By Ricinda Perry
Anybody else get a dose of this here and there? I’m not sure if it was the upswing in work, getting back into my health kick-sugar detox, new community needs, or a combination of it all, but I got hit with a good dose of irritability. It came on so suddenly along with a giant headache and the ripple effect was none-too-pleasant.
It started out with short answers to my curious little girl … everything seems to be followed by a, “Why Mom?” from her. Normally, I take the time to answer as best as I can, but on this morning, I used the shortcut phrase: “I’m not sure honey.” This progressed to the “Because” response, and then it happened, I snapped and told her to please stop asking why and just give Mommy some space. I gave into my irritability and started sulking. When I began my work projects, I found myself rolling my eyes and impatiently banging out a legal memorandum. By the time my husband came home, I was a true joy to be around. Everything he did was wrong and annoying to me.
Before long, I had the whole house on pins and needles … my irritability soon became their irritability, and it all went downhill from there.
Why do we have these days? How do you get out of them?
I have to give my husband the credit for healing the family. He took the reins and got us all back on course. Initially all of his gestures of kindness were met with a prideful rebuff. Then he said something that stopped me dead in my tracks. “I love you and will just pray for you.” Ouch! I felt the biggest pang of regret rip right through my heart. Initially, I thought of staying in my own selfish pity party world, and then I realized it was taking too much effort and I was quite miserable. So I sucked up my pride and opened the door. Next, was the really uncomfortable part – admitting my failure and asking for forgiveness from my husband and daughter. I was immediately clothed in love and forgiveness by my family. Suddenly my irritability melted away, and I felt so good inside.
What did I learn? Heading down the track of irritability was lonely and miserable. It also snowballed and became bondage in my day to the point of paralyzing me and wreaking havoc on my family. One kind and sincere gesture by my husband brought this bondage down around me and restored peace and happiness in my home.
It is so easy to lose our perspective on what is important. I have written a note of thanks in my Bible to look at the next time I start down this path so that I can take control of the situation and not lose a moment of joy with my family. No amount of self-pity can comfort you the way your family can. I have learned from my husband that being a peacemaker is a critical role in the family and that grace and love can overcome irritability any day.