Monday, April 11, 2011
hope in the midst
What is a mama to do when their child is not so shall we say "lovable"? Sound crazy? Sound mean? Sound all to familiar? I have entered into this hot/cold zone where some days I am all gushy for a certain six year old whose blue eyes speak to my soul in ways that no body else can communicate. He is my first born. Having children farther apart in years was not always my dream. It just was my mothering reality. They are four years apart, very different, very inspiring to me in the way they relate to one another. Having four years of Israel to myself we became buddies. He did everything with me and in the dreamiest way. We walked to the prayer room together. Went to Target together. Drive through Starbucks together. Park together. Baked together. Sweet sweet together times. When we moved back to California there was a rough patch with Izzy and me. It was a separation time where I was in the hospital. Having a five week baby apart from me for weeks at a time was heartbreaking. Being out of work and mounting up hospital bills was terrifying. The trauma that Israel slowly worked out through the upcoming months was something dark and fierce. It was a difficult journey and the first time I saw true weakness and vulnerability in my child.
It came out raw and not so pretty but we worked through it and seemed to come over that hump. Fast forward two years. Kindergarten. Leaving kindergarten. Unexpected, unplanned & unprepared home school. First grade. These last few years have been a groaning in my spirit for Israel to thrive. So what is a mama to do when all things she knows how to do are not shall we say "working"? When others look and perhaps say there is lack of "discipline" or this or that. In the spiritual realm of things I go to Jesus. I ask the Holy Spirit to help and give wisdom and revelation. I pray and pray and pray. I surround Israel in atmospheres that are safe and purposeful. But what happens when all else fails and you see your child "struggle" and it is just not who you know your child to be? I got a really encouraging email from the woman who teaches the parenting class at my church. The class that I dropped out of because who knows what excuses I had at the time. There was one thing in the email that has been ROCKING my mind this week and really challenging me and the dynamics of my flesh as a parent. It read...
Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child.
Wow! My flesh wants to ignore, give discipline, give a quiet activity away from myself, put to bed early, send to another house, or anything but draw close. When I am annoyed or irritated or embarrassed from behavior I am embracing it. I am drawing closer in love. I am really pushing and tugging to the roots of issues. I am not ignoring but I am accepting in tangible ways and being specific attention wise to my child. It is a surrender of wills (his and mine). It is really changing the atmosphere of my home this week and I find that my annoyance is replaced by compassion. My irritation is replaced by patience and my embarrassment is replaced by full on in your face acceptance of where he is at and who he is.
This is who our God is. "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...". When I am at my worst/ugly/30 year old throwing tantrum self, God draws the very closest to me. He captivates me with his love and acceptance. He loves me in the midst of my sin and struggle & when I encounter Him in this way I am won over by love.