Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why I Want to Respond, not React

Stay tuned for more great posts written by six fantastic and inspiring women. Two weeks of vacation for me means two weeks of fresh content for you. Enjoy! (And don't forget to comment and let these ladies know that what they write matters.) See ya soon.

Today's guest post is from my real-life American friend, Angela. We met last summer at a conference, and it has definitely been a God-ordained friendship. She is a huge source of encouragement to me, and I love that we get to chat on Skype regularly about what God is doing in our lives. When Ang has something to say, I listen. I trust that the words she shares will speak to you today.

“Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyy,” she shrieked from upstairs, “There has been a disaster!” 

“What now?” my mind raced as my shoulders tensed even more and my headache returned. My three-year-old just pooped in his pants, I was trying for about half an hour to make dinner, and then a disaster. 

A hose we were using to water some bushes had cracked and water gushed onto our concrete. I ran out into the 110-degree heat and turned the water off. Then I got my son cleaned up, and finally got back to fixing dinner. 

Before my heart had time to settle down, there was another announcement from upstairs. 

“Mom, L threw up.” 

I was at a loss. L was not sick, what could she mean, where did she throw-up? I ran the stairs (I lovingly call my stairs my stair-master, they are why I stay somewhat trim when I don’t work out regularly). I cleaned up the vomit, bathed L, and everyone else while I was at it. While I was cleaning puke and bathing kids the story came out.

L walked upstairs with water in her mouth (no I do not know why, but she often does things that defy my understanding). Her older sister pushed on L’s puffed-out cheeks. However the water didn’t spew out of her mouth. Instead it went to the back of her throat and caused her to vomit. 

As I bathed my child, I realized the ridiculousness of my situation. I am an educated woman, a nurse, a writer, a speaker, a wife, and a mom. Yet I have no control over my child’s bowels, the hose outside, or my children’s choices. I can react with anger and frustration or I can chose to respond in grace. 

When I respond my answers and behaviors are thought out, measured, and filtered through God’s lens. I learn to enjoy the craziness of life instead of cling to how I think things should go. When I respond my children see my love for them instead of my frustration over the situation. In a measured response my children see God’s love pour out of me instead of my sinful nature spewing angry acid. 

My reactions make a stressful situation more stressful. But my responses change a stressful situation to a humorous situation. It is in my responses that my relationship with Jesus intersects my day-to-day life. In my reactions I become a hypocrite only talking about a Christian life instead of living it. 

Let us all fight our reactions and instead respond. Who is with me?


Angela Mackey lives in the Arkansas River Valley with her husband and three children. She desires to honor God in all she does and says. She writes about faith, learning to let God’s word transform your thinking, parenting, infertility, and anything else that comes to mind. You can connect with her on her blog at Rethinking My Thinking. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. This is a wonderful reminder! Thank you!

  2. Thank girls. I am sorry I just now got to check on comments. Blessings to you both!


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