This parenting journey is a hard one. More uphill than down, I think. Or is it that the down hill parts are so much easier that we take them for granted? If that is the case, I really want to try not do that.
I cannot count the number of conversations my husband and I have been having regarding parenting, goals, philosophies, and strategies. I am struggling BIG TIME!! A friend told me yesterday that maybe it was not just the parenting issues, but more like a spiritual attack, that is going on. One that makes the issues seem so much larger, takes my focus off the important, long term, real issues and places them on the little, insignificant, temporal issues.
After she said that – about the spiritual battle, I can see it. I can see how Satan gets under our skin, like a sticker in your shoe! You may not even know that is what is causing some discomfort until you take off your shoe and then, there it is!
This child of mine. This precious 7 year old – yes SEVEN!! Yesterday! How do you celebrate with joy while you are journeying through ugly stuff? For me it was hard. Hard to smile and celebrate when I wanted to ….. well, wanted to do otherwise.
But we did. He opened presents. He had a simple cake with friends in Irving. Then we had tornado drills again when we arrived home. Lovely. That too – really? Do I really have to do tornado drills 2 nights in a row, while Robert works, while struggling with so much more too? Why can the storms just wait until life is good? Until that can be my biggest issue, getting to the hallway with everyone.
Then today. I woke up early (not the normal event these days), I laid there before I got up and resolved – DO IT!! Do not do anything else, do not pick up the kitchen, grind grain for bread, let the dogs out, shower, etc….. Do IT! Everything else will get done, but if you do everything else first, IT will not get done.
So I did. I got up, made my way to the kitchen and opened the only book I need. The only one with all the answers. And I read. I read the words God had for me today. Rejoicing in the Psalms. Remembering that on Monday I read a Psalm that I prayed over my dearest friend in 2003 while she was deployed – Psalm 91. I read the words and the tears can still come like they did then, immediately. I remember weeping over these words and begging my God to protect her no matter what. It was a scary time for me – not sure she even knows how I pled for her protection. Words he wanted to give me to remind me of his faithfulness – 8 years ago. 8 years later she reminds me how Satan works, how his attacks can infiltrate so subtlety that we fail to see it. And God is faithful!
God chose me for this little boy. The one whose smile lights up a room. His joy is contagious. He loves HARD. But, parenting his little heart is HARD too. And yet, God thought I was up for the task. And I remind myself he will equip me with all I need – maybe I need to ask. Ask for help. Ask for patience. Ask for his eyes to see this boy the way he sees him.
So today, a new day. A day rooted in the word. A day with new resolve for me. A day I want to do better than the last and a day I hope to help steer this little boy to better choices.
So after finishing his reading lesson (a great one for him!), after breakfast w/a character training devotion with everyone, after lots of praise, hugs, and encouragement, I have a different child. I have a boy who is obeying. When called, he comes – the first time. I have a boy smiling. I have a boy carrying out chores without complaints. And I praise. I hug. I encourage – not because I want to, not because I feel it, but because deep down I know he needs it and that it may change his heart.
Is it me? Was it where I chose to throw my roots in this morning? Was it something else? Not sure. But it was good.
This journey is still hard. It has been weeks of being in an ugly place – a steep uphill place. But maybe this is the first sign that we are leveling off? Maybe God moves quickly to reassure my heart because he KNOWS I need it. I need some results of some sort. He knows ME. He knows how I can give up after so long…. so he encourages. Maybe?
We will continue to do the devotions Our 24 Family Ways (Sally Clarkson), we will keep talking about choices, choices, choices. Whew! It wears me out – but I know we need to do it. He is faithful – he will give me what I need for this journey! I sure hope so!!