April 21, 2011

Worth The Fight.



This morning I grabbed my new favorite coffee mug, the one that is as big as my face, and filled it up to the brim. It's the biggest cup we have, and my sweet husband must know how desperately I need the extra ounces these days, because he hand washes it every night before bed and leaves it out on the counter for me so that I can just stumble into the kitchen and POUR.

What a man.

The thing that seems to be pulling the life from my bones these days is not the wee babe. It is not the extremely in-your-face six year old. It is the little dude in the middle.



The other day, he had a two hour screaming fit simply because I told him he could have his cupcake AFTER lunch, and not before.

He screamed and screamed and screamed, and then suddenly, on my 150th time of going back to his room to explain that he was welcome to come out and eat his lunch as soon as he stopped throwing a fit, he looked at me and said "Okay, mama!" and hopped off the chair. He came out to the table, ate his WHOLE lunch, and the got his cupcake with a heaping side of affirmation.

And he seems to really get it about the treats now. But he's still fighting me on every thing else. This morning for example, we are smack dab in the middle of an epic battle of the wills again.

He was whipping the furniture with a metal chain... you know how they do... and I told him firmly to "stop" three or four times. He didn't stop, so I scooped him up and stuck him in timeout. I went back a couple of minutes later and told him that he needs to stop when I say stop, and I asked him to respond with "Yes mama" like he's supposed to, but instead I got a furrowed brow and a glare.

For over an hour we did this. Me asking him to say "Yes mama" when I told him to listen and obey, and he just glaring at me like an angry caveman.

Finally I told him that if he didn't respond properly, he was going to have to go straight to bed for his nap.

Guess where he is right now?

Yep. Bed.

He is the MOST stubborn child I have ever seen!!!



I am encouraged today, however, because I seem to be able to feel the weight of what I am doing with Myer. I am training and correcting him in the way he should go, and there is no greater gift that I can give the boy in life than that. During all the crying and stubbornness this morning, I seem to be able to hear God whispering to my heart that "This is good, this is good, this is good!"

Correcting my child in love and with firmness will be health to his bones all the days of his life. And all of these little struggles and battles that no one sees have the power to shape the man that Myer will become, which in turn could shape the lives of countless other people as he grows and the decades march on.

When I am able to remember that fact, I feel so VERY important! So USEFUL in the Kingdom of God! So HONORED to have been chosen for such a high calling! (Three times over, none the less!)

Why is it so dang hard to remember this? When I forget it, which is almost always the case, I begin to feel so useless, so unseen, so... trapped. My kids suffer, I suffer, my husband suffers. Negativity and bitterness reign in my house. May I never forget the truth of the worth of my job again!!

The interesting thing about all of this is that last week, at the women's study that I go to, we were talking about learning to submit our stubborn wills to the will of God so that we can have abundant life.

Helloooo prime example! When I was looking into Myer's caveman face earlier, I couldn't help but giggle a little. It was like I could suddenly see myself in his place. I have been setting my face towards God in the same way! I have been refusing to respond to His loving correction with equal amounts of stubbornness! I have been choosing to remain in the chair when I could be off truly living!

Thankfully, all I have to do is repent of my stubbornness and hardness towards God (since the ability to repent is the greatest GIFT God has given us on this Earth) and I am RIGHT back in the game. Over and done. It's as simple as that!

Now, if only my two year old would get the "repentance" memo...there are games to be played and books to be read and pages to be colored! We'll see how the flip side of this nap goes. I'm sensing a glorious VICTORY! Because he is so very worth the fight!



:)

18 comments:

annajoy said...

love this. such good lessons!!

Christine Hopkins said...

Oh Emery! This is so good! I'm so proud of you!!! We WILL see the fruits of our labor!

Chelsea said...

Emery,

My boys are similar ages and stages to yours... Ian is almost 5, Alek is 3 and Holden is 8 mos. Well, I SO hear you. My second son is just the SAME way... and the baby is NOT what made the difference for me... AT ALL. He is EASY PEASY (almost like he thought, "hmm... that one gets his attention by being very smart, that one gets his by being very naughty, I guess I'll have to get mine by being very cute and good. Ok!") Which is SUCH a grace.

But I also hear you about the consistency and the pay-off with (all of them, but especially) #2... it is SO worth it. We've even seen it with vegetables lately... all of the sudden, he is willing to eat them, because we consistently made him take ONE bite at every dinner.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that you're not alone. I know exactly how you're feeling. You are a great momma and you are right that you have such a high calling and privilege. Now go own it with your sweet li'l Myer!!!

Chelsea

KillerB said...

Those footie pajamas totally get to me. Gah! :)

Jessica G. said...

