the boys this week:
1) You're great kids, and I'm grateful God made me your mom.
2) Be an encourager to your brother and not someone who discourages.
3) Quit messing around and finish your work.
4) Tag! You're it! (What we play when one of us is sneezing and wants to "pass" it on to another.)
This was a good week of sweetness in parenting these teens and tween. We strive to keep a balance in our home between the correction and the commendation. Some weeks that is more easily achieved. Entirely dependent I am sure upon both my relationship to the Lord and theirs.
In other words, when we are all listening to His instruction, things just run more smoothly.
This week I thought and talked about the days when our lives were in lockdown mode. Lockdown because I had kids who did not obey me and they had a mom who did not have self-control. Trips to the grocery store or playdates or church were nightmarish. There was a lot of anger, a great deal of frustration, and very little peace. A spiritual mentor came alongside of me in those days and told me to get myself together, essentially. She said I had to acquire a future view for what those little boys would turn into one day. She warned me that a 3-year-old that runs away from my instructions is not nearly as dangerous as a 13-year-old who runs away from my instructions.
Her words were the chastening I needed to begin to study how the Lord would have me discipline and, most importantly, Biblically respond to my children instead of sinfully react. I took up that charge, not perfectly, but with a heart repentant towards the Lord and my children for my anger. He changed me. And lo and behold, as He changed me, He *changed* my children.
Peace came to our home. Not overnight. Not without mistakes. But gradually as peace came into our lives through Biblical instruction and God-dependence, our family began to reap sweetness out of our interactions. I saw His words bear fruit in my life and then in theirs.
We're still sinners. No mistaking that. But we're sinners now who will pray together for one another's repentance and encouragement and perseverance. And we rejoice with one another when we see God answer those prayers.
Those early days were mind bending and heartbreaking. I wondered if I, or we, would ever leave the house to enjoy the "outside" or even to be productive members of society. I wondered if I would ever enjoy my kids. I am gratified to say today that God restored and rebuilt us. He did not see us as irrecoverable in our relationships with Him or each other. He redeemed what our sins would have trashed.
To Him be the glory!