Thursday, August 21, 2008

Applying what I learn

I am sad that I don't get to post as often as I'd like. This is one of the very few cons to John working from home full time - he took over the computer!!! Anyway, very seldom, if any that I remember, does God teach me something huge and not give me an opportunity to apply it very soon after. A few post back I wrote about God driving a stake deep into my heart. It basically was that parenting my children is for God's glory and my development/sanctification more than it was for my children's sake. I can teach and train them and lay a foundation in which God will choose (or not choose) to work on. He will make them holy and he will finish the work in them. It is not my burden or responsibility to make them holy and good.
So Jake started school last week and I have devoted time over the past year to training Jake in various manner skills. One of them we work on most everyday is listening skills. He can spout it off to you if you ask him. Something like this Jake what do you do when another person is talking to you. His response will be (either with words or he will show me) stop what you are doing, find their eyes and look at them, hands beside you or in your lap, and respond when they finish so they know you heard them. This helps Jake practice self control and it is respectful. He has known is since he was about 2.5 (not completely of course but we started then). When I get to the parent night this Tuesday, his teacher ask me if he gets dizzy when he looks at you. (she knows about his vision problem) John and I smiled and said no because that is all he has known and ask why she ask. She said "When I talk to him he does not look at me." "I have been working with the children on listening skills but I was afraid it made him dizzy so I didn't make him do it." Well immediately my heart sank because in that moment I felt as though I had failed as a parent and I got frustrated with Jake. There were a few other things that he did that made me feel the same way but for lengths sake I will spare you. Needless to say, I came home and really had to remind myself of what God was teaching me. I am being faithful in what I know to do with Jake but that will not make him a child that always gets it right and it will not make him good and holy. So we did need to have some conversations with Jake but I had to get my heart right before the Lord. My confidence and significance will not be determined (any longer) by my children's actions. I will press on to take hold of the prize which God has in store for me and I will keep my eyes on him and his glory, having faith that he will start and finish a work in their hearts.
But it is so hard!!! I often wonder if God knew it would be this hard. To invest so much time and energy and heart into these children who ultimately are not mine and each day that becomes closer to a reality. How easy to wrap my significance up in who they are and how they are doing. It has taken God almost 5 years and lots of worry and disgust but I am so thankful he is showing me the bigger picture. I am not sure that this one makes any sense. It is in my head and makes complete sense to me but for some reason I can't seem to say it just right. Anyway, its my heart and I put it out there. Hope it is encouraging to someone!!!


April Brown said...

Wow...nothing like getting the wind knocked out of you the FIRST week of school!! I know the teacher's intentions were good but I'm sure a little more time getting to know Jake would have made it easier to take her comments!!

You are a GREAT mother!! I'm always so sharpened when I spend time with you...I know it's hard but just like you said, God is doing something bigger! These children of our's...they're going to cause MORE grey hair!! I can't take it!

Donna said...

So much depends on the teacher too- we had one teacher for MDO when Marky was two that had "constructive criticsm" every single time I picked him up. The year before and the year after I had NO issues like that. Great post though- you have good perspective.