Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The fine line at the end of our driveway.

So we've had 7 year old attitude
up to our ears for the past
few weeks.
I'm not sure what has gotten into our
little princess, but she has
taken sass to the next level lately!

This morning we were waiting for the school bus
and the sass monster bit again.
Brendell's timing is impecable because
her bus was rumbling
down the street
just as the defiant words were
coming out of her mouth.
As the bus groaned to a stop and
the doors squeeked open,
I was still sizzling from
frustration and ok, I'll admit it, anger
at the little thing bounding up the school bus steps.
How dare she talk to me that way!
She knows better!
I bet other little girls don't sass their moms as
much as she sasses me!
What the heck am I doing wrong?!
Each thought seared through my brain
and sucked out my joy
and a good bit of my ability to reason
by the time she was seated.
I looked up at the window and saw
the familiar round cheeked smile
come across her face as she raised her hand to wave.
Stunned and seething I reluctantly put my hand in the air
but my smile was slow to appear.
She frowned and slowly took her hand down
only to bring it up again when I finally let my
smile swallow up my raw emotions
and waved more energetically.
All morning the shocked saddness in her eyes
when she didn't see me
joyfully bidding her goodbye as I usually do
haunted me and pricked at my heart.
I felt guilty because I hadn't wanted to smile back.
I hadn't wanted to wave.
I wanted to teach her a lesson and
stomp off and deny her
my acceptance.
How selfish and immature of me!
What right did I have to deny my deviant child
the pleasure of my complete and utter delight
at who she is and the gift I have in her?
It is her actions that I do not accept,
not her as a person.
She would have gotten the opposite
message this morning
had I not pushed my anger down.
Today at the end of our driveway, I walked that fine line
between righteous admonition
and selfish manipulation
and for a few seconds I had my
foot firmly planted in ugly indignation.

I am so thankful that my creator
doesn't do that to me when
I sass Him.
He has never kept his affection from me.
His thoughts toward me are
always good.
He sees me as redeemed and clean.
He loves me wildly with a perfect
love that I don't deserve,
but it is so freely lavished on me
not because of who I am
but because of who He is!
I can't do anything to make Him love me less
and I can't do anything to make Him love me more.
He's always there waving enthusiastically
with a great big smile and a heart
full of love for me
no matter how I have behaved.
Oh how I want to portray that image
to my children!
I know that the disciplinary style of a parent
can greatly affect the child's view of God.
I don't want them to think that if they
do something wrong
that God withdrawls from them.
I want them to know that
no matter how many rules they break
or how many times they disobey,
I will always accept them for who they are
and I will not withhold my love and
affection for them.
This certainly doesn't mean that there are no consequences
for doing something wrong.
But it does mean that the way I see my kids
and what I think about them
in my heart
is not what is at stake
when they disobey.
They are loved totally and completely
by me and most importantly
by their creator
no matter how many times they
break the rules.
As for the sass monster?
I'm working on an extermination plan
as I type this!


Anonymous said...

One scripture that comes to mind when reading this (and one that I remind myself of consistently through absolute necessity) is to "show mercy just as the father shows mercy". Unfortunately I can't remember where it is located in the Good Book! It really does help us put things in a very black and white perspective when we view our relationships with our children in contrast/comparison to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is certainly hard, however, to always do it the right way. But anything worth having requires that we deny our flesh.


Jerry, Chantal & The Girl Gang said...

Thank you so much for this post! I really needed this. I have been having the exact same issues with my almost 9 year old and I am pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to do. Thank you for making me step back and see myself! I need to work on our relationship...Your bus story brought a big alligator tear to my eye! Thanks again!