Monday, February 25, 2013

Orange Rhino

Thank goodness for colorful animals.  I mean really, they make our lives more interesting, don't you think?

You know me.  Scatter-brained.  Half-baked ideas that I haven't thought all the way through.  Change my mind.  Change my attitude (sometimes).  Orange.

So tired lately.  Depressed maybe, except I don't feel sad.  Stressed out for sure.  Wondering where I fit in, if I do.  What is my role?  Why is my house always a mess?  Why don't my kids listen?  Rhino.

I tried the 40 days of less, and while I didn't blog about it, I did get some accomplished.  I still turned 42.  My house is still a mess.  BUT I did throw a lot away.  I did lose a few pounds.  I did survive the auction.  I did sell some stuff.  I did lighten my responsibility load (blogging was even one!).  Not enough, of any of it.  Except the auction.  THAT was a success.

So today, I am being transparent.  Or going to try to be.  I am joining 652 other people and the Orange Rhino.  Yeah, I'm finally getting to that.  This is a challenge to yell less.  I don't yell all the time.  I didn't used to yell much.  Now I am not sure how much I yell and how much I just act insane.  But I was reminded by a devotion/blog post this morning that children look to their parents as examples of what God is, who He is.  Now that folks, is quite scary.  Will my kids see God as a deity who has mood swings as far as the east is from the west?  Or will they see that "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12).  Will they see that He is loving and compassionate or will they see that there is no room for grace when the dishes aren't done?

So the Orange Rhino ( has challenged us to not yell for 30 days.  Really though, the first ten days is learning about ourselves and why we yell so we can get around to not yelling by day 11.  I have such hopes, but I also know I stayed up way too late last night, my house is still a mess, my kids are still not perfect, and I am still semi-depressed without the sadness.  We are supposed to comment on her blog (link not provided because this is just for the 653 of us) with our answers to our questions, but I decided to put mine here.  Just so you know, I may not blog every day (we saw where the less for 40 worked out).  But if I put it out here and my 12 regular readers know it, whomever you may be, up to the 40-ish that often read ~ I have to really try to stick to it.  Because I don't know WHO is reading and WHO might keep me accountable. 

So here goes...

Step 1 - On a piece of paper, either in a journal or single sheet, draw a line down the middle. Write YELLED on one side, LOVED on the other. All day, every time you yell put a tally mark in that side, every moment you caught yourself and didn’t yell put a tally in the loved side. At the end of the day, put this piece of paper someone where you can see it for motivation.

This should be interesting.  My "Yelled" side should be pretty empty considering the kids go to school until 11 (for B) and 315 (A & J).  Then tonight I am going out with the girls, so no hollering there.  Seems like I have today in the bag.  ha ha, we will see.

Step 2 - Write down the one yelling moment that you feel was the worst parenting disaster ever; the moment you don’t like to talk about. Be descriptive. How did you feel in the moment? Minutes later? Days or months later? What did your kids faces look like? What did they say? 

This I can do. I can't say that I have one single yelling moment that made me feel bad, that there is one that I don't like to talk about.  I have many.  Several.  A whole bunch.  Anytime I lose my temper.  Little stars start popping in my vision.  That I yell loudly or act like I have the most humongous bee in my britches (which I did yesterday and I didn't even yell ~ they all just ran around freaking out because I was acting like their toys personally offended me and I was throwing them in trash bags).  I try not to say hateful things about the child, but my screaming and yelling is so full of hatefulness it just drips.  And splashes.  And smears.  And just moments later, I feel horrific.  Like the drops of hatefulness were actually drops of blood from my babies' broken hearts.  I look around at the destruction and it is more than I can bear.  But 'fess up that I was wrong?  I'll do it if Michael is not around, but won't if he is.  I'll grab them and hold them and tell them I am sorry and I love them.  But damage is done.  They saw the crazy in me popping up.  The crazy that says I am not in control and I want to be.  The crazy that says I need grace.  God forgives me.  He gives me grace when I fall on my face and ask.

That is what my children need to see, if I mess up.  And so they have.  Many times.  But now I want to strive to show them what it looks like to have grace for another.  I want to show them all the forgiveness and grace that my Father shows me.  So Orange Rhino it is. 

Father give me strength to know when I am wrong, to confess my sins and ask for forgiveness, to figure out how to tame my tongue and only use it for love and praise, and to show my babies how much You love them. 

James 3: 5-10

So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.
Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. 10 Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way.


  1. So glad I'm not doing this alone!!! Great post!!!


    1. I wondered if you went ahead and did it. I found her through your FB post. Thanks Julie!! I just cannot imagine you yelling. We will definitely have to make sure we both follow through.