their lives because they just could not take one more mean, critical, or hurtful action against them. I have also met many wonderful moms, who's self esteem gets shattered due to harsh words about their parenting choices from society, friends and people they love. This breaks my heart and has to end. 

 So Today’s Lesson is This: Be Kind and Forgive.

1.       Be ever so careful with your words and actions. You never know what someone is going through so if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. Treat everyone as if they are having a terrible, horrible day. Provide words of encouragement.  See my post on encouraging others here   In Ephesians 4:29 Paul says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).
2.       Forgive everyone. This is one of God’s commands for our lives. Holding on to anger and bitterness is just as bad as hurting someone ourselves. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Luke 11:4).  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 5:32).

Father God, Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for forgiving us of our sins.  Help us to forgive others that hurt us and to view them with compassionate eyes. We want to live a life full of love, thankfulness and gratitude. Take away anything in our lives that pull us away from you or fill us with pride. Please Bless those moms who are hurting today and who need some encouragement. We love You, Amen.
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