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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)

TITLE: Look, Ma, there's Anger in my Genes!


One of my favorite scenes in the novel Little Women is the one where Jo March has nearly killed her younger pest of a sister through an anger-fueled, neglectful act. Her mother sees Jos remorse and tenderly empathizes with her. Marmie March encourages her headstrong daughter to master her temper through Gods help. The lovely, gracious mother further confides her own past struggles with the same problem. This knowledge strengthens Jo enormously.

Louisa May Alcott captured the beauty of parent, child, and Creator working together to overcome anger. I have been thinking of this passage of literature quite a bit lately as we toil together in our own home.

I thought Id become a calmer soul till my child brought home an N in behavior on his report card. ("N" does not stand for "Nicely done.") The problem was the same basic short temper we have dealt with since he was about 11 months old! Its a real struggle for him and will probably be there for quite a few years.

I think I felt the N more strongly than he did. As his mother, I am supposed to fix him, right? Its really difficult to work through this trial placidly because as a kid and teenager I also frequently encountered my inner Mr. Hyde.

My Irish heritage, while bringing passion and creativity, also carried with it a legendarily short fuse. I think about the friendships damaged or lost and I am regretful. I wince upon recollecting a heated exchange with a classmate in college. A few incredibly stupid acts done in a fit of temper had long-term ramifications. Like trying to unscramble eggs, any attempt to make amends often just got messier and not better.

But I have decided to see it as a strange kind of blessing. If I had been placid and meek, I wouldnt have plummeted as often as I have. Theres nothing like the underside of remorse to help us towards repentance. And self-control is something I long for now, because I know the perils of living without it. My natural fruit is bitter and causes grief to all within range.

What grace to be given the Spirit of God who gives me better fruit and even allows it to spill out into the lives of family and friends. While I often have to learn the hard way, its our amazing God who ably restores the years that I give to the locusts of anger and self-interest. He takes an angry heart of stone and gives me a heart like His.

I am thankful that my child knows God. I am thankful that he knows what is right, even if he finds it hard to do. I am entrusting him to a faithful God who loves him so very much more than I can imagine. Difficult as it is to watch my little one struggle with his own temper, its an encouragement to know God can turn it around one day.

Now my responsibility is to pray, walk alongside, encourage, and admonish. I struggle right along with him, and though I wish I parented perfectly all the time, I know I foul up enormously. Im no fictional Mrs. March. Happily for my boy, God is not fiction, either. He is able to change us both if we are willing to let Him.

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This article has been read 765 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Angie Schulte01/31/05
Your article flowed very nicely and was well written. I enjoyed it, mostly because I certainly found peices of myself within it. Thanks for sharing! Good job!
Karen O'Leary01/31/05
Some good thoughts and a strong conclusion. Nice piece.
Norma OGrady02/01/05
nice story
Thank you for sharing this.
Yeshua Bless
great testimony, thanks for sharing. God Bless you
donna robinson02/02/05
Working with children (I'm a traveling nanny) myself, I can relate very much to this piece. The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Green has a line that I treasure, "children will always be good, if they can". For children who struggle, we need to keep this in mind. That is what your article said to me. I could feel the hurt we feel inside as parents when our child is hurting and we can't fix it but instead have to patiently guide them. Your compassion showed deeply here.
Deborah Anderson02/05/05
Very nice job. God bless you.