… Is my middle name.

It’s been a hard week.

My emotions have been on edge as my parenting style was rocked trying to figure out how to let Isaac be Isaac and not expect him to be me.  You can’t just change your parenting tactics overnight…

On top of that, we’ve been struggling to get (and stay) healthy for over a month after having the stomach bug, the super cold, and most recently pink eye (Come on!).

Then last Wednesday, my grandma (mom’s mom) got sick and on Thursday, she unexpectedly passed away. So Thursday through Monday, my life was filled with cleaning my house for guests, cleaning Mama’s house while everyone was in town, and trying to love my family well as we all grieved this huge loss.

With all the emotion, I felt like I was barely able to take care of myself, much less my children, and our relationship struggled because of that.

Yesterday I was feeling much more stable but that didn’t stop me from yelling at Isaac when he flat out refused to obey after about five minutes of asking him nicely.

I got control of myself pretty quickly and by the time he was able to control his behavior, I went to him and apologized for yelling.  I kissed his head and told him how much I loved him.  “Even when I’m screaming, I still love you.  Even when I’m mad at you I still love you.  Do you know that?” I asked.  He nodded. I took his face in my hands and looked him in his blue eyes and told him one more time, “Isaac, I love you.”

He nodded. I can tell him a million times that I love him, but I can’t make him love me back.  That’s something he’ll have to choose to do.

 

I was at a meeting at church last night when a counselor got up and talked to us about pain.  “Why do you think pain is so hard to deal with?” she asked.  “Because it hurts!” someone answered.  We talked for nearly 30 minutes about the importance of dealing with our pain when the counselor said something else that caught my attention.

“You need to know that God loves you in the good times and bad.  Even when you’re in pain, God still loves you.”

Suddenly, I was reminded of the conversation I had with Isaac and it occurred to me that in a way, God is parenting me, while I’m parenting my kids.  I’ve seen time and time again that He is teaching me the same lessons I want my kids to learn.

It was like in that moment, God took my face in his hands and mirrored my own words, “Even when you’re screaming, I love you.  Even when I’m mad at you, I love you…  Emily, I love you.”

I like to think of God most often as the big Grandpa in the sky.  One who loves me unconditionally and wants to spoil me rotten.  I realize that I may be in the minority of thinking of God this way, but I’m a cup half full kinda girl.  I don’t like to think of God as being capable of anger, though the Bible clearly says He is.

I wonder if God gets angry with me when day after day I refuse to control my temper and hurt my relationship with my kids in the process.  When I think about it now, it’s a worthy reason to get angry.

Or maybe He’s just disappointed in me.  I remember feeling the most guilt when my mom was disappointed in me.  It often happened when she’d ask someone to do the dishes for her after slaving over our dinner in the kitchen all afternoon.  My brother and sisters and I would start fighting over who’s turn it was to do the dishes.  Ten minutes later, my mom would sadly turn on the faucet and start doing the dishes herself.  That felt way worse than any punishment she could have given us.

Either way, I realized last night that my inability to keep my cool not only hurts my relationship with my kids (which you’d think was a big enough reason to get it together) but it also disappoints God.

Thankfully, I know He loves me anyway.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I wrote the above post yesterday but something didn’t sit right with me.  I couldn’t post it.  So I slept on it and waited until today to finish it up.  I thought about it all morning, wondering if anyone else can relate to the little revelations I get from God.  Maybe this post was just for me.

Then, I checked my Bible app and read the verse of the day: 

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. 

                                                                                  -Psalm 30:5

That’s what I needed to hear. Did you need to hear it, too?

God, I’m sorry.  Every single time I am pushed to my limit I fail to do the right thing.  It’s a big deal.  I’m sorry for yelling at my kids.  I’m sorry for not having the patience they deserve.  You’ve got to help me.  I obviously can’t handle it by myself.  Please give me patience, and peace, and understanding when I just don’t have it.  Remind me how much I love my kids and want to strengthen our relationship, not tear it down.  Thank you for loving me anyway, in the good times and bad.  Thank you for your favor on me and my family.  Thank you for joy in the morning and cutting through my wandering thoughts to speak to me clearly.  Don’t let me forget how much you love me in every circumstance, but don’t let me forget that my actions here affect our relationship, too.  I trust you.  I know you are just AND good.  Thank you for being both.  Help me to be the same.

