It’s one of those days where my face won’t stop leaking. A seemingly insignificant disagreement has left my heart feeling shattered.
“The house is cold.”
If only I had used those few of words and in a nicer manner than how I begrudgingly spoke, maybe my husband wouldn’t have felt attacked. Maybe he wouldn’t have overreacted and taken out all the fancy new smart vents he purchased with the hope of equalizing the heat distribution throughout the house. Maybe he wouldn’t have shut down to what I was trying to tell him. And that’s what hurt the worst.
For the past 7 years we’ve been having the same argument. I’m home all day doing laundry and dishes and blogging and yada, yada, yada. Every winter as the weather turns cold outside, so does the temperature inside our home. Even though the thermometer reads 70, the chill in the house seeps into my body and leaves me with icy fingers, toes, and nose.
Every winter, hubby tries to regulate the house. Every winter, I crank up the heat while he’s gone.
I know he’s trying. I know he’s frustrated that he can’t make it perfect for me. I know he’s tired of hearing about it.
I’m sure he’s tired of hearing about everything… not just the badgering about a cold house.
I badger and nag and complain and vent. I tell lots of stories and make sure to include all the little details. I excitedly chatter about random things I found amusing during my day. In other words, I talk a lot.
I’ve been told I make a better talker than listener. I’ve been told that my stories are long and that I should get to the point. I’ve seen people literally just glaze over me because what I have to say doesn’t matter to them. But apparently it matters to me or I wouldn’t share it.
And honestly, I’m tired of feeling like I’m not heard. I’m tired in my soul of feeling overlooked. Which is one reason why I yell.
I yell because it feels like no one in the universe can hear what I’m actually trying to say. Well, technically I don’t yell at everyone. Just at the people that matter the most to me. The messed up psychology behind it is that I am hoping that I matter enough to them that they would actually listen to me. But when they don’t, I get hurt. And I yell.
I feel stifled and rejected. I feel uncared for and alone. I feel angry and hurt. So I lash out.
An angry reaction gets attention. An angry reaction, while it makes people slink away, gets heard… to a degree. An angry reaction gets results even though it’s in a negative manner.
But today, after going back and forth with my husband, I clamped my mouth shut. I closed my eyes to dam up the tears swelling in my eyes. And I left the room.
I can’t do it. I can’t yell. It hurts too much. Not just the people I’m yelling at. But it hurts me. It hurts me to the core.
I get looked upon as the angry mom. As an out of control beast. As a mean, heartless waste of time. And it hurts. My God does it hurt.
The irony is that in yelling to be heard, my poor recipient can’t hear a word I’m saying let alone hear the heart that it’s coming from. Not because my voice isn’t occupying the air space. But because they have shut down. And who can blame them?
So today instead of yelling, I left the room and went to do laundry. And something changed.
Rather than continuing my irritation towards my husband, rather than mumbling unkind words under my breath, rather than rehashing all the things I wanted to verbally sling his direction, rather than get aggravated about another thankless task I was performing… I made a mental list of my blessings.
I mentally started to thank God for the shirt I was folding.
“Thank you, Lord, for this sport shirt I get to fold. It means that Dylan has something to keep him warm. It means that he has a healthy body that can run and jump and play.”
Then the next article of clothing was my husband’s…
“Thank you, Lord, for Brad. Thank you that he puts up with me. I am so blessed to have him to walk through life with. He is such a hard worker and does so well to care for our needs.”
While I’m praying these things and counting my blessings, I hear the ruckus of little feet running and stomping. I hear what sounds to be the makings of a WWF match happening on the floor above me. I hear what would not be considered inside voices being used in the boys’ rough housing.
And instead of allowing my usual short-tempered irritation to unleash, I turned a deaf ear to the noise above and thanked God for blessing me with these boys. I thanked him for the beauty of siblings… and even sibling rivalry.
My tears of hurt and selfishness soon turned to tears of overwhelming joy. I have been blessed beyond what I ever deserve. I have been forgiven and loved in spite of my shortcomings and my anger and cruel words.
It is amazing how our perspective changes when we take our wants, our desires and ourselves out of the picture. Rather than harboring anger, I chose to find the good around me instead.
The disagreement over the temperature of the house… it was actually a blessing as well. While the house isn’t any warmer and we will still have to hash out a solution, I was able to use this situation to grow my heart closer to God and open my eyes to what he has blessed me with.
Praying that even in the midst of frustrating circumstances and raging emotions, that you can find the strength to look at your blessings and to give thanks.