Being Transformed into HIS Image

"All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him." 2 Corinthians 3:18 (MSG)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Accountability: Part 2

The fates conspired to make me hormonal the day Ramon started holding me accountable for losing my temper. We were getting ready to host a large family dinner at our house in a few days, and I was strongly reminding (okay, nagging) our son (yep, the same son as previous post) to get his room and teen area cleaned. Derek (who knows how to push all my buttons) started arguing, and I escalated it. Ramon walked into the room and cleared his throat. He gave a slight nod toward the boy, and I knew he wanted me to apologize. I resisted, because a part of me felt justified. Ramon cleared his throat again, and I remembered that I had asked for accountability. So I swallowd my pride and apologized to Derek. Then Ramon told Derek to apologize for back talking his mother, and then get his chores done.

After Derek left the room, I thanked Ramon for stepping in, but I tried to excuse myself by saying I hadn't actually lost my temper or used harsh words. Ramon said any raised or harsh-sounding voice is unacceptable in our home, and he was going to nip it in the bud. I started to protest, and he held up a hand for silence. Then he said, "You asked for accountability, and you have it. There is no going back. You are going to learn to speak nicely, and I will stop you every time you chose not to." Wow.

At dinner that day, I confessed to the kids that I had a problem with anger and had asked Dad to hold me accountable for the way I spoke to them. The kids looked at each other and then looked down. I think they were trying not to laugh. Derek definitely had a little smirk going. Bless his heart, Ramon told the kids that he expected them to respect and obey me, and if they had a problem with Mom, come to him, don't backtalk Mom or they will be in trouble. I probably smirked a little myself at this, until the talk-to-Dad-about-Mom part sunk in.

The next day, Abby, our teen daughter, let the dogs make muddy paw prints on my freshly polished kitchen floor. I yelled at her, and then jumped when Ramon appeared out of nowhere to tell me (verbally, not just with a raised eyebrow or cleared throat!) that there was no need to yell at Abby for a simple mistake. I told him, "I don’t have time to rewash floors because the kids are stupid enough to ..." He cut me off and said, "Sweetheart, you have been working hard and are clearly stressed out. I want you to apologize to Abby and then go rest in the bedroom." I apologized, but after Abby left the room, I told Ramon I was too busy to take a nap. He said, "I didn't say take a nap. I said go to your room. You're in time-out." I said, "What? You have got to be kidding me! I'm not doing that!" He took hold of both of my arms, ordered me to look at him, and said, "I'm perfectly serious. Go sit on the bed. While you're there, look up at least one Bible verse about controlling the tongue. I'll be in to check on you in a few minutes. Go." He turned me around and nudged me toward the bedroom with a little swat on the butt. Wow -- all I could think was,

Who is this man, and what has he done with my husband?

(Final part to come...)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Accountability: Part I

When I approached Ramon about DD, I requested help controlling my temper, but he couldn't comprehend my need for accountability, and he outright refused to consider discipline.

One day, I angrily called our teen son a “stupid brat.” After I apologized, he shrugged, saying, "I forgive you. I'm used to it." Used to it? I requested clarification. He replied, "You get stressed, yell, and say sorry -- like a loop. I always forgive you, and the next time you get frustrated, you yell and say sorry again. It's just who you are."

Ramon walked into our bedroom, where I was sobbing with regret. He asked, "Why do you keep responding with sinful anger?"

"Because the angry response is so engrained in me that I can't seem to change."

He said, "That's a cop-out; you could change if you really wanted to."

Ramon and I had been through this exchange before, and I cried out in frustration. "Yes, I should be able to change on my own, but at this rate, our kids will be grown before I learn. They won't remember all the wonderful things I did with them when they were young; all they'll remember are their teen years when Mom turned into a shrew. I've begged you to hold me accountable. How can you love me and just stand by and let me destroy my relationships with our kids? Why won’t you help me?"

"What? By spanking you?" he sneered.

"Forget the spanking. I thought that might shock me out of it, and a spanking seemed a small price for learning to avoid hurting the kids; but you don’t have to. Just step in and stop me if you see me start to lose it. Can't you even do that much?"

"How am I supposed to stop you? Send you to your room?"

"Whatever you feel comfortable with. I just want you to hold me accountable in some way for how I speak to the children."

He studied me for a long moment before nodding. "Okay. I'll try holding you accountable. Just remember that you asked for this."