Wednesday, December 7


So it's December, my calendar tells me. And the anxiety building in my heart about Christmas gifts and having things organized is also a reminder that the end of the year is coming on quickly... how come Christmas isn't more like Labor day? The purpose of Labor day is to NOT work, NOT stress, and just enjoy. Christmas should definitely be more like that!

It's been a whirlwind in the Cushman house the last few weeks. For Thanksgiving, we woke early on Thanksgiving morning and drove the 6 hours to Houston to spend with my extended family... and drove back on Friday morning, due to Blair and J both getting sick on Thursday night. We spend the weekend with J and Blair both sleeping quite a bit, and me and B trying not to get sick. That only lasted for about a week, when B started getting a cough and runny nose.

This past weekend, Blair and I went to a marriage conference in San Antonio. Anne took care of the boys while we were gone, and it was a very refreshing weekend for us. We came home on Sunday to some very different boys... it seems our departure for the weekend struck a deep chord in their abandoned hearts, and they've reverted back to behaviors we haven't seen in 3 months. The past two days have been filled with severe tantrums every 15-30 minutes, B responding like an infant and not a 3.5 year old, and both of them intentionally disregarding rules that they had previously obeyed without issue.

Yesterday I stupidly decided to go grocery shopping and errand running, and J screamed the entire time in HEB and B threw infant tantrums. Needless to say, I got my groceries as quickly and as quietly as possible, and bawled the whole way home.

What is alarming to me -- more than the boys reverting to poor behaviors and tantrums -- is that anger, frustration, and impatience build up and spill over in my expressions, attitude, words, and behavior toward the boys (and life, and whomever else intersects my path). And I'm faced with the ugliness of Me, and the complete failure to be the Mom that I wish I could be (or even should be).

What I'm learning is that it's easy to pray for the symptoms, and not the root cause. It's easy to ask people, "Please just pray for patience with the boys today..." instead of asking, "I have a sinful heart; please pray for the Lord to change it." Ultimately, my impatience and anger and frustration are the symptoms of a selfish, sinful, prideful heart. And I don't like to address that on a day-to-day basis; I prefer to think that it's only an occasional flare up rather than a chronic condition.

So ultimately I'm thankful for the realization of the true nature of my actions/responses... it's teaching me how to pray in a way that I believe God will answer. It's teaching me not to depend on my own strength, self control, experience with children, or psych classes. It's reminding me to daily find my sufficiency in Christ, who alone can change a darkened heart and cause goodness to overflow from it.


  1. you are such an incredible mom, e. your heart is beautiful. those boys are so blessed to have you.

  2. hmm. i thought of our conversation about this last week. about having angry hearts. i struggled with an angry heart and came face to face with the ugliness of me this week. it was so hard ... and good. thanks for your honesty. i so often think of your words as i walk through my days.