A Scary Privilege: How We as Moms Set the Tone

This Saturday, it fell apart.

“Why is it that the day before a Youth Sunday, everything somehow goes so badly?” my husband asked, sliding a hand through his hair in exasperation. “It never fails.”

Toddlers dissolved into tears; teens argued; but mostly it was me. I argued, raged, and dissolved into tears. In an embarrassing grocery store incident, a stranger snapped at us — I responded– then he apologized and gently hoisted kitty litter into our cart. My daughter and I flushed an embarrassed crimson and bagged rapidly, wanting just to be away from watching eyes. Stacking blueberries and lettuce heads, I heard his soft apology, and offered an embarrassed one of my own.

Changing my default of discontent to doxology, described by Ann Voskamp, author of “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,” is not easy to master. I can so easily fall into complaining, whining, or indignant behavior.

At home, surrounded by a bounty of groceries and a wealth of old resentment and impatience, my family and I stopped, apologized, and started over. Choosing to see good in the day, in each other, in the gifts from our Creator, we stopped, apologized and started over. 

Peace settled slowly into our home, joy creeping in. 

Oh friend, can you relate? Have you noticed a direct co-relation between your mood and your family’s moods some days? What helps you and your family in those times? (Those in email can click here to join the conversation.)

Linking with Ann and Emily.

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  1. cabinart on March 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    It seems to me than each family member has the power to set the tone or the temperature in the family. And the default setting is usually negative – critical, complaining, dissatisfied – like gravity, the downward pull is automatic.

    Thank you for sharing this story – human difficulties, and a way to resolve them. Plus hope to retrain ourselves upward!

  2. Renee on March 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for coming by my blog. Your post is great…..the apologies expressed…on those bad days or emotional moments. An apology makes all the difference doesn't it!

  3. Mommy Emily on March 6, 2013 at 4:00 am

    thanks for linking with A Dare to Love Yourself, Jennifer. i love how you let joy transform your perspective.

  4. Unknown on March 6, 2013 at 5:00 am

    wow Jennifer!
    I had just drafted a post about this very topic! I am right there with you!! I notice that while my hubby's gruffness or impatience will put a pall over the morning, mine will completely undo it. very true!

  5. Cheryl Barker on March 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Even in the midst of our failures, though, it's good to know we can also set the tone by our apologies. It's excellent training for our kids to see us humble ourselves and apologize, isn't it?

  6. LOLITA on March 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

    So humbling, Jen. Thanks, I need this too. So easy to grumble, so hard to be humble.

  7. Rachael on March 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Yes, I can definitely relate . . thank you for such an honest post! Blessings!

  8. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Jana Cabinart,

    True, each of us is responsible. I am owning my large part. 🙂

    Smiling at you,

  9. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:30 am


    I'm so glad you stopped by here. Thank you. Yes, those apologies (humble, sincere) are vital to happy families, I'm convinced.

    Nice to meet you,

  10. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:32 am


    Thanks, friend.


  11. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:33 am


    Glad you stopped by here. Wow, so we were both pondering this concept. God is tender, isn't he? Write away, friend. I'd love to read your version of it too.


  12. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:40 am


    So true, yes. Thanks for stopping in.


  13. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:44 am


    Oh, me too, friend.

    Thanks for your honesty.


  14. Jennifer Dougan on March 11, 2013 at 2:46 am


    Thank you. I'm glad my this resonated with you too. I'm so thankful for a patient, loving Abba.

    Nice to meet you!


  15. Lindsay on March 19, 2013 at 1:59 am

    You stopped over at my blog a week ago and I'm just getting to visiting you! I can most certainly relate to this post. It is truly a scary thing! I'm so grateful for the filling of the Holy Spirit every morning!

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