Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hard Lessons from My Strong(est) Willed Child

Lately I have been feeling especially exasperated by the power struggle with my strong(est) willed child.

Tonight even as I tucked him in for the night, there was a minor tiff. I left his room with a huge sigh--feeling frustrated that I can't seem to reach his heart much these days. I went to my husband and we talked through some things. As I started to head back downstairs, I paused in his doorway to take in the sight of my beautiful sleeping boy.

I crawled in his bed and lay next to him to listen to him breathe--and to pray for God to stop the cycle where he & I are stuck. 

As I laid there in the dark, not butting heads but simply taking him in, I remembered him as a little boy of 4...with pudgy fingers (that he sucked) and chunky legs he'd wrap around me. It seemed as if God started transforming my perspective on the spot--whispering to my heart:

I did not give you this boy as a wild stallion to be broken.
Your child is not something broken to be fixed.
No, this is your son, to be loved.
Love him. 

And as my defenses were melted away, I realized that God is actually using that intense, passionate, verbal, opinionated, bright little man to break the wild stallion in remind me of the broken parts of my heart He has used decades of sanctification to lovingly piece back together. I am reminded that my Heavenly Father is abundantly patient with me.

I am to do the same with my fella that is testing the muscles of his own will--and trying to learn to fly. He's not quite ten. We have a lot of years together. I don't want to be so busy 'weeding' I forget to sow seeds. I want home to be a place of acceptance, not just improvement. 

Lord, I pray tomorrow--when he's awake--that I remember the sweet lesson from the peace of tonight. There's not a parenting book in the world that can trump Your example and Your Word: 

I adore my boy. I wouldn't fight so hard for him if he weren't so important to me. But 'fighting' is the wrong verb. May I lay down my weapons and open up my arms to love. 

"We love because he first loved us." I John 4:19


Bailey's Leaf said...

The strong willed battle is something that my 10 year old and I have been having lately. Thank you for this.

LeighAnn said...

"I don't want to be so busy weeding that I forget to sow seeds...." this is just beautiful. God bless you Jenifer...God is using you to reach other mothers. Just beautiful.

LeighAnn said...

Sorry I did a typo in spelling your name Jennifer....I was typing on my nook and typed in three n's and in my attempt at erasing one I erased two...LeighAnn

Chrissie! :) said...

I'm so glad that I fell into this blog... being a brand new mom to a 2 month old son... I can only imagine my struggles with him but I'm inspired by the fact that there is hope and great support out there! Sounds like you are doing a great job! :)

landria said...

Such apt timing for me on this post. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Gloria Mays said...

I so needed to read this tonight. So touched my heart. I have a 13 year old that is very strong willed and have been fighting a battle from day 1. I am going to write your words from God and post on my bathroom mirror. Thank you for your thought provoking them all.

Maria(h) said...

Perfectly timed for me..funny how that works. Thanks for sharing.