Monday, April 2, 2012

{ A New Heart Will I Give You }

Sibling rivalry in twins is a game all of its own.

Missy didn't seem so hard yesterday after I separated the duo. I put her to work on housecleaning and clothes folding and kept her brother outside doing outside work. I was with Missy all day. The girls were gone and I had the little Buddy to attend to.... therefore, James was on his own pretty much. The spirit between them was not acceptable so I never let them cross paths at all, not even meal times. Missy seemed to soften and she was full plans for happy attitudes and joyful obedience.... {for later } - hilarious stuff! Whenever she would start to complain about her little odd jobs I would remind her that she had chosen to make it a "Perfectly Miserable Day" and I was totally accommodating her wishes. It got to be almost a funny joke and so the day went okay. However, my interactions with James were not fun. He was feeling neglected or rejected by being sent outside. I just couldn't have them both in at war with each other and I am pretty sure he was instigating the fights.  Later I went out to work with him after the girls were home, but he was all fuss and whine and I knew he was tired by this time. When I tried to work on his memory verse with him he played dumb and I gave up and sent him to bed.

This morning they both proclaimed that today was not going to be one of those  "Perfectly Miserable Days". Today was going to be a GOOD day. It lasted all of 3 seconds and I got all panicky. We have a whole week of NO school ahead. Their spring break did not coincide with the girls' break for some reason.

During the night a little plan on how to reach James' heart had come to me and so I set about putting it into action. I told him I had something to show him and I took out a sheet of paper and pen and started to draw.

I drew a picture of boy with a frowning face and a picture of his mom trying to reach out to him. I drew a red heart with beams spreading out towards him from her, but I drew a blue, stone cold heart in the boy. I drew rose thorns all over his body and a wall between them. His hand is up holding his mother away. I told him the way the boy is behaving is called RAD and I wrote it out for him. I explained it as: A person who is pushing people who love them away. I label this not as an excuse for behavior but to give it a name as something to avoid.

James quickly forgot to keep his mad face and he engaged wholeheartedly.

I asked him to list some of the ways the boy is pushing the mom away. 
  • Lying
  • Hurting people
  • Pretending to be stupid
  • Disobeying
  • Being Sloppy
  • Doing work halfway
  • Disrespect - showing anger -ugly words - name calling - mumbling - slow talking

Of course we brought it close to home and labeled the boy OLD James. We have a God's hand reaching down willing to give healing.

Please excuse the artwork. It served it's purpose :-)

We applied Ps. 34:6   "This poor [boy] cried and the Lord heard him and saved him from all of his troubles. We said the troubles were the RAD behaviors of pushing those who love him away.

He has a full appreciation of getting his help from God's Word. He is very sensitive to spiritual things and I am thankful for this. I can't always get through, but if I am going to, this is the way to do it, mostly. Hard work and all, do their part, but he does respond to this.

We also applied Ezekiel 36:26 "A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh...

So, then we turned the paper over and drew NEW James with a heart radiating love to his mother and friends.

I had him list the opposite character traits from the unhappy list on the other side. Somehow I think I need him to contemplate those opposite traits more for by beholding we become changed. It wasn't so easy for him.

James then set to work writing out his two verses.

I told him this would be an on-going study because we could find verses to match every positive character trait and how God is willing to help us build those things into our lives.

He tends to be a perfectionist. He messed up and was all "sorry I ruined it!!!" I explained that there are honest mistakes and that they are not to be confused with purposefully doing things wrong. It's two different things and mistakes happen and we make room for them.

As for Missy... this kind of talk doesn't make much impression. She doesn't understand, and she's pretty much choosing a "Perfectly Miserable Day" today. I guess I'll accommodate her wishes. There's always housework if you can't be happy playing.

Update: Talking it and living it is two different things.... :-(


Sophie said...

I LOVE THIS.!!!! Good job. Love the scriptures. Perfect.

Isabella and Dorinda said...

I just want you to know that I continue to pray for your family. I thought this was a wonderful way to bring home the lesson. Thinking outside the box with the word of God. Wonderful. "Isabella"

Betsy said...

What a brilliant visual! Hope your spring break improves.

Sarah said...

This is BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE it!!! It sounds like your picture got through it him. My boy is older and does not trust me as an "authority" but there is a book called "A Safe Place for Caleb" that outlines RAD for kids- why it exists, the behaviors, how to change, etc. which has been VERY helpful for us.

Sarah said...

This is BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE it!!! It sounds like your picture got through it him. My boy is older and does not trust me as an "authority" but there is a book called "A Safe Place for Caleb" that outlines RAD for kids- why it exists, the behaviors, how to change, etc. which has been VERY helpful for us.

Acceptance with Joy said...

Thanks!! Looking for the book.

Me and Jesus said...

For my younger daughter who wanted to continously engage in battles last week... I tried a new trick. A Nancy thomas method.
I bought my favorite box of ice cream. I sat down beside her with this (rare in our house) box of ice cream. Every time she deliberately disobeyed or was "difficult", I would savor a bite of ice cream. Commenting on how I ENJOYED this ice cream, then asking her with sympathy if she was having a good day. She very quickly put together what I was doing. It took about a half a box of ice cream, but she soon changed her attitude and the best part. I WAS NOT STRESSED. I was enjoyig treating myself.

Anonymous said...

Pop that little paper into a sheet protector for many repeated uses! Hang it in the bathroom or somewhere visible as sort of a temperature reading of behavior (kind of like the sign on a dishwasher...clean...dirty). Encourage the "happy" side to be showing. What a great lesson and activity for him to do. May not sink in today, but the seeds are being planted. Kristy

Anonymous said...

God gave you amazing theraputic strategy that rivals anything I have seen or heard from THE PROFESSIONALS! (Which I guess we are...) I have had similar experiences, where God whispers something in my spirit I never could have come up with on my own. God Bless!