“So, Elizabeth, if you had a warning label, what would it be?” My husband, the youth pastor, quizzed me jokingly as I sat perched on a stool in front of youth group.
I didn’t even have to think before answering, “Contents may explode under pressure.”
Yeah. Not exactly something I like admitting, but the gospel truth.
Recently I’ve been diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, brought on by years of chronic stress. I’m thankful for the diagnosis, and am in the middle of healing, but it emphasizes that something is wrong underneath the surface in my life. When we experience unhealthy symptoms, whether physical or emotional, they point to underlying issues.
As a mom, so many things are out of my control, one of my greatest fears. I know that fear causes me to explode all over my children. When I heard about the book Triggers, by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake, addressing parents’ angry reactions, I knew it would speak to the roots of my anger, like fear.
This book hits on 31 hot button topics of parenting, from external triggers like over-stimulation, backtalk and whining to internal triggers like depression, exhaustion, and generational patterns. They leave no stone uncovered and as I read, I felt like I was being handed the most practical of tools, straight from God’s Word to help me address my deep heart issues.
I think the best parenting books are the ones that remind you you are seen and heard and that you are not alone. Amber and Wendy write in a way that feels like you’re sitting down sharing coffee together with kids running around the house in the background.
From their chapter “All the Noise”:
“I must learn to behave myself, even when I don’t get what I need! And then at the same time, I must learn to carve out quiet so that I can get what I need…We must learn to cope by carving out the quiet, and learn to cope when there’s no quiet to be found…You must learn to control yourself, even on the noisiest days.”
Yeah, ouch. I appreciate the truth they speak and the kind words they use to speak it. God’s Word covers these pages to show him as the source for all our triggers.
If you’re needing encouragement with your anger, as a mom or dad, this book is a great one to pick up. Healing from survival mode won’t come unless we address the emotional and physical needs we’ve been stuffing under the surface.