Monday, August 19, 2013

What God needed me to do today.

Our boys have gotten into the bad habit recently of calling names - no cursing, that's absolutely unacceptable in my book - (and yes, I try try try not to let the occasional word slip in front of them. I save that for Facebook. Or occasionally at work really loud in my headset mic when someone irritates the %$#@ out of me.)  The boys prefer names like butt, or stupid butt, or idiot, or just constant aggravation and picking. And the worst to me?  The insults and belittling of a brother.  Believing what a kid at school says before you believe what your own brother says.  Or bullying just because you can - and maybe feeling a little small on the inside at that particular moment. 

David tries to remind me that it's normal brother behavior, and I should get a clearer outside perspective from other families with lots of boys.  But my perspective is very individual,  and it comes from a darker place than my husband has ever had to live.  My perspective comes from a home all too often clouded with loudness, ugliness, and a loneliness that I could never accurately paint in a picture of words.  I don't have those words.  And I don't have the kind of heart to speak that kind of hurt.

So the constant brother fighting around here hits me in a very tender place.    And this morning I had the mom meltdown that's been a while in the making.  The tears that have  been hovering and the growing lump in my throat all came  .... and all it took was one more negative word from brother to brother. So after a fleeting thought of packing my bags and leaving David forever alone to raise the monsters,  I prayed the deepest heart crying prayer that I have in a long time..... a prayer to just to hear a little encouragement, to see a little inspiration, a small picture of something good with these kids.  Something to let me know that I've done something right. 

And maybe that's exactly what God needed me to do today.  He needed my heart to break and my tears to finally fall and to cry out that I can't do this on my own.  To admit that I've been running solely on hope as my energy.  To quit trying to rest and refill on my own.  To quit trying to fix everything.  Because I can't. 

The end of the story?  I saw the pieces of good. I saw brothers sitting together on the couch reading a book together.   I heard love spoken to each other when they decided to play catch in the front yard. I watched Sam lay his head in Christopher's lap during the sermon today.  And I watched Christopher be a big brother.  (Pause...... Ethan is still cocky and a little big for his britches today. And  I just heard Sam call someone a warthog.  And earlier, after church,  I saw him kick Ethan in the rear - but sometimes I just have to look the other way.)  

And for the time being, I've taken away all technology.  No influence from XBOX games, no sarcastic Disney shows that make it seem OK for kids to be mean,... and all boys, minus those other influences, were left with playing outside together on a beautiful afternoon.      

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