Day 64: Parental woes
I remember being a kid and having parents tell me I was not allowed to hang out with their children because I had done something wrong. Some reasons were I was a deliquint as a kid and sometimes did silly things like vandalism or swearing and other times it was because I was a Church kid and parents didn’t want their kids hanging out with Christians (This was rare but I had 2 instances where parents refused to allow their kids to hang out with me because of this)
Knowing that I wasn’t allowed to be friends with someone really hurt. I would be prompt to make things right. I hated the guilt and bad feeling that being “Bad” made me feel. I would quickly appologize and admit that I was at fault for something. Most parents praised my honesty but some still hated me. The Burden of being bad enough an adult would not allow you to play with thier kids kind of sucked. I was a church kid but like most kids, I did a lot of stupid things to fit in. And for the most part I didn’t feel I was doing anything too harmful until an adult brought it out into the light…at the age of 8 I pulled flowers out of a cenotaph which was disrespectful but at my age I didn’t think how disrespectful it was at the time until the cops were called on us and we had a nice long lecture…we replanted the flowers then went a raked the lawn of the lady who called the cops on us. Come to think of it my mom still doesn’t even know about this but if she reads this she knows now. (Ah all the stupid things we did as kids at the park)
Now I am a parent of a 6 year old daughter. My daughter is at the age where she is just learning proper behaviour. She can’t get away with tantrums anymore and she’s old enough to reason with. However she is 6 years old and she happens to be somewhat of a problem kid in her class. So of course when my daughter came home and told me a friend’s mom told her best friend that she could not be friends with her this really struck a cord with me as a parent. My daughter now feels she is a horrible person because her friend’s mom dislikes her. A grown up has decided to make it her duty to clearly make sure a 6 year old KNOWS she’s bad and can not hang out with her best friend at school. My daughter faces shame and humilation in class and all the kids go home and tell their parents that my daughter misbehaves…and parents jump on the band wagon and say “Good! My kid isn’t as bad as that kid!”
What does one say when your kid comes home and says “So and so’s mom said that she can’t hang out with me and invite me to her birthday party because I’m bad.” My first reaction was to find this mom, and just yell at her “For goodness sake my kid is ONLY 6! What is wrong with you?” But of course I know better.
I get confronted all the time from other parents, my daughter has behavioural issues and can get violent at school. Some parents dislike my daughter and it’s only natural to blame the parents. I work hard as a mom, I put my daughter in time out, I hold her accountable for her actions, I pick her up at school when she is sent home, I talk to her every single day and even pray hard over it. Will her issues go away over night? No! Will it require hard work? Yes!
Is my daughter always bad? No. She’s kind, loves others and will go to the shyest kid and be their best friend. My Daughter has so much compassion. How do I know? For every parent who chews me out for being a “Bad mom” There are 2 that come to me and say “My daughter says so many great things about your daughter! She doesn’t stop talking about her!” Obviously my kid is doing something right!
And you know, through all this I learned something. I’m a mom and I’m constantly faced with the same problem happening over and over and over again no matter how many times I remind my daughter not to do certain things or how many times I punish my kid for the same habits. We’re just like the child who constantly does the same thing over and over and over again aren’t we? We fall into the same bad habits, the same sins and even through reminders and even punishment we STILL fall short. Yet God has abundant grace doesn’t He?
Day 65: As for me and my house…
Off to work I go…and what happens? My boss is a half hour late! Well…actually he was sleeping and I stood outside for a half hour constantly going to the back of the store to bang on his door. This caused me stress as I had to rush to make coffee and I had to explain to people that he had slept in. Normally I love work but today I hated it…I was bitter.
My husband was away at Promise Keepers a Christian Men’s conference. My daughter got to spend the day with our Children’s pastor and I was at work…loathing my time. My anxiety was high and I had those dreadful thoughts. “Oh man, I forgot to order Chocolate Chip Muffin mix I’m in trouble…I’m a crappy employee I’m going to get fired…” I was having a rough day but I went home anyway and I bit my toungue because I knew that it would be horrible of me to dump all my baggage on my Hubby after he was at a Conference, a life changing conference. I was not about to ruin his evening…especally when I felt the prayers he was saying. My spirit KNEW he was praying for me.
