Welcome to part 4 of our “She’s Gonna Blow!” series! For other posts, please go to the “She’s Gonna Blow!” page.
Chapter 5: Volcanic Damage
This chapter was hard for me to get through. The topics of physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse were very heavy.
I thought Julie Ann’s definition of physical abuse (from parent to child) was very clear:
…any form of physical treatment or punishment that 1) causes actual harm not only to the body but also to the mind and spirit of the child and 2) results from parental emotions and attitudes that are inappropriate and out of control.
It would have been a lot harder to stomach these definitions of abuse and the self-examination questions if Julie hadn’t been forthcoming and transparent about several incidents that happened with her own children.
I was especially interested in her discussion of spiritual abuse and part of our roles as parents.
…our task as parents is not just to teach our children about God, but to model for them, to the best of our ability, what God is like…As mothers, we are the living, breathing, “in your face” examples of Christ to our children. By our uncontrolled anger, words, and actions, are we creating an image for our children of an out-of-control, impatient, and manipulative God? Will they be able to believe that God is merciful if we seldom demonstrate mercy toward them in their childish-ness? Will they ever be able to grasp the concept of grace…if we as their mothers never extend grace…?
I am not always quick to extend grace to my children. I am not always kind. I am not always reasonable. I have high expectations – and am often angry with other situations in life when I am dealing with my children. This is such a convicting book, and during this chapter I almost felt hopeless. Until I started reading the next section: “Climbing To Sanity”.
Chapter 6: The Bedrock of Truth
Much of this section is about seeking out time with God, accepting His grace, and accepting who He wants me to be.
God doesn’t want us to be “good” mothers; He simply wants us! He wants us to be His children, to draw on His strength, to learn from Him what it means to be a successful human being.
This was such a relieving section to read. As Julie Ann lists what she thought a “good” mother did I found myself relating.
never loses her temper…doesn’t mind children grazing from her dinner plate or 12-ounce drink…is able to maintain a serene sense of control as she travels five hours alone with her kids to see their grandparents (was she on my trip with me this summer?)
This section spent some time assuring us that we can’t be the mothers we think we should. Or even the mother God wants us to, without God actually being involved. Some of Julie Ann’s points remind me of the steps in a 12 step program that I touched on at the bottom of “Am I An Angry Mother?”.
Julie Ann tells us that we can’t live in denial – we have to accept that we’ve acted out angrily with our children. Then we have to confess, and hardest of all, we have to accept that we are forgiven! Though these steps might be difficult, what a relief to know that I can’t do this by myself, I only need to accept Christ’s help.
Here’s a verse we can recite as we learn to accept God’s help and grace:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. Ephesians 1:7-8
Here are some questions you can answer in the comments section, or at home in your journal:
As we accept God’s lavish grace, how can we share it with our children? Julie Ann asks “What kind of lavish loving would each of your children appreciate most?”
If you have had a breakthrough in your journey as a mother, please share it here. Even if it has to do with another area besides anger!