Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taming the Mama Bear in Me

I'm glad you can't see or smell me right now.  Not only I have not showered from my workout this morning, I'm eating sour cream and onion lays potato chips.  It's probably not the best aroma I've every had.

This pregnancy is definitely different from the first two.  I don't crave sweets or pizza.  I certainly enjoy them both but I wouldn't miss them if they were gone.  With Natalie and Sophia, I had to have something sweet every day and we ordered pizza probably every 3-4 nights. 

This time around, it's Dr. Pepper and salty/savory.  Lots of people have told me that means I'm having a boy and we shall find out if they are right in about 3 weeks when I have the all-important halfway-through-term ultrasound.  Little Mr/Miss's heartbeat is nice and strong and I'm not gaining a lot of weight.  But I'm a lot closer to 40 now, so it's probably not the best idea to pack on pounds I may never be able to lose again!

My hormones seem more in balance this time around too.  That might have something to do with the allergy elimination (NAET) work, and there is no lack of circumstances in our life right now that would/should/could push me into a crying mess.  Yet, in general, I'm pretty in-balance, positive, hopeful and feeling good.

Until this morning anyways. 

One of the girls confessed, after a few days of odd, fussy behavior, she was having problems with a little boy at school bothering her.  We talked through it, I emailed her teacher and had a plan for the day.  But when I dropped them off - a wave of sadness/grief/frustration/anger rolled over me.  I know the veracity of my feelings was fed by the heightened pregnancy hormones, but it felt so unfair that one of my sweet girls has to deal with this on top of everything else we've been through and are facing.

As I walked for exercise through my neighborhood, I could barely contain my emotions.  I choked them back because I didn't want to look like a lunatic, wailing my way through the streets.   

But I won't lie: The Mama Bear in me wanted to roar on behalf of my injured cub!

I've unleashed my Mama Bear before, to mixed results.  Many times the situation ends up worse rather than better, so I wasn't ready to unhinge just yet.  I poured out my heart (silently) to God and after a few minutes, I was reminded of a statement I made on Tuesday night.  (I hate when my own words of wisdom to someone else come back to haunt me.)

During the discussion about how to be convinced of God working in our lives, I observed, for the Christian, there are two kinds of emotions we deal with: physical and spiritual. 

The physical emotions you know.  They are the ones we FEEL, the ones we seek to gratify.  They are the ones right up on the surface, waiting to be acknowledged and fed like pets.  Emotions are not bad - God created us with them.  However, when we let them turn into ravenous beasts, they have destructive consequences.  That's probably why James spends so much time talking about taming our tongues - because that's typically the medium we use to express those emotions dying to get out!

On the other hand, there are spiritual emotions given to us at salvation.  You might know them by a more classical name: fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23.)  They are down deeper than physical emotions.  They lie in wait to be activated by the Holy Spirit working in us, through prayer, contrition, service and worship.  They do require a lot of practice to tap in to.  But not one of them ever hurt another person, they only bring glory to God and growth to us - which is why Paul says there is no law against them.

As I walked, I realized something.  One of these feelings - Mama Bear vs. fruits of the Spirit - was going to win and the choice was up to me.  If I was going to make the choice to follow Christ, my Mama Bear instinct had to submit to my Heavenly Father's instinct.  It is only in that surrender that grace would be achieved and a solution that glorifies God would be found.  So, I spent some time repelling the forces that sought the destruction of my girl and prayed for the boy and his family.  I lived out James 4:7 right there on the road by my house.  I began to feel a little better.

It didn't take those Mama Bear instincts away, those won't ever change.  I want to protect ALL of my children from any pain and heartache.  But God is calling me to surrender my kids and my feelings in any and every situation.  Since then I've found out He already had my girl in His Hands.  He has not only taken care of the issue, but given her a heart of forgiveness and concern for the boy who has been upsetting her.  What a glorious work He has done!

I have been schooled again by Jesus and I am so thankful He keeps a leash on me.

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