I began to cook, with a heavy heart, with a stressed-out mind. I was particularly discouraged with my kids who just didn’t seem to be getting the point with some of the things that we’ve been working on together as a family. Everything seemed so “horrible”, which mean that I was a horrible mom, doing a terrible job.

And to prove it, my boy had to come to the kitchen with one of his little toy cars and drive it all around the counter, as loud as possible. I have to say here that he is crazy about cars, but it had been a while that he came and played in the kitchen with one. He enjoyed playing in his room, on the floor, on his road mat. But it was not the time for play, in my mind or according to my plan and schedule. I was cooking dinner and the kids were supposed to be doing their homework, cleaning their rooms, taking their showers and getting in pyjamas.

So when he comes with his car, in front of me, making noises like a two-year old, I began to feel even more stressed. 5 minutes passed and he was still at it. so stress turned to frustration. He continued at the 10 minute point. Therefore frustration led to anger. Now I was ready to “let him have it!” or to “lash out at him” or “show him how upset I was” for him not getting to his things he needed to do.

But I tried so hard to keep my mouth shut. I nearly blurt out a few times, but didn’t. Plus on top of it, he was in my way. I needed the counter space. He was loud, very loud, when all I needed and wanted was a little peace and quiet at the end of the day.

Finally, after 20 minutes, he quietly slipped away and went to what he needed to do. I hadn’t said a word. I hadn’t spoken, and I didn’t need to.

But then I felt it: the pain, the conviction, the heart-ache. I missed those 20 minutes with my boy, that I could have had, bringing him a little love and encouragement. I then stopped to think of all the things I could have done or could have said, to appreciate and encourage his creativity in play, his concentration on one thing for a good amount of time, his love for simple things, etc.

And instead, all I gave him, was fuming silence, irritated vibes and a frustrated spirit.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)