 

 

And the Secret Word is….

I haven’t posted in a while.  I don’t know if you’ve been missing reading my blog, but I’ve been missing writing it.  I think the condition of my heart is directly related to how often I blog.

The lack of posts, means my heart has been preoccupied.  Preoccupied with Christmas and New Years and sickness and writing for other assignments.  But most recently it’s been preoccupied with the secret word of the day:  Diagnosis.  You all know what to do when you hear the secret word, right?!  SCREAM REAL LOUD!!!  

When my baby was having constant tummy trouble I went to doctor after doctor, having test after test, and trial after trial to figure out what it may be.  We couldn’t live without the diagnosis.  A definitive one never came.  Asher was negative for parasites and allergies and Celiac’s.  We took him off of food after food to no avail until finally by trial and error we took him off of both soy and milk and that seemed to help.  Most of the time.

On the other hand, earlier last week Isaac’s teacher sent an email to tell us that she’s concerned that Isaac is having a hard time focusing in class.  He is easily distracted by any outside noises or his classmates.  In the same day, she’ll find him staring off into space, unable to complete his work and then an hour later he has so much energy he can’t sit still and bursts out with screams of excitement when nothing particularly exciting is going on.

I asked to meet with her after school that day.  I knew exactly what she was talking about.  We see that behavior all the time at home and I am just helpless as to how to parent him.  Mrs. Larsen suggested that we talk to the pediatrician.  She said she’d talk to the school counselor about doing some observations.  We made a plan to form a care team for him and move him to a desk away from distractions.

I called the pediatrician and spoke with a nurse who suggested we take him to a psychologist to test him for ADD.  I wasn’t convinced we needed a diagnosis quite yet.  I spent the last few days online, researching symptoms of ADD and looking for any answers other than medication.

I went ahead and set up the appointment with the psychologist for last Thursday.  Then I called the pediatrician again.  I wanted to talk to Isaac’s doctor, not just a nurse.  I told her all of the symptoms and how I was feeling.  I don’t want to medicate my son.  I’ve been in the education field long enough to know the side affects of the medicines that curb ADD symptoms: suicidal thoughts, depression, sleeplessness, loss of appetite/weightloss.  My skinny Randall clone can’t afford to lose any weight.

The pediatrician made me feel better about the whole thing.  She said we don’t need a diagnosis at this point.  If Isaac’s school work isn’t suffering and he’s not a huge disruption to the class we’ll just keep an eye out on him and see how it goes.  She was very patient with all of my questions and agreed with my instinct to try everything (diet changes and focus practice) before medication.

We went ahead and kept the appointment with the psychologist.  I wanted to talk with a professional to get advice about how to parent my kid! There’s so much more to talk about than just a diagnosis and medication that may address the symptoms.

Randall was worried that if we went to the psychologist, we’d get a diagnosis that will follow Isaac around for the rest of his life.  Will educators look at him and have lower expectations of him because those three letters are attached to his name?  I don’t know.

I’m not worried about him being labeled ADD if he has ADD.  If he needs different expectations and more help in school, then we need to do what it takes to get him that help.

I think what I discovered this week is that I needed the suggestion of a diagnosis, at least, to change my expectations of my kid.  I expect perfection because that is what was expected of me.  I had straight As in school because Bs were unacceptable to me, not necessarily my parents.  I expect my kids to be able to control themselves, because I learned how to control my behavior.  I’ve expected Isaac to be like me because I am me… and quite frankly I don’t know how not to be. I’ve never expected Isaac to be Isaac.  And that’s exactly what he needs for now.  Diagnosis or not.

Mrs. Larsen said that many kids with focus issues can’t stand the pressure of the school work by third or fourth grade.  I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there… Or maybe we’ll just stand in front of it and watch it waver and consider more diet changes and decide not to cross it again…

One of those days.

I haven’t posted anything in a while.  I’m sorry about that.

I don’t know if anyone is sitting around waiting for my blogs, but there is a direct correlation between my writing and the condition of my heart.  If I can’t find the time to write for myself, then my heart is being preoccupied as well.

My boys will be home from school in two minutes.

I’ve just about had it up to “here” this week.

God, I’m at that point again where I don’t even have words to ask for your help.  Give me clarity of mind, peace of heart, and wisdom as I finish out this week.

And here’s the bus…