Friday, February 11, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate (and Fortunate) Events

Parenting requires lots of teaching.  Fortunately, I was a teacher for 3 years.  Unfortunately, I taught middle school – and we’re not quite there yet.  Fortunately, for the past couple weeks Jadon has been acting very similar to many of my middle school students.  Wait… fortunately?  What am I saying? 

The past two weeks have full of high highs and low lows for my boy – mostly due to teething, but we don’t let that excuse all his poor behavior.  This past Sunday marked his first major meltdown in a church service.  We’re hoping not to repeat that this Sunday!  There’s nothing quite like the pastor’s son flipping out in the third row from the front.  Spotlight, please?! 

How about hitting?  I think a lot of toddlers go through the hitting phase.  Thankfully so far it’s just been Mom, and it hasn’t been real hard.  Even still, the hitting is a direct act of defiance.  How do I know?  The hitting is usually random, and he usually just stands and looks at me after, as if to say “Are you going to say anything about this?”  We do not hesitate to rise to this challenge. 

My boy who, of his own free will, says please and thank-you to perfect strangers, has several times outright refused to say thank-you to either Mom or Dad and will simply walk away.  When posed with the question, “Jadon, what do you say?”  He will simply stop and look back over his shoulder as if to say, “Yeah, I don’t feel like it,” and then keep walking away. 

It all comes down to respect and submission to authority.  I recognize that although this phase will (hopefully) soon pass, it will return.  These are not just issues that toddlers, young children, pre-teens, and teenagers struggle with, but even adults!  I have great respect and admiration or my parents and how they raised me (I’d like to think they did a pretty good job).  So, this fight over power and authority is not with them, but with God. 

"Beware of turning to evil,
   which you seem to prefer to affliction.
God is exalted in his power.
   Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him,
   or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
Remember to extol his work,
   which people have praised in song.
All humanity has seen it;
   mortals gaze on it from afar.
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
   The number of his years is past finding out."   
(Job 36:21-26)

How often do we too “melt-down” when God says no or things just don’t happen the way that we planned or hoped?  How often do we wrongfully strike back or lash out at God because of our own poor choices?  Or how often do we accept what we think is due to us and not give thanks to the Giver?

Unfortunately, the bottom step has been a frequented area by a certain little bottom these past two weeks, but thankfully I know God is using me to teach this little one great things.  Fortunately, we don’t need a time-out on the bottom step to correct our own rebellious ways – a time-out on our knees is all that is necessary.  God is the master teacher in every way.  His justice and grace and patience are immeasurable.  How much more should this challenge us as parents to show justice and grace and patience to our children as we teach them to behave in ways that please Mom and Dad and, ultimately, God?

It would have been easy in these last two weeks to get angry and overwhelmed (and I’ve come close), but what I have to do is force myself to contemplate all of the positive or praise-worthy things from the past two weeks.  Here’s what I came up with:
  • I’ve been consistently getting into God’s Word each morning.
  • I’ve been consistently rising at 5:50 each weekday.
  • Jadon’s been playing very well both with me and on his own.
  • Jadon’s been learning to help more around the house with things like meal preparations, setting the table, cleaning up after himself, etc.
  • Transitioning Jadon to a toddler bed has gone extrememly well!  He hasn’t even left his room on his own!  
  • After a couple weeks of some frustrating outings to the grocery store and Target, Jadon is cooperating and obeying boundaries better when out in public places (although this is still very much a work in progress). 
Frustrations take a back burner when you count your blessings.  Challenge yourself, as I have been trying to do, to simply deal with the bumps in the road – not dwell on them.  

~ Carrie ~

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

1 comment:

  1. It is funny that you say you having been rising to study the Bible at 5:50. I have been getting into the routine of daily devotions in the morning (my goal is 5). I have been studying the amazing women of the Bible, although I am look for a great study guide or something. I am enjoying my quiet, meditation. I am also reading a book about joyfulness which talks a lot about blessings and perspective with guidance from the writings of Paul. Thanks for the reminder to grateful and reflect on the great things God is doing in our lives.