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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Have you ever been at your wits' end with one of your children? Pretty much given up hope that he or she will turn out to be a contributing member of society? Worried that he or she will forever be self-absorbed, selfish and not have an ounce of compassion? Well, maybe not, but that's pretty much where I fall at times with one of our little ones. It seems that every so often, this particular child subconsciously decides he will challenge my abilities as a parent, bring me to the brink of tears and make me question what in the heck I'm doing. And of course, Satan uses this prime opportunity to plant seeds of discouragement in my heart. Am I the only one?

This child I speak of has, over the last month, been consistently trouble-making. Not caring about consequences, he has had many privileges taken away, and wasn't phased one bit. We tried everything--being extra harsh, being extra encouraging, positive reinforcement, long talks, Biblical references--everything. Nothing broke through the disobedient nature we were trying to break.

It wasn't like this child was doing awful things. It was just that he was doing wrong regularly, seemingly on purpose, and having no regard for how other people {namely his mommy} were feeling.

After a month of feeling beaten down and discouraged, feeling as though this child would surely grow up thinking only of himself, I gave up. I prayed and told the Lord that He must have found the wrong parent for this child. I could not be the right mommy for him. "So, Lord," I said, "you need to take care of this. I've got nothing else to try."

Now this prayer was silent. There was no big family meeting, no discussion with the child; it was between the Lord and me. I didn't even mention it to Superman, because I figured the issue was mostly with me anyway. I mean, Superman understood there were problems, but it was generally me dealing with things since I am the one home all day.

That was on a Friday.

The weekend was fine.

Monday came, and I think my child sensed the relaxation that had come over me. Maybe I was more high-strung than I realized before, because my sweet boy has returned! It's been a good 4 days now, and I have hope again.

The Lord has once again proven to me, that He will indeed let me get to the point of cracking. But he will not let me shatter. Maybe next time this child is going through his "selfish" phase, I can let go of control faster. Maybe instead of trying for a month to "fix" things, I can remember to just let go and let God. Yeah, I know...cliche. But it's oh, so true.

We only have so much power as parents, ya know. I mean, all I can do is do my best to be the woman who God wants me to be, try to be a living example to my kids, and pray that the Lord keeps His hand on them. I mean, really, I have little to no control over what paths they choose to go down. I can't take it personally when they act out. I just have to remember they are who they are...and the Lord made them that way for a reason. Each of them is blessed with gifts, and if we find those gifts and nurture them, I think we've done our job.


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

No, it is really hard but is really true, you canNOT take it personally when your kids act out. Glad things have gotten better!

Amber Lee said...

It's totally true, that we only have so much control as parents. (though I have to put in that you, in particular, have more control than some of us!) I never realized this BEFORE becoming a parent. But the moments when I really come to grips with this are the moments I'm so thankful most for my faith in God. And isn't it crazy how sometimes things get better when you're not expecting them too yet? It just makes me want to keep chipping away, doing the best I know how, hoping that with everyone else's help, things will some how turn out right.

MomInTheTrench said...

Does hiding in the pantry to cry count?

I think I have written things very similar to this. And you are right. . .we have to realize that this is God's work, not ours. Ours is to be obedient to him and train them up in the way they should go. The rest is His job. How freeing is that?!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your struggles. I can only imagine the ups and downs you have as a parent of so many. I admire your honesty!

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