Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Looming Spectre of the Bathtub

I have a lot of kids.

And with the number of kids that I have, we have a proportional number of what I like to call hissy fits. For the sake of clarity, a hissy fits is a burst of energy that spontaneously erupts from one who lacks self-control. Commons symptoms that accompany a full fledged hissy fit are kicking, screaming, "bad attitude", grunting, moaning, crying, sorrow, and diarrhea. Okay, not diarrhea usually, but when we have an F5 on our hands, anything is possible.

In our family, when one chooses to initiate a hissy fit, they get to sit in the bathtub until they are ready to repent. The bathtub is ideal for several reasons. First, not even a full scale kicking, hitting, head butting (yeah, I know, but it only happens once), toddler can damage the inside of a bathtub. Second, our house has three evenly distributed bathtubs, providing easy access and room for multiple, concurrent hissy fitters. Third, sitting in a dry bathtub is ridiculous and the hissy fitter quickly understand that their position is completely absurd, hastening the end of the fit.

With the beginning of our school yesterday, though, I felt the presence of the bathtub more fully. Things did not always go the way that I wanted them to go. The children did not do everything that I wanted them to do. In short, the universe shifted and did not revolve around me. I think that this is probably true in general, but the occasional reminders affirm that I lack gravity.

So I had hissy fits.

Not the out of control, kicking F5 type of fit. But the subtle, internal hissy fit that cost me joy and led me to question whether the Lord really had my best interests at heart: Lord, do you really think that giving me six children was wise? The kind of hissy fit that begins with a tightening in my chest and ends with me yelling at someone as they threaten the comfort I think I deserve.

And so, this morning, my Heavenly Father put me in the Proverbial bathtub:

A soft answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Good sense makes one slow to anger,and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

A man of wrath stirs up strife,and one given to anger causes much transgression. Proverbs 29:22

I think I am done now. Can I please get out of the bathtub?

Soli Deo Gloria.

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