Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Frustrated with being Frustrated!

"Frustrated" seems like one of those words that doesn't sound like a real word after you say it over and over. Or maybe I just need a nap.

I'm sure there were other frustrations during the week, but I remember them starting last Thursday. Madison had a basketball game in Villa Rica, and we rode in my father-in-law's Suburban since we'll all fit comfortably in there. When we returned home, my elderly grandmother-in-law was bracing herself while getting out of the vehicle and accidentally locked all the doors. It was a very cold night so after getting Matthew out, I shut the door so Amelia would stay warm until I came back for her. After quickly sitting Matthew down inside, I walked back outside and realized that my father-in-law had just discovered that Amelia was locked inside the vehicle - along with the car keys. He had left the keys in because he was going to move the vehicle after everyone got out so that Brad could get his truck out of the garage the next morning. He had previously had an account with On Star but had canceled it about a year ago. Brad quickly called On Star to see if they could do anything. They were very helpful and tried to unlock the vehicle, but it didn't work - something about needing a key to initiate the system. So, On Star promptly called Haralson County 911 to see what they could do. That was a huge waste of time! They said they could not do anything. There was a child locked in a vehicle on the coldest night of the year, and they couldn't do anything. They wouldn't even give the On Star lady the name of a locksmith. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated.

Brad then called two local locksmiths but didn't get an answer. He finally found one in Carrollton. The positives in this story? Amelia slept through most of the ordeal and the vehicle stayed pretty warm, the locksmith in Carrollton got to our home much quicker than one would expect, and he refused payment. In his yellow pages ad, he states that he will not charge to unlock a vehicle if a child is locked in. Brad and his dad did all they could to convince him to take payment, especially since he came so far, but he absolutely would not take it. (If you need a good locksmith, let me know.)

My other frustrations continued on Saturday and were all related to basketball. I think I'm ready for softball! First of all, Madison was shoved to the floor by a player on the opposing team as she was going up for a lay-up. The other child was probably frustrated because they were losing by 20+ points, but it was still so not necessary. I found myself yelling at the referee to give her a "technical" and to "take her out of the game." She didn't get a technical and didn't get taken out of the game.

A few hours later, it was Cari's time to play. She and her teammates have really not received any real coaching, so I've been finding myself coaching from the stands - and that's not a good thing.

Afterwards, as I was pondering all of these things and considering the yucky, grouchy feeling that I was left with after letting these things get to me more than they should, I thought it was time to consult the Scriptures. I got out my King James Life Application Bible and found references in the index to "frustration" and "temptation." I enjoy reading the footnotes connected to the verses, too. I read in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 the verses about Jesus being tempted and how he resisted the temptation. I don't know if I'd actually call my situations "temptation" but more like deciding between choices of how to handle a situation and doing it appropriately or inappropriately.

I then realized why I act the way I do when I am feeling that frustrated feeling. For some reason, I think I'll feel better if I try to "fix" the situation by strongly stating my opinion. Is this a form of pride? I'm afraid so. I do believe there are situations when frustrations should lead to actions, but the attitude and spirit of how and what we say is very important. Sometimes the frustration can lead to anger, and that always leads to saying and doing things we (I) shouldn't.

I do realize that my frustrations of the past few days are laughable at best - with maybe the exception of Amelia getting locked in the car. Should something be said to someone in the upper levels of this county about how that situation was handled? I'm still giving it consideration. Should I have yelled at the referee to make that girl leave the game? Probably not. I do realize that I was angry and would have been better off letting the coaches handle that situation, which they did as they made sure the referees were aware of what happened. Should I continue to build resentment against Cari's coaches for the way they're coaching? No, because Cari is having fun, and that's what counts, right?

I know that people are experiencing frustrations of a greater sort all around me - loved ones are sick and not getting better, children are doing things that are causing harm and sadness to the family.....I could go on and on. But maybe God is using these small episodes to teach me something. I hope that I'm learning. Madison has a game tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes.


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is we are all flesh and bone. And when we feel our children of all people are being done wrong that mother warrior comes out. And sometimes it isn't pretty. I know where you are coming from.

Angela McRae said...

I would definitely want an explanation from the 911 folks about the way this was handled. Those people answer to the taxpayers, taxpayers who fund them and who need to know about the "quality" of service being provided. Perhaps a letter to the editor of the local paper is in order? And I would contact my commissioner as well. What if 911 lets a child die next time!