Sunday, July 27, 2008

Parenting is Heart Work

What a Sunday! John left right after church to work at HD. He is anxiously awaiting the completion of his teaching certification - 8/1 is his last day.

Drew and I had a wonderfully terrible day. Right after lunch Drew and I had the biggest battle ever. He had done something worthy of a spanking and we went through our routine:

M: "Drew, what did mommy ask you to do?"
D: " I didn't obey"
M:" I know you didn't obey, what happens when you don't obey?"
D: "I get a spanking..."

About that same time he was saying the final word, he ran under his bed. Normally he isn't too bad about getting my spankings - Daddy is a whole other story! We battled for about 10 minutes while he screamed uncontrollable, kicked, and kept trying to get away. I prayed one of those "help me, give me wisdom" prayers and God showed up. I left Drew in his room and told him to come get me when he was ready to submit and take the spanking. I knew he would fall asleep in the process, which, he did. When he awoke 2 hours later, he called for me and said he had to go potty. Then I sent him back to his bed, reminded him of what we had discussed and asked him to call me when he was ready. To my shock, he said "I'm ready mommy." He took the spanking perfectly! Then he gave me a big hug and said "thank you mommy" - not sure why? We talked about what he had done, what positive choice he could choose in the future and then prayed to Jesus for forgiveness. He was so darn cute, he talked to Jesus and then jumped up and said, "I all better mommy, sin all gone, I'm happy now." He then gave me a hug and asked if he could go play.

Drew is such a sensitive little man, he hates to be in trouble and loves the freedom that comes from being disciplined and forgiven. Drew knew his actions were totally unacceptable and the joy he had once the discipline was over encouraged my heart - he cried way more about getting a spanking that he did receiving one.

I am always in awe at how much I learn about God's love from my children. We discipline Drew so he knows that in life there are consequences, many times he also receives grace which is what the Lord too offers. John and I know that if our children can't obey our words, then they won't be able to obey God's Word. Learning to obey at a young age sets our kids up with the tools they need for battling through this life.

The rest of the evening Drew was wonderful, he even said "I love you mommy!" - I think that was a first! We ended the night by making and painting caterpillars out of egg cartons. While we were painting he looked at me and said, "Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?" I promptly responded, "No, no babies in mommy's tummy right now." He then asked if I was going to the hospital to have the baby, then he asked if he could go to the hospital and have a baby too. After explaining that mommy's have babies, not daddy's, I then asked him if he wanted another baby and he replied, "Yes, Yes I do!" He'll have to wait a while for that request!

The evening ended so nicely, he was in such a joyful mood, it felt nice to forget about the lunchtime debacle. Drew listened, obeyed, played nicely with his brother and even ate all his dinner! As I relax tonight, I'm humbled. I just experienced a brief glimpse of what God must feel each day for broken world. The Lord desperately desires to free us from our sins. I was so glad when Drew submitted and accepted my discipline, I was anxious to forgive him and enjoy the blessings that a forgiven spirit produces - joy filled hearts, unity, laughter, peace, and the spirit of willing obedience. My most frequent utterance to God is that my boys would come to realize that they individually need a personal relationship with Jesus - its not something they inherit, its something that they must freely offer to the Lord - He is eagerly awaiting their repentant hearts that long to grow closer to their Saviour!

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