Peace be still

Peace Be Still: One Mom’s Struggle to Overcome Yelling

Peace Be Still is a Guest Post written by Rachel Nelson

I didn’t know I was a yeller until I had kids.

When my first born transitioned from babyhood to toddler-hood, I learned that I could get angry, irritated, and stressed a lot quicker than I’d like to admit.

And although I am filled with guilt every time I have yelled or otherwise expressed anger to my kids, I haven’t been able to completely break the habit.

Sometimes I go a day, a week, two weeks, without yelling, and then the storm comes again.

There are days when the proverbial rain is beating down so hard, I feel like I am sinking. Like the disciples, I want to call out “Master, Carest thou not that I perish?”

When I come to my husband in tears asking for his advice, “What can I do to change? How can I stop yelling at my kids?” his answer is always the same:

How can I stop yelling at my kids? Share on X

“The only one who can change you, is you.”

In my heart I know he is right. In my anger or fear or impatience I sometimes feel alone, but deep down I know that in those moments when I feel lost at sea, I’m not truly lost or alone.

There is one person who can help me calm my storms and clear my mind.

Peace Be Still

In my eagerness to find some solution or inspiration to assist me in my stop-yelling-journey, I turned to the Bible and read again the story in Mark chapter 4. (I read the KJV Bible.)

When Jesus lifted his hand on the Sea of Galilee and said “Peace, be still”, the disciples watched in awe  as the storm was suddenly replaced by a “great calm”.

Peace be still

Related Post: 3 Things to Remember After the Storm

Jesus’ first words to them after His miracle were “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

At first, these words sounded like a rebuke to the disciples, and even to me. But the more I read them, the more I realized that maybe what He was really saying was this:

“Why are ye so fearful? Don’t you know that I am here, watching over you?

“How is it that ye have no faith? Don’t you remember all the times I have saved you?

When I thought of His words in this way, I was filled with hope.

I wanted to cry out, “Yes, Lord. I do remember all the times you have saved me from guilt, anger, and sadness, and I choose to have faith again. I can change.”

We Don’t Have To Do It Alone

I realize now that although my husband’s advice was correct, I am the only one who can improve myself as a mother, I don’t have to do it alone.

Jesus Christ is always there, on my ship with me. He can calm my storm and bring me peace. He is my stillness and my ‘great calm’.

This insight has helped me so greatly. Although I still have days of struggle, I have adopted the image of the sea into my mind and made it a symbol to help me remember that I am not “in jeopardy” when He is with me. (Luke 8:23)

Once I started keeping these verses in my thoughts, I started finding them pop up in my life in other places, like little gifts from heaven to keep my mind focused.

I learned to play the beautiful hymn, “Master the Tempest is Raging” on the piano. I even found a water bottle decorated with waves and the verse in Luke 1:50 that says “His mercy flows in wave after wave.” (MSG Bible)

Related Post: A Little Something Jesus Taught Me About Parenting

Parenting is a Journey

I have been learning new ways to stay connected to my kids, and communicate them more positively.

His mercy does keep flowing in. I know it does, because every time I sin and promise God I will try again harder, I can feel his mercy flowing to me.

My stress leaves, my mind is clear, and I regain control of my boat.

I will probably always have small storms from time to time, and I know I will never be a perfect mother. But with Jesus, with faith, and with time I can learn to sail this thing called motherhood more smoothly.

All I have to do is ask, and He will reach out His hand and say:

“Peace, be still.”

Peace Be Still: One Mom's Struggle to Overcome Yelling Share on X

About Rachel Nelson

Rachel is a new young mother who is trying to make her home a heaven on Earth. She writes about motherhood, home birth, domesticity, and more at, a place she created to share her experiences and be a light to other Christian women. Her mothering goals are to be more sustainable and self sufficient, as well as cultivate joy in the hard moments.

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