Nick gets home and I tell him “I had a horrible day! BUT I’m not going to complain. How was your day?” My husband told me all about Promis keepers and how awesome and life changing it was. Nick took a vow to have Jesus first in his life and to be a man of God. He made a vow to lead his family as the Man of the house with Jesus central in his life. Changes were about to happen.
Then it hit me. Ayear ago I prayed to God asking to strengthen my husband. To place him as the head of the household. To be a Godly man who could guide me. You know what he said about this?” Jess you have faith, you know scripture more than me and you will always be stronger than me.”
I was NOT going to take No for an answer.
“Nick, You don’t have to be me you have to be what God needs you to be! I need you to take Godly charge over this household, I as a woman need a rock-I need you to try…be the man God needs you to be.”
Nick lived the Motions. I just prayed. After so many attempts at reading the Bible together I gave up and prayed. I no longer pushed him to drop the X-box controller for God because I was so sick of dissapointment. I did my thinh He did his, I tried to share my experiences he had closed ears. I was hurting but I was not going to give up. I just prayed.
And today standing before me is a man hungry for God’s word. A man of faith. A man who put his foot forward and says “AS for me and my house we will serve the LORD!” A man who holds me accounable for all my bad habits. The man I prayed for and more.
If there ever was a revelation from God this is it!
Day 66: Back with the family
God needed me to go back to church in the morning so he paved the way for me to go. I got a phone call from the other employee at my job and she asked if she could work my Sunday morning so I could attend Church. I was so happy about a chance to go to church that I took her offer.
It was such a wonderful feeling to be back to church in the morning. It was like reuniting with Family once again. To me Church is not a chore or something I do every Sunday just to look good. This is time spent praising and worshipping God, being with a wonderful Family and hearing the Gospel (Which used to be so boring but is now so refreshing and awesome) I long to be in the presense of God.
And of course while I was there I picked up an extra ticket to the Christmas Dinner so that I could invite my boss at work to join us before he heads out to India for the month Of December.
I’ve realized that in order to reach the lost and the hurting you just simply need to show love and compassion. The smallest of things like making someone feel important and welcome can mean so much more for those recieving it. There are so many people out there who are hurting and all they really need is someone to just show them kindness…because I k now that there are so many struggles out there. People face ridicule from society but God has a much bigger plan for these people. All hearts are important to God.
Day 67: Long day well done
A nice long day at work. I worked from 6am to 6pm today and didn’t complain once. My feet ached at the end of the day but it was wello worth it. Today I got to tell others that I got to go back to Church Sunday morning. I was so happy about it. My joy was so evident that people noticed and mentioned thay were going to go Back to Church too as they had just left. I’m not sure how many of these people actually did go back but if there was even one heart that I impacted and only one Prodigal son who returned my joy was wello worth that one heart! I’m certain that when they do return they will be welcomed with open arms.
Day 68: Pouring out my heart…again
Joy can be snatched up quite quickly. One day I will be over joyed the next I will be burdened with anxiety and stress. So when I got home from work I had lost all joy, I was torn down by stress and I was having troubles with Anxiety. Oh Month of November how you always bring me great sorrow. It is quite possible I am affected by season and November just isn’t a great month for me.
I wasn’t sure what to do but my Husband insisted I pray out loud. It took me a good 10 minutes to open my mouth and pray. But when I did it was the most heart felt prayer, so many burdens were lifted. The burdens I faced this evening were taken away. I just poured my heart and soul out and I needed it. And when I was done my husband embraced me and told me that everything would be okay…and that no matter what we would get through any storms that came our way.
When storms come your way and you feel dragged down and beaten…don’t give up…just Pray.