Today was a nice glimpse of sun shining through the grey ~ no, not the actual grey, it was rainy here all day~ but definitely the grey of monotony in child training at times, and a ray of hope that all this training is making a difference, even if it is not in my timing and not in my way.
The Lord is so gracious to make submission to His ways easier at just the times when I really need it! Today was on the heels of a few especially challenging , intensive training days. I was road weary and very thirsty, and not too keen on the idea of continuing to run in this particular race. In fact, I wanted to sit out a day Lol ! But after a rocky morning, (during which I was sinfully having a bad attitude about having to do this and that), God intervened. As I stood in the kitchen with Tyler and we discussed choices and consequences for the gazillionth time, god put it on my heart to show Ty what Empathy meant. As a student in the human services and later a ( brief) student of counseling processes, I have learned about the important role of empathy in providing services, so I am surprised I never thought to actively teach this to my kids after the age of 'It's nice to share'...lol. But, God did think of it and it really worked for us nicely. I had Ty sit on the coach and close his eyes, and I sat down too and explained to him that he was the parent of 3 now, the baby the toddler and himself. I explained what it felt like to him as the parent be on the receiving end of these behaviors each day, and how hurt and confused he felt about what to do to help. I told him to imagine seeing his older son acting these ways and to be causing hurt and confusion and not being able to reach him and help him change because he would not seem to want to change. After a few minutes of that, he said he understood what I was trying to show him and I felt he really might. A few minutes later, I assigned him the task of picking out his own scripture verse to write 5times in cursive ( something we do daily, but I usually pick the scripture verse .) Ty picked out Proverbs 15:11 all by himself, " he who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise." I was very pleased! That verse fueled a good , little conversation about God's faithfulness and love for him- I reminded him that God wants to teach him right from wrong like any good parent does, and he will be faithful to forgive him when he confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness. Ty confessed to me that he does not like to hear about what he does wrong because he feels like all of it adds up to seem insurmountable, and he feels that God can't forgive him, and that's why he has such a bad attitude about correction or instruction. I was able to share with him that it is God's love for him that He and I teach him what is wrong and right, and that he can never do too many bad things for God to be faithful to forgive him if he confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness. I also was able to encourage him that all of us adults need correction quite a bit grow too, and without it we would not be able to, just as he can't. This is all stuff we have gone over before, but today it seemed to be just what Ty needed to hear and it obviously offered him much relief. Ty even apologized for how his behavior as of late has affected the family, and asked my and Josh's forgiveness. I was quite touched! We were able to share a nice hug and Ty and I both smiled more throughout the day. In fact, I told the kids we were celebrating with ice cream after lunch today to show our joy about what God did for us today! We prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God and went on about the days work . At 3 I was able to take a nice, long, hot bubble bath and read one of my books too. I don't know which was better, the ray of hope or the bath , but I'm sure it was the hope! Looking back over the last few weeks, it is neat to see how God has had His hand on everything. It was following a nice, 4 day long trip to VA to see my sisters ( all of it having fun, going places and hanging out with them) that these days preceded and I was more rested than usual. In fact, on the 8 hour ride home, I was especially sucked into worship in such a way that I did not stop playing my worship cd's over and over the whole entire time. As usual when I am in the car with God ( lol) there were tears and Lot's of praising, but I usually listen to my worship cd's the first half of a long trip and branch into talk radio later on. But not this time. Also, with His intervention today, even our sin was redeemed ~ something only He can do!! And don't even get me started on how grateful I am to have been able to go and see my sisters for the first time in soo long. I am also grateful for my husband and my children's father, who kept my babies safe, happy and fed the whole time I was gone! They were a little too happy, and didn't want to start school again..Lol ;) Please pray for Ty and for me and Al as we seek to parent him to his bent, in the fear and instruction of the Lord and also despite our own sin ~ a tall order, but obviously not one God can't handle! Thanks!! <3