I wrote 500 words about canceling Netflix, but I deleted them. And I was British-spelling “canceling.” I read lots of British English, so I like adding letters that Americans don’t typically use to words that just look WRONG otherwise. Canceling. Cancelling.
I must really need to say something, because I keep shooting off along rabbit trails, even when I’m just trying to think about what to write. It’s a sort of Bilbo-as-a-tea-kettle scenario over here – I am roiling and could absolutely shriek at any moment. It’s mostly not-bad, but life has been heavy lately so the pressure is really on.
So, I broke up with Netflix. I am not sure if I have mentioned it in a published post or not, but I also broke up with the kids’ toys. It seems like I did mention that, because I vaguely recall using our thumbs-down Instagram post image. But, y’all, what I really need to break up with is our lack of discipline, some anger issues, my dependence on high fructose corn syrup & caffeine, and … lots of other things.
And I just can’t. I am at my wits’ end and I feel like I’m drowning and what I keep coming back to is that God knows. He equips us. You know how much I like systems and reminders and signs, right? I have been thinking for a while that we need Bible verses to help us, as a family, stay on track with loving each other and forgiving each other and trusting that God just knows. We are safe, we can grow, life is hard, we can be okay.
After thinking about it for probably a week, I pulled together some Bible verses, paraphrased them, reduced them to 1-4 words each, color-coded some signs, and made pony-bead-and-chenille-stick bracelets (I don’t say “pipe cleaners” anymore because we have actual pipe-cleaning chenille sticks, and they are crazy scratchy).
While I was explaining to everyone what in the WORLD was going on, I kept calling everything our rainbow promise. When I think about rainbows, I think about how God keeps his promises. I’ve got it that the rainbow is technically a promise simply to never flood the whole Earth again. But. In a big-picture sense, it’s about making and keeping promises. It’s about being able to trust God.
I have been angry, yelling, frazzled Mom for longer than I care to admit. I can feel myself being absolutely NOT my best me. I could be worse. I could be a lot worse. But forget “could be worse!” – I don’t want to be like this, not for another minute throughout the rest of my life. Dealing with anxiety and depression is a constant battle. Motherhood is HARD. Life is crazy. But it’s also very beautiful and full of opportunity.
The overall promise I’m clinging to is 1st John 4:18. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (ESV) I’m so tired of feeling like all I’m doing is punishing my kids and punishing myself and looking for the next crazy battle. I want my heart to change. I want to help my kids be the best they can be. To get there, I must rely on God’s love. His good and perfect love.
Our rainbow promise bracelets – the Bible verses I’ve pulled together – the signs up all over the house (we probably need more of the bigger one, srsly)… they’re reminders that the battle belongs to God and God always wins. I want us to make choices without using fear as a motivator or a guide. I don’t want to be overly abrasive out of fear that my children won’t act “right” when they’re older. I don’t want fear to be a part of our family relationship dynamic. I want us to choose to let God perfect us in love.