Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Red Sea

I wrote a post this morning. The prayer I am praying for James, so impossible.

Except for the fact that it is a prayer.

God is the One who answers. And nothing is impossible with God.

In fact, He delights in our impossibilities.

It occurred to me that I have a greater impossibility on my hands.

{As if, it just dawned on me.... when in reality, this point of desperation and the absolute helpless position I find myself in shows up frequently, enough.}

It's impossible for me to be everything, as a mother, that these kids need. I don't have enough patience and I cannot keep from betraying my impatience when said boy has decided to defy the seat -belt rule and I must ask him to put it back on 5 times in as many minutes. When he looks me in the eye in the rear-view mirror and smirks because it's off again and he thinks there isn't a thing I can do about it.... When I tell him, as I park, that "in order to ride in this vehicle one must obey the rules, so get out..." I'm struggling to keep the tension out of my voice. I tell myself to keep the tones natural... as if he has every freedom in the world to make this choice. Tell him to go ahead and explore the lawn; sit in the shade of the tree... have a little fun while he's at it. I'm not going anywhere. . . but I'm rolling my eyes at my own suggestion. For what's the point? He's standing at my door screaming his little head off, perspiration beading up on his face in the hot sun. I figure I'm about to get turned in for child abuse by the people entering and departing the orthodontist's building. We are there an hour. I try again. Listen up, Buddy. If you ride in this car you obey the driver and the rules of this car. If you choose not to it's completely your choice, but you can't be in here. It's either obey and be in, or defy and get out. It seems to me you choose not to be in or out, but I can't think of any other choices out there. Can you? Eventually, he shakes hands on an agreement to follow the vehicle rules and I let him in the van. 

Once again I find exasperation taking over my mind and voice... "If you can't say anything nice, Missy, then you are not allowed to talk right now." She's actively looking to irritate Her twin. They aren't even in the same row... its' a 12 passenger van. How far apart do they need to sit? "I SAID NO TALKING!" I said it a little louder than necessary. I want her to know she's succeeding in irritating me {Do I really?!}.

It's time for NR. They have three sets of 10 minutes to do on their hands and knees. The fussing starts. They're looking to push buttons. They mostly lay around. I have to turn the timer off and declare that what they have done so far, doesn't count. We have to start over. She screams that she is too tired. She yells and fusses, and carries on for an hour. I sit in my chair and pretend it's all good. That I can wait forever... but as the words mount and the nonsense increases I can feel my frustration levels building like steam in a pressure cooker. I put her in time out and I void any time she's already done. Eventually, we land up at the trampoline. I make her jump as I stand on it.... she has to bounce me up and down until she's so tired she begs to crawl.... but not before I use some pretty hard words. Words I shouldn't have said.

He's reading to me for about a minute and suddenly he decides not to anymore. He doesn't stop, he just reads wrong. Passive aggressiveness is his favorite tool. I explain that the first vowel does the talking and the second one does the walking... I try again and ask what the letter's name is. The long vowel always says it's name. And he "can't remember" what an E is called. RIGHT. I get it now. "Okay, Buddy. No games. I know what you are doing and we are not going there."  I explain everything so that he has no excuse to use on me but it's no good. HE WON'T remember because he is choosing not to. I'm between a rock and a hard place. We can't move on. He won't. Nothing I do would induce him to do so. YET, if I allow him to control our reading time like this, we'll NEVER ever read. I'm just a helpless idiot. If I don't do something!! And I completely unraveled right there. . .COMPLETELY.

Just a few hours earlier I stepped in and gave Buddy's mom a piece of unasked for parenting advice. He was throwing a tantrum and it was about to work according to his plan.... but I stopped her from giving in and explained the long term consequences her action now would have. I gave her my very best piece of advice. Never, ever, ever, ever give a child something for which they cry for.  She was obviously torn, but struggles with feeling adequate in other people's eyes so she refused his terms.... She wants to do it right. Miracle of miracles the tantrum ended right then and there.

NOW, I find myself in this impossible situation with James.... and I text Steve that I feel so stupid handing out parenting advice when  I have the two most willful and disobedient children on the face of this planet and there isn't a thing I've done that has changed that. There simply isn't a thing I can do. Discouragement rolls in like the thunderheads above me.

I'm at my Red Sea. No way to go forward or backwards. The road is completely blocked in on all sides. I'm hemmed in by the mountains on two sides, an army threatening to destroy me is approaching and I can't swim.

Oh, GOD in heaven, I'm completely in need of a miracle right here!

It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others. 
In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, 
we must know its power in our own hearts and lives. 
The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved. Only through a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour is it possible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world. 
If we would draw sinners out of the swift-running current,  
our own feet must be firmly set upon the Rock, Christ Jesus.  
{CSW 99.2}


ErinL said...

Oh boy can I relate to so much of this. Different kid, different scenario, same outcomes. It's exhausting....

Anonymous said...

Hi, my sister recently sent me this article when I had a bad parenting day. Don't give up, I am praying for you and your family.

acceptance with joy said...

Thank you.


Oldqueen44 said...

Well, you are right about one thing, it doesn't make a difference what you do at the moment of the incident. If they want to win they will win. No consequence is big enough to move them. Super sad. But super unbelievable.

Jennifer P said...

This is an incredibly powerful post. On so many levels.

Mama in Uganda said...

We are there with two, too. So NEVER feel alone. We on the west coast really need to get together sometime...even if its just to listen to one another....what do you say?!?!

Anonymous said...

Your cries have been heard and God is working on answering them!! Hang on and plead for grace to keep it together as He works things out. Of course we wish to see the miracle sooner rather than later but when it comes to the human heart I suspect slowly and gently does it... I feel your distress. He will continue to carry you as He did up till now. Next year this time you will look back and praise Him for His deliverance. You'll probably be facing something else then but you will still be pushing on - for the joy that is set before you. Rest in the hope He gives you today. I love you, a.

acceptance with joy said...

I would love that, Summer. I don't know what happened to your second message. It disappeared in me.

acceptance with joy said...

Thanks antionette! Tried to call you before you left the country, but could not get through.

Kathy C. said...

Bless you!

I am sort of there with you. But my 8 yr old girl twin is chosing to obey and follow rules this week. YAY! She gets to be in a play this week--it all takes place within one week.

The boy twin. Yay. Let's get up on the middle of the night and eat older brother's treats, all the breakfast food, anything not locked up. Let's take everyone's stuff. Right now he is supposed to be sitting on his bed writing verses from the book of James. Time out didn't work, push ups didn't work (Forgot how to do them!)so I chose his fun time activity today--and it is to write verses from James.