A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Time of Truth

Sometimes in our hurt and frustration anger becomes the avenue for saying things that need to be said but at a time when the fire is no longer burning. I have to admit that this is one of my big weaknesses. I hate confrontation and would much rather smooth ruffled feathers than deal with the issue at hand. I will put those things off until I explode. First of all, this is NOT how our Heavenly Father intends for us to deal with things.

Psalms 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Eph. 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

If I would just remember to do things God's way then things would go much better. My little man is becoming a tween-er and quick. He doesn't mind saying what he thinks, has a strong sense of right and wrong, and can be very loud, and repetitive. All of these qualities will do him so much good as he gets older that I don't want to squash them. However, our house is a headache house. We live with low lighting as quietly as possible, so that, my head doesn't feel like it is going to pop off. We literally use migraine meds for church and then a special day out. I guess I'm trying to say that he knows just which buttons to push and boy have we been on a roll lately. If I would handle each infraction as it happened then we might not have as many times of anger.

If I would think through the issue that is really the problem and pray about how to face it, then things would go a lot more smoothly. But to be honest, there are days when I promise it feels like he wants to find out just how much my head can take...will Mama cut the assignment short or put off til tomorrow those sentences that need diagramming. Yes, there are days it works for him....shame on me. I set a precedent that says let's test the odds and see if we can achieve the same thing next day or the next. I did it to my Mama too. If we could just stretch those boundaries then fun could be had. What he's doing is he actually wants to see if I care enough to make him do right. I know the psychology but the action can be so hard.

Mama/ Teacher isn't supposed to lash out, but do the job of getting school done. So when I laid into him all the pain that it felt like he wanted me to feel came spewing out of my mouth and onto him. There were things I said that needed to be said, but not yelled. He needed some time to think about what I said, but he didn't need to feel like I didn't want to deal with him. He needed to know just how tired I am and how hard it is to make school happen some days, but he didn't need it the way I did it.

He has every right to be frustrated and tired too. Being stuck in the house isn't fun, and Mama not feeling like doing the field trips I'd love to do isn't fair. But God didn't promise us this life would be fair. He found out that many days I feel guilty because I do have the headache and yet we adopted him anyway. I know that there are times when he must wonder what it would be like to have a Mama with no headache and who could have had a house full of siblings for him to play with, fight with, and share memories with. We had the headache under control when we decided to adopt...oh, there it is not my plans, but God's?! I don't believe for one minute that the Father enjoys me dealing with pain anymore than I want to see my sweet boy in pain.

So where did the anger come from: the pain, the repetitive noise, the singing the answers to questions at the top of his lungs when I'm sitting right next to him...no, not really all that anger comes from the Deceiver. By letting things go and go, I gave room for Satan to put his foot in my home. I didn't fix things the way God would have me to. So I'm trying and he's trying, and we are going to scale school back a little and do the easy academics and work on the hard cleaning out of anger and frustration in our souls. We'll do it as a family. He knows that I can't begin to imagine my life without him. He taught me how to laugh and smile again. He's taught me that God can take a heart that's broken into pieces and when it's put back together again it has even a bigger capacity to love.

Now before I let you go, I'd like for you to think with me about how when we sin, don't you think that our Father is hurt because of our lack of concern for His place in our lives. If we hurt when our children have done wrong, how much more so does the Father when we are risking eternal life?! It's made me stop and realize again the power of grace and mercy when combined with humble obedience to the Word. May God forgive us of our wrongs and may He help us to deal with anger the way He wants us to; so that, we don't allow the Deceiver a foothold in our homes. May we recognize when breaks are needed and when time in prayer is absolutely necessary before taking the next step or saying that next word.

I promise the next time I write, I'll leave this topic alone for a while. Isn't it wonderful how God forgives and makes us new!

Acts 26:18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Time of Anger

James 3:16-18 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (NLT)

We've been studying the book of James this semester for school. I picked it because it's one that I know I need the most work in. I wanted my boy to see that I recognize that when I complain and fuss about things and people that I know it's something I need to work on. I haven't been doing a good job of keeping my tongue under control. I mess up a lot. In fact, I mess up so often that I began to wonder am I really trying to control what comes out of my mouth. If I'm wondering it, I can only imagine what my sweet boy thinks.

Then yesterday, we had one of those days. A day where it seemed as if everything he said or did was in the opposite direction of where I wanted our day to go. He saw a side of me that to be really honest only my sweetheart has seen on a few occasions...I mean the last time I can remember being that angry was when I was a teenager fighting it out with my younger sister. (Those days I didn't even try to control my temper and Jenny and I both had scares from some of our fights.) I promise I didn't touch my boy, but he probably wished I had because by the time I unloaded all the frustration and anger on him...I know he felt the sting of words that cut deep and can't be taken back. He was trying me to see just what he could get away with and instead of taking care of things one at a time, I waited for the explosion.

So here we are back to why I've picked James for our Bible Study. Words are powerful! They can build up and tear down. I want my speech to reflect peace and gentleness....even when the pain in my head brews like a storm. So today, I decided to read James to him from the New Living Translation. As I was reading, I heard an oh and hmm. I know he was listening. Our study Bible is the NKJV, but for the first time he was really grasping the struggle that every Christian has to love the world or the spiritual. He finally understood why this is my go to book when I'm working on my mouth and loving those around me.

I don't think he'll ever forget the “fit” Mama threw yesterday, and I don't want him to forget. But I hope that he remembers that after a period of cooling off, that I came into his room and had him get on his knees with me to pray. I begged for forgiveness for how I said the things I said. I pleaded for mercy and grace not only from the Father but from my son. It's my prayer that the memory of Mama crying a prayer for the two of us will teach him the power of God's grace and a humble heart. So that takes us back to James 3:16-18, I want my speech to be pure. I want the words he hears come out of my mouth to be peace loving and kind and gentle. I want him to witness a Mama whose trying her best to be full of mercy and good deeds. I want him to know I'm sincere when I say I love all people. I want to be that Mama who is a peacemaker planting seeds of righteousness and peace.

I know that I will fail at times, but I want him to know that this life we've chosen as followers of Christ is not always an easy one. It's a daily battle with the Deceiver, who can so easily use our tongue for evil instead of good. I want him to watch me work out my salvation daily with fear and trembling, and I pray that he will see a humble heart bowed before our Father in heaven. I pray that God will grant me the strength and patience to set the example he needs from me. Above all I pray that he will see the need to do the same in his own life. The teen years are upon us early and he has his own struggles to fight. I pray that God will be with all of us as we work to raise our children to glorify and honor the Father in all things.

P.S. Schooling at home is hard and I think it's time for us to slow down a little bit for a while. Allow ourselves some room to work on character and home as well as the 3 R's. May God bless you and your family as you strive to bring Him honor and glory forever, Amen.