Thoughts About Red Pens

I started using red pens to grade the girls school work this year. I bought them impulsively on a quick supply trip the day before we started our homeschool year. I had always avoided using them before, but for some reason I thought they might help to make things easier, especially with two students. The first day of class while grading Marissa’s math I pulled out a pen and put a red X by an answer she had missed.

Then I just sat there and stared at it.
I hate red pens.

I have always hated red pens. It began when I was a kindergartener who was sent home with a red sad face drawn on her paper. I cried in the car of the school parking lot and begged my mom to go inside and make the teacher change it. Something inside me cringed over the failure the red pen highlighted.

As I added more red X’s on Marissa’s paper, memories and thoughts flooded my brain. I wondered how she would feel about my red pen. Would she eye roll the marks it left, groan at the sight of them, would she ever hide it from me when I left the room, and cry over her schoolwork?

Then my thoughts went deeper…
I began to wonder how marks left by a red pen would make her feel about herself.

How a red pen reminded me of the power of words
The world is full of red pens and people who use them recklessly. Countless times every single day we are given the chance to leave our mark. We can label failures, criticize choices, or put giant x’s across the things we don’t like about someone. We can shake confidence, make someone doubt self-worth, and beat them down with our words, attitudes, and actions.The mark we leave on the lives of others is overwhelming.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Proverbs 18:21 The Message

This, this is something I struggle with. Some days frustrations get the best of me and without thinking I find myself spinning out of control. Saying things I can’t take back, leaving marks that won’t erase and causing pain that is so familiar to me, in the life of another. Often my girls fall victim to the momster I become.

I want my words to speak life. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

These verses are the prayers and the meditation of my heart.
It is an ongoing, every moment battle to be aware of the life or death that is coming from my mouth.
But it is one worth fighting for.

What comes from your mouth when you speak?
Life or death?

What marks are you leaving?
Ones that build up or ones that destroy?

What is one step you can take to change?
Today make your mouth a fountain of life.

New Signature

Do you struggle with mom anger? 
I want to encourage you to check out this book, Count to Nine: Nine Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. It has been a life changing tool for me and I know so many of you would greatly benefit too.

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One Important Summer Sanity Saver For Moms

Today I am so excited to have Ruthie from RearReleaseRegroup.com sharing a piece of her heart and talking about her new ebook Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration. Ruthie is a treasure friends. A seasoned mom, with excellent advice and she doesn’t shy away from talking about the hard things… like mom anger. In the spirit of being completely open I have had my fair share of struggles with this department and Ruthie’s advice helps to keep me grounded. I hope you love getting to know her and listening to what she has to say.

Happy summer, mom! Kids about to stress you out from constant requests and squabbling? Need a summer sanity saver?

One important thing to help moms stay sane during the summer months.
Let me ask you a question: How often do you yell when you’re frustrated? Does it develop into a full-blown scream? Are you having trouble keeping a lid on your temper, and does it seem impossible to overcome?

I’m a mama of four grown kids so I’m not pointing any fingers! I’ve been there, and I feel ya, sis.

Most moms have anger issues. Sometimes we’re just too embarrassed to admit we need help.

Here’s what I’m learning:

The Importance of Scripture

When Christ was tempted of the Devil, He refuted him with Scripture every single time (Luke 4:1-14), and He was strengthened by it.

And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit to Galilee (v 14), ESV.

 

Think of it! Christ, Who had all power, was strengthened through the Word. How much more then, should we use God’s Word when tempted?

Scripture is our sword – our weapon, our main defense in the battle over anger. Its our summer sanity saver.

Kids are stressful, there’s no denying it. It takes a lot of fortitude to deal. Eventually, you get worn down by the day-to-day, and you kick into survival mode.

But God wants to use you, even then. When you think, “There’s no way I can make it through this day without losing it,” you feel despair, and I know how that is.

BUT.

God’s power is limitless! It is like nothing you can ever imagine. And so, He wants us to be mold-able. That’s all. Be the clay. He does the rest. By being clay, you choose to trust.

Jesus said,

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule. Matthew 5:3, The Message

 

WOW.

If we say yes to God, He can do amazing things in us that we never thought possible.

I’ve seen it happen in my own life –victory over areas I’ve struggled with for years. How? Through our greatest weapon: the Word.

Pray the Word. Memorize the Word. Write it on 3×5 index cards and post all over your house (especially frequented areas such as the kitchen window and bathroom mirror).

God will help you with your frustration and anger!

We can learn to overcome the temper by committing it to the Lord through prayer and Scripture. God wants us to succeed – remember, mom, He’s on YOUR side!

Since Scripture can be our summer sanity saver, I want to introduce to you a brand new, valuable summer sanity saver that contains Scripture and Scripture prayers! The preceding devotional is just a snippet from a book I wrote on mommy anger. It’s called, COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mommy Anger and Frustration.

Order Today - COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger" By Ruthie Gray

I wrote this ebook because as a mom of four myself, I dealt with a LOT of anger down through the rearing years, and I struggled to handle it well. As I seek to mentor younger moms, I notice this same pattern emerging.

A battle with anger-induced rage. And these moms want change.

My new ebook, Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration, presents nine essential steps to overcome mishandled anger. Offering Scripture Pillars, Power-Packed Pillar Prayers, a Plan of Attack for each chapter, and much more, this book will set you on the road towards recovery. The book is full of key Biblical strategies to help you parent gracefully and learn the Biblical approach to anger.

How do I know? I teach this method to a group of moms who are tracking wins and overcoming their anger by daily implementing these Scriptural strategies!

This book is a small investment to make toward a big difference in the dynamic of your family. Are you ready to take the necessary steps to freedom from the power of anger gone wrong?

You can do this, mom. Let me show you how through COUNT TO NINE. At just $7.00, this ebook is an affordable investment toward not only developing positive reactions to anger, but patterning them for your children as well!

I’m praying for you!

BONUS JOURNAL (1)

PS As an extra BONUS to the book, we’ve included a beautiful, printable journal with Scripture cards and Thankful cards, designed by my friend Jessica through her Etsy shop! You will love this actionable, gorgeous addition to the book! Grab your copy today!


I know what it's like to struggle with anger. As a mom of four and Gigi of two, I've been in your shoes. This is a plan to get you started in the right direction. Won't you join me?

Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her grandson (The Tiny Tornado), or snuggling his sister (Baby Cakes), you can find her coaching other moms on how to raise responsible kids and enjoy them at RearReleaseRegroup.com and Mom Time Out. You can also connect with Ruthie on Facebook.