You're a good mama. And it's refreshing to hear another mama's struggles and victories. I may not know you, but you encourage so many of us out there with your openness and honesty. And it is true, though the "battle" may make the days long, you are raising a Godly son and that makes it worth it.

Lauren said...

Your children are adorable and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job with them. I have yet to have children so I can barely imagine how difficult it is to discipline them! Kudos to you for doing your job as a parent and caregiver so well!

Two Cent Sparrow said...

I feel your pain!! Except I only have the one two-year old right now and I can't image how difficult it must be to remain strong and consistent with two other little people demanding attention as well. Good job Mama!! And I encourage you to flip through Proverbs when you are feeling discouraged. They are nice and short and there are SO many more wonderful proverbs about discipline and parenting than I ever realized. They are a great encouragement, particularly for those days when there seems to be a tremendous amount of stubborn will in our household. :)

Erin said...

Wow I really needed to read this post! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Thanks for that reminder. Indeed I forget what an important task I have everyday, teaching my kids many, many important things in life.

I just finished reading the book "Positive Discipline for your Preschooler". I highly recommend this book!! Amazing!! And great results. :-) I also am reading a very classic series called "Your One Year Old", "Your Two Year Old", etc. They go up to teenage years, I believe and they are written by Louise Bates Ames. They were written in the 70's or 80's, but most of the book is still really relevant today, as it talks about development. One of the most interesting points in the book is that kids go through cycles of ease and difficulty. The difficult cycles fall at 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. and the easier cycles fall at 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, etc. A good reminder when things get tough in our house.

eBirdie said...

Wow, yes. What a great reminder! Thank you. And as my second is already seeming to be more willful and feisty than her older sister, I have a feeling this may be something I'll need to re-read in another year when she hits the twos...you're doing a great job. :)

Barb Meyer said...

You are such a great mom!
I am on the flip side of the coin now ... my children are grown and my oldest is a wife and the mother of a 2, almost 3 year old, and a 3 week old. Under the definition for "strong-willed child" in the dictionary, was her picture when she was little. Lots of prayer, lots of discipline, lots of prayer, lots of love, lots of prayer . . . and 28 years of time ~ and "ta dah!" ~ she is a womon of strength and beauty who loves Jesus passionately, is a superb wife and beyond, beyond exceptional mother with a very strong 2 year old son of her very own. Keep it up! The work is hard now, but the pay-off is HUGE!!! You are preparing your sons' hearts to love and obey Jesus all the days of their lives. All that strength will be a gift in their lives . . . and in yours . . . soon! I PROMISE!!
Barbara

Anna said...

Man, pretty much every post you write make me CRY! This is soooo good and true. Your family is so sweet.

Rodriguez_Family said...

A friend of mine directed me to your blog. I'll be reading from now on! Here's a book I recently read that has helped me tremendously with my (extremely) strong-willed 4-year-old son: Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries by Robert McKenzie.

haverlee said...

Love this post...from one of my favorite bloggers! I could completely imagine this situation playing out since I have two {wild} boys. I too, try to be consistently firm yet let them be wild and unruly whenever a situation allows. I always think that a mother hasn't parented until she's parented boys! Phew. Its a calling, that's for sure.
But I had to comment on the fact that your husband hand washes that mug every night. I'm pretty sure that's the SWEETEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD. Ugh.

Chelsea said...

this is so well put emery!

thank you for this!

;)

Mush said...

We seem to be at the same stage at the same time! I have 3 boys too of similar ages and I find myself in the same situation, that the middle little dude is the hardest to deal with. I remember when I had number 2 and number 1 was playing up and like you said in an earlier post, I just put the baby down and dealt with the bad behaviour of number 1. It really did help.

I'm also having to clamp down on number 2 at the moment who is really pushing his luck with so many things. It's hard work but like you say I think it will pay off.

Keep up the good work x

Sarah said...

Emery,
I have been reading your blog since Ezra was just a baby…but read it more consistently the last couple of years.

I really enjoy your posts. You are so down-to-earth and are a great writer. Your writing is special. I think you should write a book…either for adults or children. They would be awesome!

Speaking of books, and I hope you get this comment even though I'm commenting late on this blog post, I think you would be blessed by this book, called Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches.

http://www.monergismbooks.com/Loving-the-Little-Years-Motherhood-in-the-Trenches-p-19964.html

I haven't read it but I am going to. I have a three year old boy and want to have more!

I hope you get it and it encourages you.

Thanks for sharing your world with us :)

Sarah (I have never commented before!)

Ali said...

I love to read your oh so honest posts :) Thank you! You are helping me prepare for motherhood!