Need a quick win this week? How about if I share the 3 phrases that have meade the biggest impact on my mothering and… wife…ing??? Being a better wife and mom.
These are emergency phrases, to pull out when you’re about to lose it. Whether you’re frustrated at the kids, annoyed with your husband, cutoff in traffic or angry about something on the news, Try throwing these 3 phrases at the situation before you end up saying something you regret.
They’ve kept me out of the confessional multiple times!
1) Of Course He Did
Or she. He or she. They. Of course that person did. Said person was a jerk, and did something unkind to me. Yeah. Of course he did! He is a fallen human being, just like me. We are all constantly fighting (or not fighting) the effects of original sin. The truth is, without God’s grace, there is not a single sin or crime that any one of us is incapable of committing.
Let me say that again: Without God’s grace, there is not a single sin or crime that any one of us is incapable of.
Acknowledging that, really accepting the fact that we are all fallen, is tremendous. This frees us from looking for human excellence (and being disappointed when we don’t see it) and lets us see only GOD’S excellence. In all things that go well, we can see God’s work, His grace and love.
And when a person does something stupid… well, of course he did.
2) Above My Pay Grade
When we see wrongs, it is so easy to lose our peace. To become frustrated, worried, angry over something someone else is doing or not doing. But you know what I’m starting to really internalize? Worrying about what others do is simply above my pay grade.
It’s okay to be small.
It’s okay to just be the little housewife reading a story to my toddler. It’s okay to admit that I can’t see the whole picture. I can’t see anyone else’s heart. I can’t know the reasons or motivations behind their actions. And if I try to guess, well I would almost always be wrong.
Yes, that news story a friend shared on facebook was tragic, but that’s just not part of my world. Yes, that situation and behavior with the extended family member could steal my peace, but it’s just not my responsibility. Of course I pray, but after that it’s in God’s hands. Being angry, worried, or stressed about it just isn’t my job.
I have also found this thought to be incredibly helpful when I’m trying to control my husband. If I don’t agree with something he is doing, or how he is doing it, this helps me back off. Sure, it’s my job as his wife to tell him my thoughts and concerns, but after that, what he decided to do is up to him. Being head of the family just isn’t my job.
My job is doing the dishes. My job is changing the diapers. My job is creating a wholly Catholic atmosphere in my own little home. I am small, and my job is small. And all that other stuff is just above my little paygrade.
3) I deserve it
Sometimes people are just plain mean.
People smear your name. People steal. People say things that hurt. People can cause so much pain!
You know what, though? No matter what they do, they could never do more than what I deserve. We don’t like to think this way. We like to see ourselves as pretty good people. We like to see what others do to us as an injustice. And in a way, it is an injustice, but not against us. A person hurting us is only an injustice against God, because He is the only one with the right to punish the sinner. But against us? Anything another person does is a drop in the ocean of what we deserve for offending God by our sins.
So if our husband says something (or neglects to say something) that hurts us? We deserve the pain anyways for offending God.
When our kids cause us grief and tears? We deserve the pain anyways for offending God.
When a loved one smears our name? When a coworker steals from us? Any abuse we have experienced in the past? It is all nothing compared to what we truly deserve.
I really hope that some day I will grow to the point where, like the saints, I can feel GRATEFUL to those who hurt me because they are helping me atone for my sins. 🙂
In Corde Maria,