Molehills verses Mountains
“I all wet Mimi!” my three year old’s innocent voice declared from the back seat of the car. Not expecting that he’d bite a hole in the Styrofoam cup I gave him filled with soda, every drop soaked Karson’s clothes and his brand new car seat.
My reaction that day was contrary to what it would have been months before.
“Oh boy, you are soaked!” I turned my head toward him as we pulled into the garage. I grinned to make light of it.
A sense of relief beamed on his face.
It was an accident. Jesus is patient with me.
“I sorry,” a semi cry crackled in his voice.
I noticed his comfort through my reaction.
“Come here, Honey.” I picked him up from his car seat and embraced him with a hug. “Let’s get some dry clothes for Karson and a towel for that car seat.”
“Okay Mimi,” his whispered cry turned encouraged.
Months before, my response would have led to anger. I carried around unresolved baggage from my life. I often relayed inexcusable irritation toward my children when they were not the problem. Anything that went wrong, I’d blow out of content. In essence, they paid a high price for me not facing my problems and resolving them.
Brendan, my thirteen year old son walks through the door from school.
“Hi Honey, how was your day?”
I sensed his stand offish attitude. Trouble with not handing in his completed work and being somewhat of a distraction in class was being addressed. His desire to improve seemed genuine.
“Did you bring your report card home?”
He immediately dug into his backpack in a hurried way and opened up the folded sheet. He rattled off each grade. “B, C minus, C, A minus, C minus and F.” After handing it to me, he darted to his room.
“F?” I knew he guaranteed me all Cs and above the week prior.
Though I prayed for God to help me react appropriately when the report card came, I locked myself in the bathroom and continued to ask Him to lead me. My expectation of a good report left me sad. I hated to see my son struggle.
Lord, please help me to handle this in a way that is honoring to you. I want to use this grade to help, not hurt my son. Give me the wisdom to do what I need to do through you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Instead of approaching Brendan, I waited. I believed by letting him wallow in his mishaps, it would allow him to digest the situation and think it through before our discussion.
Though my heart wanted to tell Brendan to do better next time, I knew that would not be in his best interest.
If you do not punish your children, you don’t love them, but if you love your children, you will correct them. Proverbs 13:24 (NCV)
His footsteps crept down the stairs. A quiet knock followed on my bedroom door.
“Hey Mom, what are you doing?”
“Not much, Honey.”
It was obvious that he was itching to talk about his report card to avoid any tension between us.
“I got an F because I forgot to hand in a few assignments.”
“Can I help you to remember in some way, what can I do to help you?”
“Maybe you can help me organize my folders and I will write all my assignments in my planner so I know when they are due.”
By giving him time to reflect, it helped him to develop his own plan. He already knew how I felt about the situation.
“Your plan sounds promising. I believe you’re highly capable and the next marking period will prove that. Until then, your cell phone and computer games are off limits. You can earn them back when your grades are sufficient.”
Previously, I’d scream and yell in hopes that fear would change his behavior. This blocked the communication that I desperately wanted between us. He shut himself off to me and I got more irate.
I’ve learned to treat my children the way that God treats me. By showing them unconditional love, patience, forgiveness, and discipline, it gives our family the peace that God sent His Son for us to have. The enjoyment of my children came when I started looking at them through God’s eyes.
Children are a gift from the Lord; babies are a reward.
Psalm 127:3 (NCV)
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