So after a wonderful weekend that was spent reminding our entire family of Christ’s love for us I spent the morning today being reminded that there was in fact a reason that we NEED Jesus to have accomplished redemption for us. Here’s why…
I’m not sure if it’s mainly because Sam is the oldest, and everything is new with him or if it’s because of his personality but I find so many more challenges in parenting him than my other children. It’s not a matter of favortism or dislike by any stretch of the imagination I just often find myself at my end with him and more often than not I lose it!
This morning was a typical start to our week. He’s an incredibly smart boy who does very well in school. His teachers always speak very highly of him, his attitude and behaviour, his actions to other children and his schoolwork. But the first day back to school after a weekend more often than not ends up in a battle. He says he hates school and it’s too hard. If I remember the cycle in the morning than I take preventative steps and we manage to get out the door without a fight but IF I’m tired or short it makes for a very regretful morning. Today was a morning that I forgot and I hadn’t had a very good sleep so I was rushed and extremely tired. As I reminded him again and again and again to do various tasks to get ready for the day I found myself closer and closer to the edge. Of course not acting the adult I should have I stepped over and the result was less than desireable.
The thing that struck me the most when Sam and I discussed it in the van was how transparently I could see his heart through his eyes. What I saw was rebellion, anger, arrogance and a general lack of care or concern for the events that had unfolded.
Now as many moms know this can happen at various times throughout our children’s lives and it’s not that I didn’t expect it it’s just I thought I had a little more time to prepare for this stage of life. I explained to Sam what I saw in his eyes and asked him if that’s who he wanted to be. A sheen of tears appeared and he mumbled “no” but he quickly composed himself and shut out the clear conviction of the Holy Spirit in his heart. It made me sad to see my oldest son willingly close the door and at the same time made me realize that aside from being on my knees more often for this child I cherish that I HAVE to find a different way to parent him. He has never had the kind of sensitive spirit that other children possess, instead he has a drive and determination that keep him going. It’s not to say that he doesn’t feel or that he can’t find compassion in his heart but these are not his strong areas. He is rule-lover, he sees black and white, he sees the beginning and the end. In so many ways he mirrors me.
After I dropped him off I began to take note of the things he values. He loves sports, he enjoys his friendships, he ALWAYS wants to spend quality time with James and I, he thrives through competition and activity. At first I thought perhaps what we needed to do was take away some of those activities that he loves in order to make him think about his attitude, perhaps he needs to have a complete absence of these things. I tried to think of ways that we could replace these activities with more faith-based programs or church type activities to help him get to the heart of some of this. But I soon realized that God meets us where we are…putting him into another program will not change his heart only God can do that and that taking things that he loves away will probably lead to more rebellion and anger. I realized that he needed to see more from me as his mom and feeling Christ’s example in my life. I began to see that I needed to be more intentional in bringing Christ into our everyday life and perhaps even more importantly doing some sort of devotions with him that will help him begin to see the conviction of the Holy Spirit and willingly open his heart to that. He sees it in James through Pioneer clubs ministry and they have a chance to share bible teaching in this venue but Sam doesn’t get a lot of that personal reflection that develops character here at home.
I am hoping that we can overcome some of these struggles through prayer on mine and James’ part but I’m also hoping that we can begin to work through some of these heart issues with Sam on a more practical level as well! After spending a bit of time in prayer and in scripture this morning I feel much more positive than I did this morning and I hope and continue to pray that God will guide James and I through this incredibly difficult, but rewarding job of parenting.