1 Peter 5:2-11 NLT
2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.
It’s been a long, long week. Twelve days to be exact. This boy has irritated me to the moon and back, and seems to be content to make another orbit around the irritation rock.
Six recently had a procedure performed that has him at home until after his doctor’s appointment. He has had cabin fever, as have I. We were finally able to leave the house today for a prolonged outing that did not require me or him to get out of the car, except for bathroom breaks. I was delighted…until…
Until the nonstop questions began. Until he drank the last of his drink and was “so very hungry”. Until he wanted to get out of the car 55 million eleventy thousand times. Until I thought I was going to hang my head out of the window and scream at the top of my very lungs. That didn’t happen, though I believed it would on more than one occasion. Holy Spirit was on deck, keeping me calm, and kept our little ‘blessing’ from being severely upset with his mommy.
The pinnacle of our adventure came when the hubby and I made an executive decision regarding a rare treat: dinner out somewhere. It was my choice. Since my husband seems to love Asian fare, I decided against all Asian, Pan-Asian, Asian inspired or any sub header thereof. Needless to say, the Hub was a bit disappointed with my choice of venue: I-HOP. Or is it I-HOb? Whatever.
It was relatively quiet in the pancake joint, and we were seated quickly. I knew what I wanted right away, and asked Six his desires regarding food. His responses were simple enough: blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs and juice and coffee and…. UGH!!!!! I was at the end of my patience, and as my child continued to be somewhat inappropriately loud, overly energetic and afflicted by incessant chatter, I felt frustration rearing its ugly head. I. Was. Over IT.
Before I continue on, it’s important to note this: I understand my son has a diagnosis from a doctor about his behavior and mannerisms. However, I refuse to accept he is incapable of making good choices – choices that do not infringe on others or incite willful disrespect to adults or anyone else. I don’t care what the diagnosis is, I know God is bigger than that, and He is trusting me to do what I can do on my end with the child He has entrusted to me while complete healing occurs. In the meantime, that means Six will not and cannot run roughshod all over me, authority or other people. With that tidbit in mind…
As of late, my five-year-old has taken to being flippant, and generally smart aleckish. That don’t work with me. At all. Fortunately, quite a bit of the foolery was curtailed after a bit of stern correction, and we managed to get through most of our meal without much complaint. After he was finished though, I found I was not enjoying my meal and was barely able to have a decent conversation with the Hub due to his behavior. A few (idle) threats later, we arrived home.
As the Hub went off to attend to some other things in the house, my five-year-old climbed onto the bed with me. With his eyes fixed on me, I could see his love for me as well as his exhaustion. His eyes were searching for something. As Six and I talked, he wanted me to reassure him that I still loved him, that he was still my favorite little boy-even as I was in a hurry to scoot him off. I wanted him to play with his toys. It seems he always has to be in my space and face, all the time, never alone, never, not ever. He kept trying to stay with me, and I kept trying to get him to leave me alone for fifteen minutes so I could take off my shoes and get my thoughts together. When he wouldn’t see things the way I hoped, I sent him away anyway. That’s when conviction from Holy Spirit came.
There have been many changes in our home, mostly positive changes, but changes nonetheless. Even small changes affect us all. We still have to adjust the best we know how. Just because I am super adept at changing doesn’t mean he is. Six doesn’t do well with big changes, and we’ve had quite a few. The relationships with two of the original fab five are mending, and the way the Lord has chosen to operate is nothing short of a miracle. Our home life is nothing like it was last year. I don’t even have the same friends. We don’t have the same place of worship. Don’t have the same vehicles – not even one of our own. My husband’s job is lovely, and I have successfully begun to launch my own business all while finishing the editing on book #1 and starting book #2. And that’s just an overview. Our rhythm is much different, and now includes Jesus as our focus in EVERY area, not only a few select and key areas like before. For a moment, I thought I was fanatical, and decided that was ok. Jesus was radical sooooo…But I digress.
In regard to Six…
It seems his needs never, ever stop. There’s always water to get. There’s always a bed to make, laundry to do, a kitchen or dining room to clean. A complaint. A need. I’m getting it from all sides, and now that the boy is getting in on it, I have to just say no sometimes. Lately, it’s been to him. And I see the cycle. It’s one I’ve done before. One I did when I worked in corporate America, it’s what happened with the other children. *sigh* It’s a cycle that will not be happening again.
I was shown exactly how much I chased him away, and the way I did it. It wasn’t because I was totally overwhelmed all the time. It was simply because I did not want to address his small need. That need is service. It is ministry. I struggle between not coddling him and making him a spoiled brat to alienating and rejecting him. It is a very fine line, and I’m sure I have been way over one or the other as of late. Holy Spirit reminds me to cherish this time with him since it will not be too long before I am no longer the main woman in his life. I do like that spot. I want to keep it, and I want it to be a good place for him.
I’m not perfect, and I don’t have the perfect child. I do get frustrated and tired of the mom cycle – and in tandem with recent changes in our lives, it is quite the challenge, to say the least. But this is for my good, and for Six’s. As the passage above states, I have to care for my flock: the kids and hubby, and with the right attitude, as a joy. Sometimes, it’s not. It’s during these times I have to remind myself this is just a short season and before I know it, his voice will be different, as will his astute interest in me as the only woman in his life. I’m still mama, though, and no one will ever take that spot. 😉