Staying Steady in the Ups and Downs of Life

Corkscrew Roller Coaster

In April of this year, my three oldest kids got their first taste of the thrill of roller coasters. We were at a family event at an amusement park, and hanging out with their slightly older cousins had some effect on their choice of rides. Sadly for my husband (who hates roller coasters), my 5-year-old could only ride with an accompanying adult.

In my younger years, I LOVED roller coasters. Now, I’m older and wiser, and I’m just fortunate to have a 3-year-old son, who is my excuse right now to avoid those rides. By the way, did you hear about the roller coaster that derailed because of a tree branch that fell on the track. Scary! … But, I digress.

Where was I? So, roller coasters are on my mind because that’s the kind of week I’ve had.

One day, I’m on top of the world. Thankful. Happy. Enjoying my kids. Enjoying life.

The next day (sometimes, the next hour), I’m screaming at the top of my lungs at the disastrous descent that I’m on. Complaining. Angry. Hateful. Missing out on life.

I realized that I’ve been careless with my words and my tone when speaking to my children. Kids will be kids. They won’t always do everything you tell them to. But I’ve sometimes resorted to the lazy parent method of scolding, snapping, and getting angry. Sure, it gets some quick results, but it creates major damage to my relationship with them. And, they learn nothing but “Don’t get mom mad.”

Humility and forgiveness. My prideful heart fights against these. But they are the soothing balm to hurting hearts, mine and my children’s. And, what I love about my kids is that they do not hesitate to forgive. Despite my failures, their love has not wavered.

Thank God the ride ends! I can get off and come to my senses. I don’t like roller coasters. I don’t like the unnecessary highs and lows.

I want to remain steady … fixed, focused, and trusting in my God.

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11 thoughts on “Staying Steady in the Ups and Downs of Life

  1. This was the perfect post for me today.

    I just want to screech but I’m trying to stay on track mentally.

    We all overslept this morning so I had to drive my son to summer camp instead of getting him to the bus. He forgot to pack his lunch so we had to stop at a supermarket on the way and I was unnecessarily cranky with him. I was feeling really bad about that after I dropped him off and wondering what he thinks of me as a mother.

    Then after dropping my son off, I was on my way to drop off my laptop, which died last night, at the repair shop and my car broke down and had to be towed to my mechanic.

    There’s a lesson in everything right?

    I hope you have a good weekend…

    1. Oh my, that’s quite a ride you’ve been on. Not just dips, but a few corkscrew turns in a row! You’re right … even our worst days always have a lesson we can learn from. Have a good weekend too!

  2. I am the same way. Happy, faithful, at peace….then BAM I am a wreck. It honestly happens less now that two of my kids aren’t “little” because there is less that I stress about, but it still does happen.
    Thank you for the encouragement.
    By the way, I’m taking Maggie & Joshua to Six Flags over GA on Sunday!! 😛

    1. I think the derailment happened at a Six Flags (not in Georgia though). Just watch out for rides that are near overgrown trees!

  3. A good reminder, but so hard to do in practice! I would like to be more on an even keel. And as to roller-coasters. I used to love them when I was young, too, but haven’t been on one for years. I wonder how I would feel now .

    1. I just went on one recently with my kids. When I was young and loved them, it was a thrill. Now, many, many years later, I imagined all the things that could go wrong with the ride, and all of them involved derailment. I don’t foresee my kids getting tired of this any time soon. Oh well!

  4. I find I am like all your mums! I have good intentions of having humility and forgiveness in regards to parenting but more often than i care to admit I resort to old habits of snapping and yelling angrily. Honestly, I know we are human so sometimes I am going to fail but I am trying to train my mind and heart to respond differently than the parenting I grew up with…..any tips?

    1. Three things that have helped me are memorizing Bible verses that pertain to this area, having someone I trust to keep me accountable, and prayer (lots and lots of it). A verse that I go to often is James 1:19-20, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” The “slow to speak” part is a good indicator for me. When I start talking faster and multiplying my words (often I’m just saying the same things over and over again), I’m headed for danger. I also tell the child to go to their room and wait for me there. This gives me time to calm my emotions, collect my thoughts, and be more prepared to speak to the child rightly. Sending them to their room is not a punishment/timeout/isolation tactic. Rather, it’s an opportunity to instruct the child in a more calm fashion. And, it’s also private to protect the kid from embarrassment iif there are other people around. I hope this helps! Like you said, we’re human, so we’re going to fail, but we have a forgiving God. We get back up and try again.

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