I have been seeking the Lord as much as I can over my children. Praying especially for patience for the fact that I don't have as much time as I would like to devote to prayer and study. If this isn't spiritual warfare, then I don't know what it is. The more effort I put forth the more difficult things become.
I have had some encouragements along the way have have carried me through. People have pointed out quotes and scriptures that do speak to me and encourage. I have been listening to the North West Youth conference online that I had every intention of attending, but could not. My dad was one of the speakers and it would have been nice to visit, however, the sermons were good and a blessing - at least what I could hear between the noisy children and their constant needing attention.
I remarked to Steve that Missy is leveled out a wee bit, but we both agreed that neither of us were really asking anything of her. She isn't making the morning as big a deal as usual, though. James is the one having a problem. (We always flip-flop like this). His problem is trustworthiness. The more Steve has tried to address this and work with him on it the deeper he's digging in his heels over it. Steve has been praying with him, going over what the issue is and what is expected and talking to him about it very earnestly every time it comes up. James is pretending to do what we ask, assuring us with many words that he is in fact being trust worthy, but when we check he hasn't done a thing. It appears that he is going down into one of his lethargic phases and is seeking the easiest route all day long.
Friday I had asked Brianna to go and check up on the chickens and make sure that they were cared for properly. James very convincingly persuaded her that he had done everything and that she did not need to go check. She fell for it. Friday night it came out that they did not have clean water and some did not have food. Steve talked to him about the suffering of the animals... and asked him what his consequence should be. He said that he would go without dessert for three days. I was secretly rolling my eyes... dessert? what dessert? It's been tomato sandwhiches around here and you are lucky for anything else, BUT yes, I do dole out Popsicles and lollypops sometimes but only for stellar behavior. I thought it an easy out. Steve seemed to think that this was sufficient and it was the little man's choice, so I agreed.
I had forgotten it was Steve's birthday.
In fact, I couldn't figure out why the lovely flowering plant on the table until Steve reminded me it was our 21st anniversary!!
Steve turned 25 the day before our wedding... I should have remembered his birthday, but it only dawned on me the next day that I had missed it altogether.
Well, Steve had a bought a gorgeous cake with strawberries and whipping and had hidden it at the back of the fridge (forget gluten free, we are celebrating :-). James had no idea and Steve could not have guessed this would be James' solution to the idea that he needed to experience some sort of suffering to understand how the chickens felt. As you can imagine dessert time is kind of sad around here for at least one little boy, and since he's not helping to eat it, the cake is lasting a few days...
BUT he's challenging us on his trustworthiness even more. It needs to be more work to do something wrong that it is to do it right in the first place. THUS our battle this morning. He has not been doing his morning routine because he knows he has to sweep out the garage after breakfast and he doesn't want to... At ten o'clock I announced that breakfast was over and he was too late because the restaurant closed. This angered him and he proceeded to vomit water all over the bathroom... so now he's cleaning the bathroom, too.
The child knows that he's digging in. He knows that avoiding work causes more work, but right now he won't accept responsibility. The same goes for not coming to breakfast. It is his fault not mine that he's hungry right now. I set his place, I filled his dish, he chose not to come, but he blames me. Talk about disheartening.
I believe this is spiritual warfare. I know it is. We are battling for the child's heart and soul and eternal life. I feel like prayer is going to have to win this one. I have nothing else and no wisdom on the subject. I have a lot of hope for James. I know he still has major issues, and this is a reminder that indeed he has MAJOR issues. I just know that he is so much happier when he is open to God working in his life.
We are dealing with a light cold. I held the baby most of the night. He's not terribly sick, but little noses were not made for congestion.
Last evening I was standing on a beach watching a great Salmon jumping out of the river and plopping down with a great splash over and over. Behind me was a small inlet of water kind of like a two foot puddle. The twins and Buddy were wading around and building a sand castle on the edge of it. Steve was watching them and holding the baby. He started to yell for me when Buddy tripped and went under. I ran and pulled him up and he was fine. He looked a tad frightened but nothing bothers him for long. I took all his wet clothes off and he promptly went over and gave the baby a very cold, wet kiss. OH my!! talk about insulted. That babe cried mad tears for 20 minutes straight!!! It was pretty funny, but we could not console the little guy. It's moments like this that makes me think his nervous system is still on edge. He's doing better, but he certainly is a needy baby.