Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life lessons when you least expect it...

There are many lessons Motherhood can teach us if we are willing to slow to and yield to those urgings that are contrary to the emotions that expose themselves when we feel as if we have been propelled past our boiling point.  You know those days that, if it can go wrong, it has and your frustrations have mounted far beyond that tight grip you thought you had on everything; so that you might continue to keep up with the appearance you think you're portraying.  Go ahead, laugh; cause you know its true.  It's but an appearance.  For every success, the list of failures threaten to overshadow them most days. was one of those days for me.  No, in all honesty I have had a few weeks of these kinds of days lately.

Maybe a short recollection would serve to bring you up to speed, not to mention make you feel a little better about your life.  In no given order, here you go.  Child A decides to use a golf club as a weed whacker and takes out a waterline in the process.  Child B decides that it is all of a sudden her place to argue with every word that comes out of your mouth while making an excuse for everything she does not get or do right.  Oh and add hormones to that mix, which led to a melt down in the back yard for all the neighbors to hear.  Child C lives to get into things just because she can and leave you the mess to clean up when she's done.  Six clothes changes in one day.  Several brand new bottles of facial wash emptied in a matter of days.  Waterproof sunscreen smeared on your rear view mirror and overhead mirrors.  Yes, I know pretty trivial and basically child's play and there is certainly more than the above mentioned.  It adds up fast some days.

Today seemed no different with everyone off task and off schedule and I was really feeling the failures start to out weigh our successes.  Reprimands and discussions began shortly after we walked through the door.  TV privileges revoked as a consequence.  I really hoped for a turn around. 

Then bath time came.  As I sat in the porch swing for a breather while they got their baths, I saw Child C pass the window and proceed to the front door in her birthday suit.  She locked the front door and ran back to the bathroom.  To this the demand to open the front door quickly followed.  She obliged and darted off again.  While I investigated, she tucked herself safely into a hiding place.  A brand new bottle of Shampoo had been dispersed completely into the bath tub, suds everywhere.  A basket full of clean towels vanished out of sight.  

Yes, it would be fair to say I was almost to a boiling point since this was not a first offense and she had been disciplined for this very thing already.  I headed for the  kitchen to retrieve one of the feared wooden spoons and made my way up the stairs.  In a calm but authoritative voice, which I was really trying hard to maintain, I demanded that the door be opened. 

Ten minutes later I am still standing in the same spot, refusing to pick the lock.  Maybe it wasn't quite that long but so it seemed.  I sat down quietly on the top step and listened to her sob.  I thought how familiar that sound was to me almost like an echo within.  I couldn't help but think of the times I messed up and sobbed like this because I knew the error of my ways.  I thought of how she ran and locked herself in behind a door she thought was protecting her.  Was this what my reactions or responses in times past, were teaching her?  Was this a learned behavior in fear of my anger?  No, no those kinds of things are not allowed to operate in our home.  This was clearly a response of our human condition, how we run and hide from the one who loves us the most; fearing disappointment, rejection or correction.  

I sat quietly until she started calling out my name, in fear I wasn't still waiting on the other side of that door.  She cried out for me time and time again and softly I repeated, " I'm right here precious, just open the door."  Her words came back, "But I don't want a spanking mama."  So I asked her, "Did she deserve a spanking" and she hesitantly replied, "Yes she did".  So once again I told her, mama wants you to open the door.  She slowly opened the door and found my arms pulling her into my lap as they wrapped gently about her and we cried together. 

 In this moment, Grace was defined to me in a way that struck a chord.  This was her first taste of it and God allowed me to be used of him to demonstrate this wild and crazy thing that's so hard for us to understand.  Not only did he use me but he allowed me to see the process and what it flows out of.  She deserved correction and she knew it.  She had to trust my love for her in opening that door; trust that my response would be love, no matter what it entailed.  And I had to judge her heart and respond accordingly.  I knew she knew she was wrong and I knew the only right response was Grace. 

Thank you God for the gifts and the responsibilities you have given me.