Guilty as Charged

“I am the one holding the keys to the atmosphere in our home.”
~ Terry Maxwell ~
Author of: Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit

Ouch! Does this one ever hurt?

My kids are out of control and I’m the reason why!

It’s an all too familiar scene. Me checking email while the kids are supposed to be doing their school work. I look up in between typing. “Joey(9), have you started your school work?” Chris is still sawing logs in bed, and Timmy (6) is playing nicely with Grace (4) because I haven’t set out his school work yet.

I’m distracted and not in control of my kids. When I call Timmy to do his work, he ignores me. Chris (12) finally slumps down the steps, disrupting the semi-quiet house with his just out of bed attitude. (Not a good one, mind you.)

I pull myself away from the computer and try to gain control of the morning, but we’ve been off schedule for some time now.

I could blame it on the fact that the Chris’ play has caused us to stay up late many times a week, for several weeks. So in an attempt to catch up on sleep, we all catch a few extra winks in the morning.

I could blame it on the holidays and the cold weather that makes me want to spend the day in my pajamas surfing the net. Or I could blame it on the fact that my kids are just rebellious. But bottom line is they are following my lead.When I don’t have a plan for the day, the day seems to spiral out of control. Kind of like this…

No one is listening to me and if they are, they’re not obeying. I raise my voice a little louder, not wanting to deal with their disobedience, hoping that they’ll just listen and do what they’re told. Fat chance. They continue to ignore me until I finally get frustrated enough and blow my top.

I run through the house like a lunatic, trying to get everyone back on task. My nine year old starts to yell and whine back at me, my 12 year old throws insults at my nine year old and my six year old cries because I raised my voice at him. When I gain composure and try to apologize, he won’t listen to me and stomps off to find a quiet place to cool down.

I feel the weight of my sin and try to make everything right again. I find those I’ve offended and apologize. We talk about disobedience, distractions, the enemy and his fiery darts and then about consequences.

This senario happened the other night. We all repented and we all understood (and received) the consequences of our sin. But was it enough to change our behavior? Enough to change my behavior?

The reality is I’ve grown weary in doing good. It’s no fun parenting all the time! So I think over the last several weeks, I’ve slowly allowed myself to get out of focus. I’ve welcomed the distractions because I’ve wanted to distance myself from my never ending parenting and homeschooling responsibilities. And I had to pay a price for it!

My children’s behavior is a result of the atmosphere I’ve created. I didn’t wake up one morning and consciously say, I’m going to let my home go. It just happened. Slowly.

But the story doesn’t have to end here. If I am to blame for the negative behavior in my home, I have the power to turn it around. How? By following simple God’s leading…

A gentle answer turns away wrath.Train up a child in the way he should go…

Do everything without arguing and complaining.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Beloved, let us love one another.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

I think those are good places to start!


  1. That is a really heart-reaching quote! And I loved the verses you shared. This time of year is the hardest on me, because we do so many extra things in the name of Christmas that it’s almost impossible to keep to a schedule in homeschooling. Thus I feel guilty all the time for any time not spent in the books! I’m seriously thinking of starting 2 weeks early next year, so we can take 3 weeks off at Christmas instead of 1!

  2. momteacherfriend pointed me to this blog post and I believe it was a word in due season for me. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your house sounds like mine. I only have 2 kids. 3 and 2 years old. Thanks for the suggestions on where to get started. I needed that…. especially “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”… I see my mother in me. She would always yell at us to get us to do what she wanted. I find myself doing the same. Sometimes it feels like my kids ears aren’t working properly. They totally know how to tune me out. So I will start with “A gentle answer turns away wrath”

  4. Great post!!!
    I love that quote and how you related it. “My kids are out of control and I’m the reason why!”

    When my dog is disobedient and no longer listening, it is because I have not be consistent in her training.
    When my kids watching 4 hours straight of TV and act lazy, it is because I have allowed it.
    When the dishes are undone, it is because I have not done them.
    When…, it is because of me.

    Thanks for the reminder that I can change my circumstances, that I hold the keys for my home.

  5. Great verses you posted today. And so true that we have to stay so focused on Him.

  6. Gina. Thank-you. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Thanks for being so open!

  7. Ok, that just blew me away. Thank you for your honesty, because through it I see myself and it brings tears to my eyes. That was so good. I like the way Stacey said, “Thanks for your vulnerability. You were so honest…”

    There’s a lot of “Wows” here this morning because this really was awesome.

  8. Gina, this hit me like an arrow to the heart. I could not have said it any better, “I grew weary of doing good”. Oh my goodness that is so true. I find myself just like that.

    Thank you for this post and reminder. I am going to go contemplate more on this.


  9. Seems like we go around the same mountain time after time (“Hey, haven’t I been here before??”) Sheesh. I like your places to start again…great stuff.

  10. “renewed focus”…I attempt to do this daily during my quiet time before everyone gets up and gets started on their day…most days it works…some days I go back to what is comfortable but not healthy for all involved…old habits are hard to break…hopefully we have taught our children well in the area of forgiveness.

  11. You know I really never thought about that I am the key to what happens in my household until Christine selected the quote.
    I can’t even imagine how hard it can be to raise 4 children AND homeschooling them. I am sure it can be very exhausting.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this week’s quote.

  12. Beautiful post! And it really, really hit close to home – thanks for the reminder.

  13. WOW! Do I ever see myself in this post! Thank you for holding up a mirror for me to see my reflection and allow God to speak.

  14. Wow, Gina, thanks for your vulnerability. You were so honest – I could relate to the progression you spoke of when you described the “escalating” of your reactions.

    Let us pray for one another’s renewed focus!

  15. Great post Gina! Wow, I hear all of that loud and clear. I, too, get stuck in the blame game, trying to find some other reason for the chaos. And I have been known to run around like a lunatic too. 🙂

    I appreciate your honest take on this and the way you are able to involve your kids in the renewal in the aftermath of a bad day.

    Thanks for participating! Have a great week!

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