We had a heck of an evening. One of those disaster after disaster days when you question whether or not you have done anything right as a mother.
After several minor sibling problems and other behavior issues brewing amongst several of our children. Our daughter especially presented us with quite the challenge as her preteen attitiude took rude and disrespectful to an entirely new level. There have been moments of this attitude here and there but this evening her attitude exploded and crossed many lines.
I will not go into all of the details but reached a point a line was crossed and enough was enough. It was not quite 6 pm when this situation peaked. As an immediate consequence her youth activities at church were taken away and she was sent to bed without dinner. And to bed without being allowed to complete her homework for the evening. If you know Emily you know that not being allowed to do her homework is devastating.
All this being done with discussion and further consequences to be given tomorrow. These are the moments when parenting is at its hardest and most challenging. Respond don’t react. Don’t overreact. I am human, I struggle in the heat of the moment with this concept, but today this situation I kept it together. Calm face, no raised voices. Success, no yelling or arguing she put herself to bed. Deep breath and I have time to collect my thoughts and prepare to sit down and discuss this with her tomorrow.
Several hours later after I chopped up some fresh veggies for salad I slipped into Emily’s room to slip the carrot peels and lettuce heads to her bunnies. I startled her out of her sleep as I was slipping back out of the room. Half asleep, eyes closed and she says quietly to me “Mom I love you”. That’s it, drifts back off to sleep.
No pleading for getting up out of bed, no justifying her behavior, no apologizing, begging, arguing, just a sweet simple ‘mom I love you’.
This is the first thought she had when she woke up. Not angry with me for holding her accountable. Not trying to get out of consequences. Just that she loves me. Oh despite her many flaws I love this girl’s heart. This sweet heart melting moment does not change her consequences the following day. She is still held accountable for her words, actions and behaviors.
But as I lay drifting off to sleep I wonder what if that’s how I responded to God. When I am dealing with the consequences of my own sin, facing the mess I have created trying to do things in my own strength and not turning to God. Instead of rationalizing, justifying, complaining and worrying about the discussions of tomorrow. To just stop and rest and tell the Lord I love Him. Laying in bed after a day of trials and storms and just say “God I love You.” How peaceful, simple.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16