By Jodi Whisenhunt
It’s a beautiful fall afternoon, cool by Texas standards. A misty drizzle spritzes the window while I relax in the recliner and listen to my children’s laughter. When what to my wandering eye should appear, but a miniature sleigh and…Oops! I guess I got too relaxed for a moment.
It’s a rare occurrence these days to have time to daydream. I’m a freelance writer and editor, but I also homeschool my children. School has resumed, as has all the busy-ness that accompanies the season. We have classes, music lessons, dance rehearsals, ball games, church events, and sleepovers. Not to mention deadlines, doctor appointments, Bible studies, and holidays. Complicate matters with each family member’s unique frustration level and nerves can quickly fry.
My daughter tends to be overly dramatic. Why, just today she threw a fit at Academy Sports & Outdoors because she did not get a soccer ball like the one her brother has. Even with Mom and Dad’s assurance of, “Maybe you’ll get one for your birthday,” she insisted she never gets anything she wants and whined and moaned all the way home.
My husband was tempted to react. He sternly reprimanded her a couple times, but then remembered to stop and breathe. Acknowledging her tantrum rewarded her and encouraged her to continue, whereas stopping to breathe allowed Daddy to maintain self-control and assert his authority more effectively.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) advises, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy prides himself on the inevitable disasters that loom over the most carefully organized schedules and the conflicts that lurk on every page of the calendar.
And so each day, when havoc threatens peaceful productivity: Stop. Breathe. Such restraint improves discipline, both the discipline of our labor and the discipline of daily structure. It curbs anxiety and allows God to order our days. By practicing self-control, we resist our enemy the devil and he flees from us, freeing us to go about our busy-ness in a civilized manner.
The clouds have given way to the setting sun, weaving hues of lavender and azure amid soft pink billows…A Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night! Sorry! I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jodi Whisenhunt and her husband Richard homeschool their three children in McKinney, Texas. Jodi is a freelance writer and editor whose services are available at jodiwhisenhunt.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.