Yes, ‘Crazy Dayz’ is my address these days. Don’t misunderstand, not every day fits this description, but many as of late. I know I’m not alone. Parenting is no easy task and I am constantly reading parenting books ’til I feel I myself could be a counselor (for others’ kids, that is!) but more than that, I am constantly asking God, begging actually, for wisdom.
Ever feel like you are ready to try something new with your child only to discover it’s just not the right time? I’m not talking sports or even school activities, I’m talking church activities. Programs that will build character and biblical knowledge into your child. Yeah, that!
Let me illustrate, if I may. Not long ago, I felt the desire to build biblical knowledge into our son. While we work on it at home, and have him in church, I researched 2 different programs for him. One involved me learning alongside him, though separated by our ages; the other involved me dropping him off more or less for someone else to teach him. After much thought and consideration, I came to the conclusion that I would try the choice of learning alongside each other. I was so excited, as this was something I’d even done in the past pre-child. I was eager to learn and be in that environment again, not to mention the wonderful pouring into my son.
Alas, the big night arrived! My son and I traveled somewhat of a distance to the church where the Bible study was to take place. Suffice it to say the evening was a disaster. Let’s say it together, DISASTER! Now I’m not going to bore you with the minutia of details in poor behavior choices displayed that night, but trust me, I left the building in tears. I was embarrassed and overwhelmed. I was upset that I couldn’t control my child’s behavior. Again. I felt ashamed and disheartened. Unfair, I thought to myself. Can’t I take him anywhere without this outlandish display of naughtiness? After all, at one point, there was a search for my son within the building as multiple women with walkie talkies mind you, were scouring the hallways and stairwells for my boy. Unacceptable!
We continued going for an extra 3 weeks, with my husband accompanying us from the parking lot to my son’s classroom. Embarrassment was my first name. We encountered minimal success, up until this now last week, has demonstrated to me that the time is just not right for us to do this together. Upset doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after I’d showered, dressed, prepared, managed to get him dressed in proper clothes and into the van to head out for our evening….only to have to turn around. I had reached my limit of frustration for the day. For the week. For the month. Yes, we returned home for him to receive due punishment for the actions displayed. I couldn’t bear the weight of the stares and subsequent irritation another night.
Behavior that demands discipline is tough water to navigate. Not any one thing works for all children. This, for me, has been the hardest part! Trying to understand how the child thinks, paired with the state of their hearts leads to much scratching of the head on our part, as the parents of said child. When spanking, taking away toys, electronics, TV, contents of his room, even parties doesn’t yield a change of behavior, it’s time to move on to what WILL work. Consistency for sure but promoting discipline to cause a change of behavior is the goal here. I’ve learned that it looks different for every child, even siblings raised together.
Peace is a luxury at our house. I’m not kidding. I wish I were! We strive for it, ask God for more of it, try to create it, and seek to train our son so that he will choose it for himself. Easier said than done. Amen?
Let’s just say that as my husband so eloquently told me earlier in this trying week, “the devil is getting into your head”. And, I concur that that is the case. Our enemy whispered lies into my head, ‘you’re not a good mother‘ to ‘what made you think you’d be a good mother?’ and ‘why bother? ‘ even ‘just give up‘ and ‘your life is a joke‘. Lies from the pit of H-E-(double hockey sticks), as I like to say! Thankfully I know enough about the enemy’s lies that when I’m clear-headed, I recognize these thoughts are not from God. The enemy loves to isolate us and make us believe that we are the only ones in the particular predicament we’re in. Our enemy loves us to feel defeated, embarrassed, powerless, judged, unable to rise above the issue, and most of all hopeless.
Whether your issue is similar to mine, or something completely different, allow me to say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggle. The Lord knows and He sees. He lavishly pours out wisdom when we ask for it. He sends us wisdom through trusted friends, family, our pastor, solid books, Sunday School, and most definitely, His Word. BUT, we have to be tuned in to His channel to hear it and then ask Him to help us to apply it. I’ve learned there are no “magic formulas” in the parenting books we ravage. The answers are found within God’s Word, as we quiet ourselves to hear His still small voice. There are no shortcuts.
I’m still learning, still struggling, still seeking and praying. I don’t have the answers, but He does. We are not an island to ourselves. Beware of the devil’s schemes, his lies, and triggers. Join me in filling your mind with the things of Philippians 4:8 and press into God’s heart. For this is the secret to all of life.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV)