Friday, January 1, 2010

Guest Post - Not to Us Be The Glory --- But To You!

Guest Post by:
Drop Me A Line!
Kim has been a friend of mine for many years. It has been a blessing to share in this journey with her. She recently shared a post on her blog that really blessed me and encouraged me in this journey called "parenting challenging kids" and I thought you would be blessed to read it too.
Grace, Grace, God's Grace - it's an amazing thing - something we are not only meant to receive, but also extend. In the following post Kim shares how God used this gift "grace" to minister to one of their children and ultimately to them. Parenting challenging children is the most difficult thing anyone will experience. Falling on our face before God, allowing His healing balm to soothe our hurting hearts then getting back up knowing that He has our back - He is our rear Guard!!! Hugs :)
Isaiah 58:8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Not To Us Be The Glory....But To You!

As I was reading the chapter on "demanding kids" in Sacred Parenting the other night I was really encouraged by his thoughts and thought I'd share here ... because I know that a lot of you have a/some demanding kids. Some of you have kids that have what the world would call an attachment disorder. Some of you have kids who were abused and don't know how to feel safe and so they make it miserable for you. I have one. I have a child who sees right and wrong ... and will usually choose wrong(not tonight, but I will get to that in a minute).... he self sabotages because he doesn't feel he deserves the love, the blessings, us (his parents). He is believing the lies of the enemy. Plain and simple. He can say all the right things (it's been drilled into his head! lol!) .... but his heart just isn't in the place where he is *fully* able to receive the love showered on him and choose behaviors because he loves/honors us. That's not what motivates him.

The author made the point that we don't parent these kids because we get something out of it (or any of our kids really - but not the particular point here)... we parent these kids because GOD ASKED US TO and out of reverence TO HIM.... not for ourselves. Through parenting demanding children, we also learn/perfect skills within ourselves that we wouldn't have been able to learn/perfect without this or that particular child. So I started thinking .... through parenting this child what have I learned that the other kids don't teach me/perfect in me (at least not as much).
Patience. Endurance. Courage. Physical strength I never knew I had. How to see something and call it out in someone. How to fall on my face and then get back up again. How to cry out to God ... and Him alone. Prayers of deliverance. How to seek the wisdom of God.

When I looked at that list I was thankful. It's not something I would
choose to go through ... but He's asked me to. It's about living a surrendered life ... not a comfortable one. People often quote the quote "He's more concerned about my character than my comfort" ... and our kids can help perfect those character flaw in us can't they? (our spouses too! :)).

Two recent concrete examples ... a glimpse into my reality.
Example One:
Two weeks ago (the night Baby I had his brush with death) .... this child started on a "stealing rampage".... even in the middle of the night he'd get out of his bedroom, take stuff from the kitchen and eat it in his bed. The banana peels under his bed, cheese from the enchiladas and the chocolate cookie crumbs kinda gave him away :). Among the discipline he received was loosing snacks for X amount of days. Our kids are blessed with three snack times a day ... the key word there is BLESSED. Snacks are a blessing .... meals are mandatory :). Well, he continued to steal food any chance he got throughout the days (and he's FAST! lol!) that followed... from a noodle on the floor to a bowl of oatmeal left out on the counter. His heart was just not repentant is what it came down to. Christmas Eve, we sat down with him and expressed how sad we were that he had continued to steal food ... but we were going to give him a gift that Jesus (his birth was being celebrated the next day of course) gave us ... GRACE. We told him that he was going to get all his snacks back ... not because he earned it (heck no!) but because we wanted to show him in a tangible way what God's grace looked like. Well, not 30 minutes after we had that conversation (and he said all the right things) ... I came around the corner just in time to see him fly out of the kitchen with a big mouthful of something. He was trying to self sabotage ... he didn't think he should get this gift of grace and so he tried to get us to take it away again. We didn't. Instead he got a meeting with daddy :). Have I mentioned sometimes I feel like banging my head on the wall? Oh good.

Example Two:
Over the last two days, IH's parents have taken the oldest six swimming and out to eat at McDonalds (a huge treat). They have all come home with these (junk!) toys from the movie Avatar. I have NO idea what this movie is even about... but my first impressions weren't so hot! lol! Some of the kids came home with this dinosaur looking thing. Fine. However, the others came home with this blue demon looking "thing" that immediately repulsed me! Seriously. I talked with the kids casually about why I didn't really like that toy ... that it looked like a demon ... what did they think? They started pointing out it's "good features" ... one (it lights up!) ... but couldn't come up with anything else. I got up and kinda let them ponder that conversation looking at these "toys". A few minutes later, the child mentioned above, came over to me and said "Mom, you really don't like this toy huh?". I said, "No... I really think it looks like a demon and we all know demons are bad." He very matter-of-factly said, "Then I will just throw it away"... AND HE DID! This is a child who will SCREAM if I take anything of "his" away, if he gets one chip less than someone else, etc .... IT GAVE ME HOPE! God is like that isn't He? When you are in the trenches, trusting God and His plan for you/your child ... He sends you a little nugget called HOPE.

To all my readers living this life with me ... cling to HOPE. Choose to be THANKFUL (find SOMETHING!). And raise this child up FOR HIM. You may never get anything back in this life... but when you enter heaven you will get
this"Well done good and faithful servant"..... and that's all we should need.

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