Thursday, December 2, 2010

How To Handle Hooligans With Grace And Dignity

Often times I wish I was the Mom who had all these brilliant ideas on how to handle hooligans (aka, my many small children), in godly, creative, ground-breaking ways.

I'm learning... the Lord is faithful in bringing insight, resources, and most importantly friends to walk through this thing called motherhood with me...

But all the same, If you'd really like to know how I solve problems around here... well... it's on my face!

That's right, flat on my face.

A few weeks back the hooligans were having a hoopla in our living room. Fighting, bickering, yelling, screaming and I was standing at the bottom of our stairs looking out over this shananagan going on in the middle of the room.
I slipped into the corner where I had hoped to become invisible, laid my weary self flat on the floor, face down and whispered, "What Lord? What am I to do with this little bunch of crazies? How Lord? How can I be an example to them of how to be peace-makers instead of trouble makers? What words Lord? What words can come out of my mouth that would spur their hearts to desire kindness towards one another? HELP ME PLEASE!!"

It wasn't but five seconds later that the oldest made his way over to my quiet corner and inquired, "what are doing on the floor mom?"

Reesie was still screaming in the middle of the room about the little, plastic toy that someone had unjustly taken from her...

With my face still facing the ground I mumbled to Siah, "I'm trying to talk to the Lord about you and your sisters and what on earth I'm supposed to do with y'all."

"What did He say Mom?"

"Well, you see, the trouble is that y'all are extremely loud and I'm having a bit of trouble HEARING!"

By this time Reesie had quieted herself down and Hal was staring in my direction wondering what I was going to do next. In truth, I was wondering what I was going to do next. But fortunately, Siah pipped in and said, "Sorry Mama."

"What are you sorry for bud?"

"Sorry that we're so loud and you can't hear God."

"Guys, it's not about you being loud. It's about the way that we treat each other in our home. Do you wanna be a blessing or a burden to one another? Do you wanna be trouble makers or peace makers? I know Mama struggles with my tone of voice and the way that I choose to talk sometimes is not a blessing to anyone. So you know what I need to do when that happens? "

Siah pipes in again... "Make it right, Mama. You ask us to forgive you."

"That's right buddy. But not only do I need to ask your forgiveness but I need to make it right with the Lord. And I need to ask Him to help me to choose kind words the next time that I feel frustrated or angry. So what should we do Hal? "

Siah answers for Hal (cuz he does that often) and says, "Pray Mama. We need to ask God to help us."

"Yes, Bud, we do."

So we huddle up on the floor in our living room and I get ready to listen to the simple prayers of my children as they ask the Lord to change us and mold us and turn our home into a place of peace and deep, genuine love... and before we can even begin, Siah (the leader/dictator of the bunch) instructs us all, "Be quiet everyone... so that Mama can hear the Lord when He talks!"

I may not handle motherhood very gracefully sometimes, on the floor, face down, at a total loss, isn't exactly the perfect picture of grace... but it is His Grace that shows me how to do each day, how to move forward when I feel like my feet are cemented to the ground. How to bring peace when the hooligans want to be at war with one another. Thank goodness that He is the perfect picture of grace and dignity! :)