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The Right Response
by Jennifer Howland
03/18/04
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It was a dreary cold winter’s day. We were homebound since my husband had the car. I could sense the restlessness of the children. Something was about to happen.
“Whaaa!!! Sissy took my Barbie!” Victoria screamed at the top of her lungs. She started to cry. I could feel my blood boil as I heard this familiar phrase for the last time.
“I can’t take it any more,” I screamed to myself.
“Give me that Barbie. There, now nobody can have it.” I barked callously. Both of my daughters ran, crying, to their room.
“Oh boy, I did it again. Why do I have to yell at my kids,” I sighed disappointedly to myself.
I needed to pray to God. “Dear God, please help me to have patience with my children. I can’t do it on my own. Help me, please! Please give me the extra measure of grace.”
As soon as I was done praying, I felt a release. My heart stopped pounding and I could feel my muscles relax. God said, “You need to talk to them and tell them that you are sorry for yelling at them. Tell them that that sort of behavior is wrong and that mommy is sorry.”
I was a little weary at first. I thought to myself, “They won’t understand and it won’t help them. They’ll just want to run away from me.”
After contemplating, I responded. “Victoria and Savanah. Come here,” I called calmly. I told them that I was sorry. They looked at me with their teary eyes and gave me the biggest hug ever.
I gave the Barbie back to Victoria and told them to play nicely and to leave each other’s toys alone.
They said, “O.K.”
“Now, this doesn’t end here.” God continued. “You need to ask me for more grace and patience before something happens. They may not be so forgiving next time.”
Ok, God, “Please give me more patience so I won’t be so mean to my kids. I don’t want them to hate me.”
It was only a split second after I finish when I heard, “Whaaaa!! Sissy took my Barbie, again!” Victoria screamed, again.
I immediately whispered quietly to God, “Patience.”
I calmly took the Barbie from Savanah and told them that they either need to play nice or I will take the Barbie for the rest of the day.
They complied.
God told me what I needed to do. I responded with grace.


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