The past two weeks I’ve talked about Stubborn Faith and Unconditional love. Here you’ll understand why, as it applies to today’s message. I actually have to thank Granny Bug for the inspiration and direction in this category. I knew I wanted to start something like this to help us in our struggle for patience and wisdom and endurance with our children. And, it was the Granny Bug (who is a minister herself), who helped me open my eyes and ears to hear and see the message I needed to go through with this. Well, see more than hear, as we talked through emails and she directed me where to find the information I needed.
So, health wise, this week has been fairly well. But, what about on the buggy end? I mean, here I’m talking about buggies as well as my personal struggle, but you have yet to hear about the buggy’s behavior during these past weeks.
Well, Beanie Bug has now entered into the official “I’m THE Diva,” divatude, that makes each and every nerve of anger and impatience flare. The normally quiet child is learning to speak out and stand up for herself. Good, right, since prior she wouldn’t say boo if you took her toy. She would just go off by herself and cry. Or come to me crying without saying a thing to the other child who took her toy.
Like all children, hey experiment with their younger siblings first. So, each and every thing that Belly Bug says is now being followed up by a smack, punch, or kick. Just yesterday, Belly Bug was being rude and told Beanie that she couldn’t be in their room and to get out. So, in retaliation, Beanie Bug kicked Belly Bug right in the stomach…
This is normally a flipped situation, as Belly is normally the hands on approach kind. Beanie is normally the one that will cry. And Do Bug….well there is a reason I call her Do. Because whatever she sees she will do. Anyhow, regardless of who is hitting who, who called who what, who took so and so’s toy…It is like this EVERYDAY!!!
You would think that with school and things, that they would be happy to see each other. When they’re separated they cry for each other. So, that’s just kids being kids, right? My mother lets me know that we were like that, when I talk to her over the phone and fully overwhelmed. Then she sees the bugs in action. She’s literally said, “You guys were never to that extreme. Seriously…WOW!!!”
And why would their own grandmother say this? Because during these times she has watched me struggle through, chasing the two younger ones down to be sure they aren’t eating medicine or bathing in the toilet. (Yes I said that, and it wasn’t a joke. Drinking out of the toilet was something we had to discuss as well…ICK…who has to explain that to their kids?) Meanwhile, if someone accidently bumps the older one while she is playing quietly, she has an outright crying melt down, and I’m still chasing after the other two for their safety. No amount of nicety is going to stop any of the three. And, oh, how it breaks my heart to have to get stern with them at all. But it is a fact.
I’ve had people tell me, “Oh, let me handle it. You just aren’t speaking to them correctly. You have to do it in nice tones, and not tell them things like no.” Normally this would set any mother’s nerves on fire. Me, I just smile now. I’ve heard this all too many times. And when it is said, it is said in regards to the younger two. I watch the other adult speak oh so politely to my child with a bright smile. I watch my child react and say okay with a big grin that the other adult thinks is acceptance of their authority. The adult turns around with a smug look on their face, and just as they are about to break their arm patting their own back with how well they did with my child, it happens. Not only did my child do exactly what she was, “asked politely,” to not do. She does it very loudly, and pointedly. And as always with the pizazz and style that only my children can do.
So, all these things happen daily, and there are times that it just seems too much. Yes, I am that mother that will go shut myself in the bathroom to get away from them and cry for a moment. Yes, I’ve lost my temper and screamed. I’ve tried every avenue of punishment and reward. And, yes, I’ve had those terrifying moments of running to the emergency room or just plain running around the house to find my child who has hidden, and is so small you can’t see right away.
Anyone with a spirited child or even an anxious child will tell you the same. Especially with the high maintenance baby (although with the baby you probably aren’t running about to find where she hid as she isn’t mobile quite yet.) And, through all this you still love your child unconditionally. You constantly pray for patience and wisdom to get you through. Sometimes we pray for someone to actually accept to babysit for them, so that we can go to the store without having to take them with, and all the dramatics that go with going out of the house with these three buggies.
That is where the stubborn faith comes in. From Matthew 15:21-28, where the woman begs for help with her child’s unclean spirit. She kept asking until it was done. She had faith that it would be done so long as she asked. And she was greatly rewarded.
As we go through life with children like these, we need to be reminded to have stubborn faith. Faith that will keep us moving forward. No, our child is not demon possessed, (although sometimes you wonder with the odd loud noises coming from the play room…) But the faith to keep up with our children and lead them in the correct direction in life. Because deep down we know these are our future leaders, as in the case of our busy bugs; and our future comforters; as in the case with our worry bugs.
We also need to be reminded that these wonderful, yet challenging, children have unconditional love for us, and as parents, we have unconditional love for them. But we also need to remember and take comfort that God has unconditional love for us all. Those day’s we are locked and crying in the bathroom on the floor…John 15, (In my words on my take of it). I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever has me in them they will be of me and therefore will produce much fruit. If you are not producing fruit I will prune the withered leaves so that you may grow and bring forth fruit once again.
And of course the well-known: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
To me, these are uplifting reminders that I am not alone in this, and God has led me here for a reason. I know that my children will grow to be successful adults, and I know the only way that will come to as they grow into their own is if I guide them on their journey. Then one day, you never know, they may be guiding us.
So, in these next few weeks as you look for ways to work through these situations, never forget the persistent mother. Keep asking for help. You will get the help you need, just keep up with it and believe that it will happen. And know that we are all but branches of Jesus. We have him with us so long as we accept us, and he will guide us, just as we are guiding them.
Also, it is okay to step away for a few moments, when you need a breather. Or just to cry. Remember to pray, and cry on God’s shoulder. He will lift you up and give you the strength you need to endure.