I can feel it: the air of impatience, the attitude of annoyance, and the minute from angry. My kids feel it too.

“Mama! Look, there’s a tea with the word ‘Relax’ on it! You should get that!”

“Yes. Yes I should!” I replied.

I’ve had several cups of that yummy tea … don’t feel relaxed. Still frazzled.

In the car today my 7-year-old peppered me with questions. And each started with “Mama?”

Unfortunately my response was not, “Yes, sweetie?” It was a very testy, exasperated, “Whaaattt?!”

I’ll give myself a little grace being that I was driving in traffic, but really I don’t deserve much at all. There’s no excuse for such fussiness. My children were mostly sweethearts today, but I wasn’t a sweet mama. And when they were naughty … yikes!!!

All this grumpiness makes me think how easily I share how Scripture applies to life, but I sometimes forget to apply it to my persnickety self. So I’m preaching some gospel to myself. I used to pray daily that God would fill me with the fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, Let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)

But then I realized I already have the Holy Spirit and He comes with all those beautiful qualities. It’s my choice whether I live them out or not. If it weren’t possible, God wouldn’t say through Paul:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

That verse holds convicting words like humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity, peace—goodness knows I needed some of that love today. Being united in our love for one another and the Lord and sometimes being willing to set aside ourselves to bless another.

I feel better having opened the Word and reminded myself that I’m not a victim of my emotions or my day. I can choose to trust that God has equipped me to live a life that pleases Him even on my fussiest days.

Lord, thank You that You have given me all that I need to love my children as You have so faithfully, patiently, and graciously loved me. Amen.