As my emotions have come back under control and I've regained my normal grip on sanity (though as usual just a slight one!), I've found God speaking to me more and more tonight. He hasn't come down on me and given me a hard time about "losing" it today, I think He knows I'm going to be hard enough on myself that He doesn't have to.
However, He has used today as I way for me to learn things. One of the things I tossed out at the kids has already come back at me. I made a huge issue out of the fact that they have to be respectful towards each other. I reached my limit of the constant bickering back and forth, one bossing the other and one whining and complaining CONSTANTLY. I asked them to think about how they treat people at church versus how they treat each other at home. It's a very good point and something they DO need to think about it and implement. However, the lesson doesn't just stop with them.
I think I just gave myself the same speech. I am more patient with people at church or in the "real" world outside my four walls. I don't expect as much from them and give them more grace. It's easier to turn the other cheek in the "outside" world. Unfortunately, my standards for my children and even my husband are much higher. Granted, I do want more from them and EXPECT more from them and I believe that is OK. What isn't OK is that when they don't measure up, I don't give them as much love and patience as they deserve. I forget at times that they probably got some of their stubbornness honestly and sometimes they REALLY do have short memories and focus. It doesn't mean that I should drop all of my expectations of them, but I do need to teach and train MORE through love. There is wisdom in the saying you get more flies with honey!
I also think the being patient and exhibiting grace should really apply to ourselves as well. For someone with a perfectionist attitude and LOFTY goals, it's hard for things to not always go perfectly or quickly. I am still learning to treat myself with the same respect I offer others. I'm really great at giving people chance after chance, but for myself I don't allow that. I think God used today and all of its ugliness and failure to REACH me. I think He wanted me to see that because I lost focus on the fact that ONLY HE is perfect and HE doesn't demand perfection of me, I failed....big time. I allowed myself to put too much pressure on myself in the previous weeks (or months) and looking ahead to the next several weeks with the start of a new school year that I let it ALL build up. Today has been about starting from the bottom and looking back towards the future with a new set of eyes. Less pressure. More love. More forgiveness and patience. More reliance on God for ALL things and less reliance on self.
Not everything about today was a waste. God found me, that's what matters. He didn't find me all "shiny & perfect", but He found me and loved me anyway. Thankfully He's going to help shine me back up and put me on the right path. Thankfully when I stumble, I'm still caught in his grace.