Since I embarked on this journey to fully employ the Fruit of the Spirit in my life, oh have I been tested! The past few days have been a plethora of circumstances that anyone else would assume it’s perfectly okay to “lose it.” In fact, I laughed in bible study last week when my pastor mentioned that he sometimes “loses it.” I laughed in agreement because I knew I too had that innate tendency. Well, by all accounts if I were a stick of dynamite and my teen son were the lit match this morning, yes, one might conclude my explosion completely justified! Yes, indeed just this morning…wow…I didn’t make it a week since that last post.
- Now I could say I was frustrated because after the storm, the power went out and when it was restored…every room in my home was lit except our bedrooms, the living room, and my bathroom. That would indeed be true.
- Or I could mention that I was aggravated because no matter how much I tell my son or daughter, for that matter, to clean their rooms they remain in disarray until I’ve had enough and I go do it.
- Or I could declare my fury stems directly from the countless times I’ve pleaded with them to only eat in the kitchen and still remnants of corn chips, cookies, and popcorn end up everywhere but the room designed for them time and again.
- I could state I feel unappreciated, taken for granted, and stressed way the heck out…..YES ALL OF THOSE THINGS WOULD BE A GREAT START TO THE DRAMA I’VE OBSERVED, LIVED, AND LOATHED FOR WAY TOO LONG!
Well, now that I’ve calmed down a bit…I just scarfed down a Bear Claw from Shipley’s—Ahhh —Sweet Relief—
I’ll go on…as I drove in silence this morning, I wondered why God trusted me with such a responsibility. I also pondered one of the statements my son made that sent me into that silent mode.
Rewind…As I fed my two dogs and got ready to take them out to do what they do…my son sat at the kitchen table with a look of disgust saying,
“Six months is my limit…mama, these dogs are officially no longer mine! Can we give ’em back? Can we get rid of them?”
Before I knew it, I said,
“You have never taken care of them!”
After all, he wasn’t the one taking care of them. I was!
I went on to say that he and his sister begged for me to allow them into my home when they were only weeks old….that they would care for them, walk them, and clean up after them….Yet, for nearly three years, I’d been doing all of that!!!!
The whole scenario danced in my head the entire drive to Park View High, but none stuck out more than those words, “Can we give ’em back?” I considered it of my own children…sure Kayla wasn’t saying much today, but I allowed my anger to fester over all the things that they had done and hadn’t done to spite me…I wanted to get an exchange…surely I received some defective models?
I felt inadequate and again wondered why God felt I was apt enough to be their mom.
A few years ago things were different…they both were so respectful and well-mannered…I wanted to scratch my head, but I knew what I needed to do…God had been showing me for at least two years…first I needed to step back and stop being soooooo busy. I did that, but God also showed me that I needed to remove the pacifiers!
Yes, I had a teen son and a pre-teen daughter who had morphed into these monsters that I sometimes didn’t want to even be around.
How on earth could this be? Well, a while ago. God led me to the verse,
Before, I suppose I had been that wiser woman. Before I’d been the peculiar parent who was overprotective and wouldn’t allow them to go where they pleased without my approval of the person they traveled with or without a thorough inspection of that person’s home life.
Convicted! I’d become passive in my parenting! I’d stood idly by while my son’s grades slipped and his attitude did the same. I’d once been the mother of all the kids in the neighborhood.
If they stayed over we all prayed together. I pondered in the few minutes of the drive back and forth between then and now and again wondered how I, the bible-thumping believer, had allowed the enemy take hold of my children and perhaps me.
In a moment, I almost let the enemy condemn me for what I hadn’t done because I grieved over what my children had. I almost allowed satan to think he was running my home. Time after time I’d retreat to my bedroom for solace…for peace and quiet while technology babysat for this single mom. I’d planned to take them to the park, skating, to the movies, to play cards…I’d planned to pray for them and with them like we used to do. I needed to get back to that place, but before this morning, I admit, I really didn’t know how.
Feeling like a hypocrite, God knew what was in my heart though I was too ashamed to utter another word from my lips.
After dropping my son off at school, I happened to get stuck behind a van that had been mottled with bumper stickers all over the back window and door. One stood out:
The Few, The Proud, The Moms!
I tskd and rolled my eyes still sick with contempt.
As I entered the highway, a truck drove by with one bumper sticker in bold red lettering: MOMS ROCK!
I sighed to myself considering very literally that rocks are strong while I’d become so weak.
I noticed my daughter never uttered a word like she normally did when I listened to the Gospel stations…She usually begs me to change it. Today, she was eerily silent too. As she exited the vehicle, I had an urge to take a different route. I knew traffic was already hectic the direction I was going so though I was unfamiliar with the area, I been there before and was sure I could remember an easier way out of this mess if I put my mind to it. I noticed everyone was headed that usual way…so everybody was stuck in the waiting game and getting more frustrated in the process….so with that, I veered left.
And am I glad that I did. I was able to jump right in where I needed to be. Until typing this, I hadn’t realized the magnitude of that decision as well as the subsequent reminders God provided me on my journey.
God wanted me to take a new route to get me where I needed to be….where I’d been before, but had forgotten because it had been so long since I’d traveled it.
God didn’t stop reminding me of His mercy and that He’d made the right decision when He decided to bless me with my children. In fact, He confirmed it over and over. As I drove I saw one bill board advertising the marines state: Service comes with Pride and immediately I recalled the bumper sticker I’d seen prior that stated: The Few, The Proud, The Moms!
That’s when I realized that I kind of used to run things in my home like a marine some might say, but despite the normal stuff…my children were well disciplined!
….Discipline…Discipline…the word sounded vaguely familiar, but I knew I could no longer pretend like my lax attitude wasn’t the culprit behind their behavior.
I knew that I needed to not just unplug my ears to listen to what God had been telling me, but I also had to literally unplug the many devices I’d purchased over the years to maintain my own selfish sanity.
I thank God for His patience with me during this Prodigal period. So with that, I inhaled and as I came to my senses, realized that I had not only been given permission to give my children back to Him, but that I’d been obligated to do so.